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About 12% of all industrial electricity use goes toward lighting, which is absurdly excessive. Operators are encouraged to look for new inovations to reduce lighting costs. Retrofitting lighting is one of the common ways to accomplish this.

Industrial lighting conversion is more complicated and challenging to handle than indoor commercial lighting installation. Retrofitting lighting without any planning or consultation carries a huge risk. Most operators don’t give retrofit lighting any thought. Some of them are unsure about their lighting upgrade objectives, but picture a brand-new, very effective lighting system. Professional electricians, an energy service provider, and a lighting manufacturer might be needed for a lighting retrofit to be effective. Profits are always of the utmost importance to operators. Consequently, it makes more sense to retrofit industrial lighting at a reasonable price.

What the Lighting Retrofit Goal?

Operators must determine their objectives before retrofitting industrial lighting. They can only carry out the subsequent steps favorably if they are clear about their lighting retrofit aims. Energy savings, improved light quality, increased productivity, less maintenance, environmental protection, and other objectives may be included in lighting retrofit projects. The requirements and capabilities of the lighting system can be affected by clear objectives. A dimmable and intelligently managed lighting system can satisfy the need if operators desire to conserve energy. A lighting system with adequate but not dazzling lighting can work if operators want to boost productivity. Operators may have a variety of objectives, but due to budget constraints, they must rank them in order of importance. A cost-effective lighting upgrade can reduce your electricity bill by 40% while taking no more than five years to pay for itself. However, the majority of lighting retrofit paybacks happen in less than three years. An ineffective lighting retrofit only wastes money and produces undesirable lighting effects. Therefore, lighting retrofit is useless without a clear purpose.

Retrofitting lighting when it makes sense

Retrofit lighting is defined in a variety of ways. Retrofitting lighting makes sense when it is economical or when it at least satisfies a necessity. Retrofitting the lighting, however, is never necessary. They are useful in specific circumstances, such as dim lighting, prolonged use, high energy costs, ineffective lighting effects, poor maintenance, etc. Safety and security are threatened by insufficient lighting, thus switching to a lamp or luminaire with a higher output can make sense. 

The use of smart controls can efficiently save energy in situations where excessive lighting hours waste both money and energy. High energy costs are associated with energy-efficient lighting and control systems. When retrofitting lighting, all of these elements should be taken into consideration. Overly long lamp life could be the result of poor maintenance. For simpler maintenance, replacing the light or luminaire is beneficial.

Cost effective industrial lighting retrofit
What Kind of Light Source Should Be Chosen?

In general, LED is the best choice for lighting retrofits. While producing the same amount of light, LEDs have longer lifespans and use up to 80% less energy than traditional halogen light sources. There is a table that compares the key traits of incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED lighting.

Lamp Type










Efficacy (Lm/W)











Indoor, outdoor



Indoor, outdoor

Additional Info

High IR radiation

High IR radiation

High UV radiation

Little UV and IR radiation

Hazardous Chemical Content



Mercury, Neon


Starting Time (to full output)



Fast to instant


The table shows that LEDs have advantages over conventional light sources in a number of areas.

  • The CCT (correlated color temperature) range of LEDs is broad. Different color temperatures create different moods and ambiance.
  • Compared to conventional lights, LEDs are more efficient, which allows them to produce more light while using the same amount of power. When compared to other traditional light sources, the overall cost of LEDs is quite low. You may be able to save money by choosing LEDs.
  • LEDs have a far longer lifespan than other conventional light sources—up to 500,000 hours. LEDs are strong because they only gradually lose brightness over time.
  • LEDs are applicable both indoors and outdoors. Some of them have exceptional dust-proof, waterproof, and corrosion-resistance capabilities.
  • LEDs are frequently utilized for products that are sensitive to heat and materials vulnerable to UV degradation since they emit light with less UV and IR radiation.
  • Because they don’t contain any dangerous chemicals like halogens, mercury, or neon, LEDs are considered to be environmentally benign. They are also safer for users because they don’t contain any dangerous chemicals.
  • LEDs start up promptly, without the need to wait for them to warm up, and they quickly attain their full brightness.

Retrofit Kits, Lamp Retrofit, or Luminaire Replacement

Lamp retrofit, retrofit kit, and luminaire replacement are the three most popular refit alternatives. The distinctions between the three choices are unclear. For a better understanding, classifying lamps and luminaires is the first step. A luminaire is, to put it simply, a lamp and a fixture put together. The three retrofit solutions’ specifics are as follows:

Retrofit of lamps

Retrofitting fluorescent lighting fixtures with tubular LEDs is the only application for lamp retrofitting. The refit of a lamp is simpler and less expensive than other retrofits. The lamp is immediately replaced during this retrofit, the ballast is taken out, or a driver and LED tube are added.

  • Direct replacement of lamps. By using this technique, the sockets and ballast remain in place while only the lamp is removed. Of all the retrofits, it is the simplest and most affordable. However, issues with compatibility and inadequate maintenance could arise. Additionally, it is not dimming with an outdated ballast.
  • Remove the ballast. This retrofit removes the existing ballast. More energy is conserved, and installation is simple. For a safe replacement, an electrician is needed. Before changing the ballast, the dimming function cannot be utilized.
  • External driver and LED tube. It is the most effective method of retrofitting lamps. Better heat management and dimming capabilities are possible with an external driver. This method’s disadvantages include the need for electricians and its high cost.
4 Considerations for a Cost-effective Industrial Lighting Retrofit
Retrofit Kits

Compared to lamp retrofits, replacing LED retrofit kits is more effective. When the present housing must be kept or removal of the housing is challenging, an LED retrofit kit is often employed. The LED fixture, ballast, socket, and electronics are all included in LED retrofit kits. Longer lifespan is possible since the illumination’s functional components have been updated. Additionally, enhanced thermal management and lighting control are both offered. Thus, LED retrofit kits can reduce energy consumption by as much as 50%. However, retrofit kits are more expensive than lamp retrofits, and replacement requires electricians.

Lightbulb Replacement

The most expensive but most effective retrofit is luminaire replacement. With this procedure, old luminaires are switched out for new LED luminaires. Maximum durability, energy efficiency, safety, visual effects, controllability, maintenance, and light quality are all provided by new LED luminaires. Replacement of the luminaire takes longer than the other two retrofits. LEDs are efficient, as we all know, producing great output with little energy use. However, there is a risk that this benefit will result in uncomfortable lighting conditions by over-illuminating the existing space by one-to-one replacement. The most expensive refit, it claims without doing, is the replacement of the luminaires. Economic analysis, however, cannot be determined solely by cost. Rewards like energy savings, enhanced satisfaction, and increased productivity should also be considered. The cost of a refit is justified once its advantages start to show. Although the initial cost of replacing a luminaire is considerable, the incremental cost will drop as the lifespan increases. For a lighting system to be high-quality and long-lasting, the correct lighting manufacturers must be chosen.

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