Retrofitting a Retrofit

By Andrew J. Pisani

The decision to move forward on a lighting retrofit makes economic sense, as enough data shows us that new technology in lighting, plus incentives offered by the City and State add up to a deal worth taking. The lighting systems available today simply outperform on an energy level, and the recent improvements in the technology have brought aesthetics into the mix.

All that said, some early adopters may find themselves in a peculiar situation. The first round of retrofits had the right idea, but the wrong products. The go-to path as early as five years ago was to retrofit with fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs were energy efficient and pushed out to the industry as the next great thing.

Fast forward to today, and the largest manufacturer of these bulbs – GE – has announced it will no longer manufacture these fluorescent bulbs. Rather, they believe the future will be lit by LED’s.

So what to do if you’ve already completed your retrofit? Perhaps surprisingly, when you run the numbers they will indicate that the best move is to retrofit again.

LED’s run with even better energy efficiency, and have a longer lifespan. On top of that, there are more incentives out there to make it all work. Factor in the ability to add the design layer by selecting the color temperature of the light, and you have a compelling case to retrofit your retrofit.

While nobody likes to redo a project that’s already finished, sometimes it just makes sense. Moving fluorescents out and LED’s in is one of those cases. As always, the best first step is always getting the facts on your specific scenario, and for this we recommend speaking with our friends at Green Partners. George Crawford can help you navigate through any questions.