• David Harvey

Retrofit vs Replacement: Which option is best?

The Options:

Companies large and small across the globe are making the transition to LED lighting. The benefits are undeniable with the electrical savings, maintenance savings, and rebates that are available for making the switch. The only decision to make is, which of the two options are you going to choose when the time comes to make the move to LED?


One of the options to consider is to retrofit your existing lighting. This is a cost effective way of upgrading. It is accomplished by leaving the existing light “housing” intact but replacing the existing bulb with an LED bulb by removing the current outdated power supply with a new energy efficient power supply. The electrical savings are the same as replacing the entire fixture, but the initial investment for a retrofit kit is about 40-50 percent less expensive. This is also a less invasive install that can be completed quickly with little waste, making it a competitive option when upgrading.


The other option is replacing the unit completely. Most LED fixtures come with a wide variety of mounting styles. So no matter your existing connection—whether on a pole, brick wall, direct mount, or slip fitter—there is typically a mounting option available. When you replace your old fixtures, you will get an instant face-lift for your property; the old metal halide fixtures are very bulky and square, whereas the new LED fixtures are sleek, slim, and much more appealing.

How to choose:

While rebates are available in most major cities, they all require lights that are rated by DesignLights Consortium (DLC). Thus before you start, you need to know if the lights that you have chosen are DLC rated and qualify for rebates. Then you can move on to the next step, determining which route to take for your LED lighting transition. If your project is budget-conscious, then retrofitting is a good option. However, you need to consider the existing lighting housing. If the housing is damaged or its cosmetics are unsatisfactory, then I would consider replacing the unit entirely. Additionally, replacement fixtures typically have slightly higher output than retrofit lighting.

In the end, whatever you may choose, we hope you consider Colite Technologies to install all of your lighting needs.

Colite Technologies

5 Technology Circle

Columbia, SC 29203

Contact us

(803) 935-9052


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