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What You Need To Know About LED Retrofitting

In today’s energy conscious environment, LED retrofitting has become an increasingly popular option for commercial and industrial businesses throughout the world. While the energy savings benefits of LEDs are obvious, there are several other benefits that business owners and building managers should consider when making the decision to retrofit their facilities to LED lighting. These include significantly reduced maintenance costs, as well as dramatically improved lighting quality.

Overall, switching to LEDs provides an environment that’s more aesthetically pleasing and also more conducive to safety and productivity. For these reasons, LED retrofitting is something your business should seriously consider when looking to improve your facilities and your bottom line.

Throughout this article, we’ll explain what’s involved with retrofitting. This includes explaining the various benefits and also providing examples of cost savings associated with it.

What is An LED Retrofit?

LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”, which is what gives LED lighting fixtures their light. LED’s are used in practically every electronic device being sold today. Specifically, LED’s have become dominant in the lighting industry due to their compact size, energy efficiency, minimal maintenance requirements and the quality of their color rendering (known as CRI – Color Rendering Index).

An LED retrofit is essentially a conversion of an existing fixture (whether it be CFL, Fluorescent, Incandescent, etc) to a LED lighting fixture. Sometimes it is not possible or practical to retrofit an existing fixture to LED – in those cases the existing fixture would be replaced entirely with a new LED fixture.

Cost Savings

In this section, we’re going to provide a case study from one of our end-users. This example involves a busy office building based in Michigan who switched from fluorescent lamps to Straits LED office lighting fixtures.

  • Improved annual return on investment by 115%
  • Annual savings of $62,000
  • 22% increase in lighting levels
  • Longer lasting lighting
  • 100% reduction of lighting mercury levels
  • Removed 29 tons of CO2 annually

Below are images showing their office space before and after using our products. Their T8 fluorescents were replaced with X-Series LED T8 tubes. 15 watt X-Series tubes are a direct replacement for 32-watt fluorescents.

Dimly lit office space with fluorescent lighting prior to using Straits LED lighting fixtures

BEFORE

Brightly illuminated office space after replacing fluorescent lights with Straits LED troffer lighting fixtures.

AFTER

What Are The Benefits of LED Retrofitting?

Energy Savings – The primary benefit of LED retrofitting as previously mentioned is the drastically lowered energy consumption compared to traditional and fluorescent lighting – resulting in as much as an 80% reduction in energy costs over a year. Roughly 90% of a building’s total lifetime cost (including the initial cost of the building itself) is wrapped up in operating expenses, the largest portion of which is energy costs from lighting. This makes energy efficient LED retrofitting an obvious choice for commercial and industrial buildings.

Reduced Maintenance Costs – Another benefit of LED retrofitting is the dramatically reduced maintenance costs of LED lighting fixtures. Traditional light fixtures have a finite parts lifespan, incurring a significant cost in terms of maintenance labor hours as well as replacement bulbs, ballasts, etc. LED lighting on the other hand has an exponentially longer operating lifespan, requiring far less parts replacement and the associated labor hours. The savings in these costs associated with LED lighting can add up to a significant amount long term, making the switch to LED lighting a wise decision.

Improved Lighting Quality – One thing that is often not discussed regarding LED retrofitting is the increased quality of the light itself from LED fixtures. The primary measure of the quality of a light is its Color Rendering Index (CRI). The CRI scale runs from 0 (grayscale) to 100 (natural light) – the higher this number the better the quality of light. Any light with a CRI of 90 or above is considered excellent – which LED lighting achieves. This increase in the quality of light will not only increase the aesthetic appeal of commercial and industrial facilities, but it will also increase the general quality of life for employees, customers and anyone in these facilities.

Increased Safety – Switching to LED fixtures also increases the safety of facilities due to the improved visibility. Traditional lighting falls below the CRI of LED lighting – somewhere between 70 to 80 CRI range in best case scenarios, but usually far less.

The color temperature of LED retrofit lighting (independent of CRI) can also be selected to match the environment it is being used in – a benefit which is not possible in most traditional lighting. The color temperature is essentially the “glow” of the light. This is measured on a scale of approximately 1500k to 8000k. The lower the number on the scale, the more red the color of the light and the higher the number on the scale, the more blue the color of the light. Typically sunlight is 5000k, and can reach up to 6500k depending on cloud cover. The color temperature selected for your application is ultimately up to your preferences, there is no best color temperature for every application.

What Should Be Considered When Doing an LED Retrofit?

LED lighting functions in a different manner than traditional lighting. Therefore, a couple things should be considered when doing an LED Retrofit in your facility:

  • Retrofitting existing fixtures can somewhat limit your options in terms of what is available in the LED lighting marketplace. Most LED lighting is offered in multiple retrofit configurations to work in most existing fixtures, but sometimes it’s not possible.
  • Dimmer switches and controls for traditional lighting will not work for LED lighting. When retrofitting your fixtures, you will also have to change the dimmer switches to an LED specific version if you would like to keep the dimmer feature.

Types of LED Retrofits

There are several types of LED retrofits and fixtures available for offices, corporate facilities, retail stores, warehouses, and general commercial and industrial use. These range from drop-in LED bulbs that work in existing traditional fixtures to replacement LED fixtures that mimic the size, shape and aesthetics of the traditional lighting fixtures they replace. Below is a list of fixtures commonly available:

LED Tubes – This is the most common type of LED retrofit. This simply involves the removal of existing fluorescent tubes and replacement with LED tubes – reusing the existing lighting fixtures.

LED Strip Light Fixtures – These are also commonly known as “shop-lights”. These are simple light fixtures that provide a precise amount of light over a work area, at a minimal cost. Most often seen in garages and workshops, they may also be used in places such as storage facilities & warehouses. These can either have replaceable LED tubes or permanently fixed lifetime LEDs.

LED Troffer Lights – This is a type of office lighting fixture that mimics a traditional troffer light, allowing an office space to integrate LED lighting without a disruption to its existing aesthetics. These are typically installed in drop-ceilings and provide optimal light for working at desks and cubicles.

LED Vapor Tight Fixture – This is a common type of outdoor lighting that is “vapor tight”, meaning it is sealed from moisture, dust and weather. This is commonly used in wet or dusty environments such as parking garages, manufacturing facilities and farmyards.

Interested in Upgrading Your Facility?

Straits Lighting is a U.S. based manufacturer of LED lighting fixtures for commercial and industrial businesses. Our lighting solutions provide high performing, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient illumination for our customers.

If you’re interested in retrofitting or replacing lighting fixtures inside or outside your facility, contact our LED experts for a quote on your project.

Overhead Crane Safety – A Modern Solution For Major Hazards

Many companies operating within the construction and manufacturing industry utilize overhead cranes to transport heavy loads from point A to point B. These cranes are extremely useful for heavy materials handling; however, there are several potential hazards for pedestrians around the crane loading areas.

This article discusses the primary hazards involving overhead cranes and provides insight into a modern cutting-edge solution for overhead crane safety.

Potential Overhead Crane Hazards

Materials Falling

One of the most common safety hazards associated with overhead cranes involves materials falling off the crane. This is a major safety concern for nearby pedestrians because the materials being handled are often extremely heavy or hazardous. For instance, these cranes may carry heavy metal crates in warehouses or hot molten materials in manufacturing plants.

Since overhead cranes transport these materials over a given distance from high heights, materials falling off the crane are a potentially fatal hazard for workers or other pedestrians within the area. This is not only hazardous to people but also presents a risk of damage to equipment or property in the surrounding area.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific requirements for Materials Handling and Storage in regards to overhead cranes. If proper safety measures aren’t followed, materials falling off the crane could result in fatalities, extensive property damage, or major lawsuits that have extreme economic implications for the entity responsible for the crane.

In addition to ensuring workers have essential personal protective equipment (PPE), the crane should be equipped with the necessary technology to warn pedestrians of potential danger around the area. One modern solution regarding safety around cranes during material handling involves safety warning lights. Using LED technology, cranes are able to project red and blue warning lines around the loading area.

These blue and red LED lights serve two purposes. One, they give a visual warning to pedestrians that a heavy load is being handled. Secondly, they assist the crane operator by giving him visual cues for more precise handling. Ultimately, this modern LED technology is a great way to avoid hazards and improve overall safety around cranes.

Electrical Safety Concerns

If equipment or materials from an overhead crane were to come in contact with an electrical power source, the result is potentially catastrophic. According to OSHA, around 50 percent of accidents involving overhead cranes involve machinery coming into contact with a power line. This presents a major safety concern because anyone touching the crane or within the vicinity can be electrocuted.

It’s critical for crane operators and other workers to receive the necessary training in order to avoid hazardous areas where there’s a risk of electrocution. OSHA has documentation regarding electrical safety around overhead cranes. This documentation can be found within the links below.

https://www.osha.gov/Reduction_Act/SUP550G4.html
https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.179

In addition to following the necessary safety guidelines, using LED crane positioning lights can assist crane operators with precision. This helps by projecting visual cues for them to increase the accuracy while carrying the load. The improved accuracy for crane operators helps them with avoiding potential hazards such as electrical safety concerns.

Structural Failure

When it comes to the handling of heavy and/or hazardous materials, there is a potential risk of structural failure for the equipment used during handling. This failure is usually attributed to capacity overload. In other words, when the overhead crane is carrying more weight than the approved limit, the risk of structural failure is significantly magnified.

Structural failure of overhead cranes may also be attributed to using faulty equipment or simply wear and tear overtime. OSHA has guidelines for overhead and gantry crane capacity limits. An OSHA crane inspection is usually conducted at least once per year to ensure safety.

Using OSHA overhead crane regulations helps mitigate the risk of structural failure. Also,
In addition to following safety guidelines, having visual warning signals around crane loading areas can help prevent injury or fatality to pedestrians around the area in the event of a structural failure.

Crane Safety Technology

At Straits Lighting, we manufacture cutting-edge LED lighting for safety within industrial environments. This includes LED lighting for overhead cranes. Our products increase safety for workers and increase precision for crane operators.

Crane emitting a red safety warning light in a warehouse setting

LED Rebates – Make the Numbers Work For You

Straits® Lighting distributors are in a great position to help their customers make the switch to efficient, cost-effective LED lighting.

With DLC-qualified lighting, extensive knowledge of industry standards and access to qualified rebates, Straits® Lighting empowers you to make sure your customers understand the immediate and long-term cost savings our products offer.

Together, we can efficiently power the world.

 

Explaining Rebates to your Customers

Your customers have probably used rebates in the past and are familiar with the mail-in forms necessary to receive a check in the mail. Everything from cell phones and TVs to kitchen appliances and windows can offer rebates to offset costs. Fortunately, energy efficient lighting is no exception.

In simple terms, a LED bulb that costs $10 and has a $4 rebate has a net cost of $6. The availability of rebates helps reduce the upfront costs and expedites the return on investment.

In order to apply for money-saving rebates, your customers can simply visit their utility provider’s website and walk through the steps to submit their information. DTE Energy, for example, has a guide available on their site that walks business owners through the rebate process.

For more information on where to direct your customers or for questions about the rebate process, please call us at (855) 875-2533.

 

Variables That Affect Rebates

Bulb Selection

In some cases, a more expensive bulb or fixture may provide a bigger rebate, making the net price lower than a less expensive bulb or fixture.

Project Timing

Rebates change and may not be available tomorrow. Funds are limited and distributed to those who apply and qualify first.

Utility Company

DTE offers different rebates than other utility companies. Make sure your clients have the resources they need to compare rebates.

Fixed Amount vs Energy Savings

Some rebates are based on a fixed dollar amount while other are based on energy savings. Straits® Lighting can recommend lighting specifications that maximize your customers’ rebates.

 

Example of 2017 Rebates Offered

DTE Energy has doubled rebates on LED lighting that is DesignLights Consortium (DLC)-qualified. This designation is given to lighting that meets certain quality and energy-efficiency standards and Straits® Lighting proudly supplies distributors with these quality products.

LED T5 & T8 Tubes

No ballast removal or rewiring is necessary to install Straits® Lighting LED tubes in any office building, retail store, or school. Long-lasting LED chips reduce maintenance and energy costs up to 60% over traditional fluorescents. The rebates on LED tubes are based on energy savings at a rate of 7 cents-per-kilowatt-hour.

LED Wall Pack

Highly efficient Straits® Lighting LED Wall Pack fixtures use SMD LED chips to provide enhanced illumination for increased security in parking lots and parking structures. The heavy protective coating ensures a long lifetime. When replacing a 400-watt HID, the rebate on a 120-watt Straits® Lighting DLC-certified Wall Pack is $55.

LED Floodlight

Straits® Lighting LED Floodlights offer enhanced performance in a traditional design. These highly efficient fixtures evenly distribute illumination for increased safety and visibility in an outdoor setting. When replacing a 400-watt HID, the rebate on a 150-watt Straits® Lighting DLC-certified floodlight is $55 per unit.

LED High Bay

High efficient Straits® Lighting LED High Bay fixtures use CREE LED chips to provide enhanced illumination for increased safety and visibility
in any warehouse, manufacturing facility, or commercial store. When replacing 400-watt Metal Halide lights, the rebate on a 150-watt DLC High Bay is approximately $70 per unit.

 

Summary

Your customers burn energy every day lighting their facilities so they can get the job done. It’s just a cost of doing business. But that cost doesn’t have to be fixed. With energy-efficient LED lighting, your customers can change their bottom line for the better.

Longer-lasting, energy-efficient LED products decrease fixed operating costs by reducing energy use, maintenance expense and bulb disposal fees. That creates a lower total cost of ownership. Plus, the great color rendering, sharper focus and enhanced ambient illumination of glare-free, shatterproof LEDs improve workplace productivity and safety.

Straits® Lighting has an ample stock of high-quality, value-engineered commercial lighting products available for delivery right away, and the expertise to help distributors and end users deploy the technology in smart ways that make financial sense. The Straits® Lighting LED portfolio includes products for warehouse, industrial, office, education, municipal, hospitality, retail, medical, gaming, and food production applications.

Straits® Lighting saves you the toil of navigating the realm of LED rebates and can make the numbers work for your next lighting projects.

The Versatility of LED Tube Ready Fixtures

With so many options in commercial LED lighting, it’s hard to know where to begin.  When it comes to selecting fixtures for your commercial building and office workspace, you may want to consider LED tube ready fixtures. 

The Dollars & Cents Advantage

No matter how big or how small your space is, LED tube ready fixtures will save you money over the long haul. In general. these fixtures cost less than dedicated, embedded LED fixtures. In addition, they are incredibly versatile which allows you to easily replace the T8 tubes in the fixtures without the assistance of an electrician. Of course, with the tubes long life of 50,000 hours, this will not happen very often.

With LED lighting, the lumen output will remain the same over the life of an LED whether you replace just the tube or an entire fixture. Consider an office space filled with cubicles and copiers. Instead of paying an electrician the going “after-hours” rate to maneuver around these obstacles replacing costly fixtures, you can pay your maintenance staff to simply switch out the dimming T8 tubes with new ones.

LED ReadyTM Fixture Options from Straits® Lighting

The Straits® Lighting Company has a number of LED tube ready fixtures to consider. When reviewing the options below, keep in mind the benefits of LED lighting outweighs any cost premium with greater efficiency and longer life.

 

Triton LED Low Bay Fixture is ideal for warehouse, storage, and other similar spaces. These fixtures deliver exceptional performance in a more traditional design. This Triton Low Bay will help you meet the challenging maintenance, safety, and performance requirements of industrial environments. The Triton Low Bay includes V-Hooks for suspended mounting.

Suspended Streamline fixture is sleek and light weight. This contemporary fixture’s low profile allows it to be mounted suspended from the ceiling adding dimension and design to any office building, retail store, school, or security lighting application. This fixture only requires 2-LED T8 tubes. 

LED Inline Vapor-Tight Fixture is perfect for buildings exposed to high levels of moisture or pollution in the air. Because it is waterproof, dustproof and weatherproof, it is perfect for parking garages, manufacturing facilities and even farmyards! 

LED Strip Fixture provides exceptional illumination in a practical and reliable design. Because of the high lumen design, this fixture is perfect for work areas where precision is essential. Combine this fixture with Straits® Lighting T8 LED tubes to create a safe, bright workspace.

Now is the time to take the plunge with LED lighting. Although there are many options, remember the benefits include energy efficiency, cost savings, low maintenance and visual appeal. You’ll even reduce the load on your HVAC system because LEDs emit less heat.

6 Benefits of Using LED Lights for Business

Lights are essential to business and carry an ongoing cost. So why not make a change that’s good for your bottom line and the environment too?

As a manufacturer of commercial and industrial lighting products, we understand the benefits of LEDs, particularly for a business with extensive lighting needs.

This article outlines six main benefits of LED lights for business and provides a case study where a busy office building significantly increased their bottom line after replacing fluorescent lights with LEDs.

Benefits

1. LED lights save money.
In addition to energy-efficient cost reduction, LEDs lower maintenance costs by reducing the need to replace bulbs and pay disposal fees. Also, rebates can offset the upfront costs of installation for your business.

2. LED lights last longer.
Life Cycles of LEDs are measured in tens of thousands of hours, which is exponentially longer than other lights. Even after exceeding the rated number of hours, you still get sufficient light from LEDs as they begin to fade.

3. LEDs are better for lighting.
LEDs provide great color rendering, sharper focus, and enhanced ambient lighting to improve your facility’s appearance and give customers and employees a better overall experience.

4. LEDs provide a better work environment.
LED lighting is glare-free and less tiring on your eyes. Because of this, business owners will find it improves and promotes workplace productivity which increases employee satisfaction. Also, unlike legacy lighting such as mercury filled fluorescent tubes, LED lights do not shatter, improving safety in the workplace.

5. LEDs are easy to upgrade.
Let Straits show you how these shatterproof and mercury-free solutions are the best choices for your business.

6. LEDs are energy efficient.
By reducing CO2 emissions and efficiently converting electricity into light, LEDs are better for the environment and can cut energy consumption by upwards of 70 percent.

LEDs are energy efficient. By reducing CO2 emissions and efficiently converting electricity into light, LEDs are better for the environment and can cut energy  consumption by upwards of 70 percent.

Business LED Lighting Case Study

To support some of the points above, we’ve outlined a case study where a business switched from fluorescent lamps to LED office lighting fixtures. This case study involves a busy office building based in Michigan.

Dimly lit office space with fluorescent lighting prior to using Straits LED lighting fixtures

BEFORE
Brightly illuminated office space after replacing fluorescent lights with Straits LED troffer lighting fixtures.

AFTER

Aside from the clearly apparent improvement in overall lighting quality, the business saw several benefits from switching to LED lighting such as:

  • 115% increase in annual ROI
  • Longer lasting lighting
  • Significant reduction of lighting mercury
  • Significant reduction of CO2 annually

LED Lighting Supplier

As an LED lighting supplier, we have an ample stock of high-quality, value-engineered commercial lighting products ready to ship. The experts from Straits Lighting Company are here to help businesses deploy the technology in smart ways that make financial sense.

We know how to navigate the ever-changing realm of LED rebates available through the energy companies and government. Now is the time to leverage the environmental benefits to make LED lighting as sustainable for your business as it is for the planet. With our knowledge, we can help your business reap the benefits of LED lighting.

Our LED portfolio includes lighting products for:

Using LED lights for business makes sense both financially and environmentally. Straits Lighting is here to help you navigate your business LED lighting needs. We work with both distributors and customers all over the United States. Contact us and let us provide you with a cost-saving and energy efficient lighting solution.
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