Retrofitting Parking and Canopy HIDs with LED Canopy Light Fixtures

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LED Canopy Light Fixtures
LED Canopy Light Fixtures

For many business, indoor lighting is one of the most important decisions to be made. Equally important, however, should be how the outside is illuminated. For potential customers passing the building at night, or walking through the parking garage, the outside will be their first impression of your establishment. While HID lamps have been the standard outdoor lighting option for years, LED canopy light fixtures help provide many options to create a safe and inviting environment while greatly reducing both energy use and lighting costs.

Light Distribution

LED manufacturers made sure to provide many options to address a myriad of commercial lighting needs. The LED fixtures are available in two different types: Parking Garage Distribution and Canopy Distribution. The lamps also come in different shapes (round and square) to make the switch simple. The shapes allow multiple choices for mounting: ceiling, arm, and wall mount to name a few. HID lamps generally emit a somewhat orange light color. Their LED counterparts however, provide a cool white light. This gives them a much brighter appearance, and helps foster feelings of safety and comfort where installed.

Switching and Saving

Regardless of where the new lights are being installed, you’ll want to make sure the old ones are being properly replaced. LED canopy light fixtures are available in 20 to 53 watt options as replacements for the following HID lights:

  • 20W LED – 100W Metal Halide
  • 30W LED – 150W Metal Halide
  • 40W LED – 175W Metal Halide
  • 53W LED – 250W Metal Halide

The LED technology allows these lamps to use such low amounts of energy while still maintaining brightness. This is because the brightness is not dependent on wattage, but lumens. The higher the lumen count on a lamp is, the brighter the light emitted from will be. Further opportunities for savings are realized through dimmable and motion sensing lamps. By installing the LED canopy light fixtures, you’ll be cutting energy usage per fixture by up to 80% and as a result, energy costs.

Does Ballast Compatibility Matter When Choosing LED T8 Lamps?

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Plug and Play LED T8Traditionally, fluorescent T8 linear lamps have been used as the main light source in commercial buildings such as hospitals, warehouses, schools, and more. LED T8 lamps are quickly replacing their fluorescent counterparts. The LED technology provides higher efficiency, many color and lumen options, and sizes. Advancements in lighting capabilities have also led to more options for installation. When deciding on which lamps to replace your fluorescent T8s with, one of the main things to consider is the ballast type. Knowing the difference between a Plug and Play LED T8 and a Ballast Bypass T8 will make the process of switching even easier.

Type A

Ballast compatibility absolutely matters when the LED lamp you’ve chosen is of the UL Type A variety. The Plug and Play LED T8, also referred to as direct fit, is the easiest of the two types to install. This lamp works directly with the existing ballast to quickly replace the fluorescent T8. While this is the simplest installation method, the LED lamp must be compatible with the ballast of the fluorescent it is replacing in order for the new lamp to work. The makers of the LED T8 typically provide a list of compatible ballasts. Make sure to check out this list before purchasing your replacement lamps.

Type B

LED lamps classified as ballast bypass, direct wire, or UL Type B do have a more involved installation. As a result, it is best to hire an expert electrician to complete the process. The Ballast Bypass T8 does just that. The technology of these lamps works straight from the line voltage that flows through the sockets.The process of retrofitting fluorescent fixtures for this LED type entails the removal of any electrical ballasts as well as verifying non-shunted sockets are in the fixture. The initial installation costs of the lamp is made up for by getting rid of the maintenance costs the ballast would otherwise need.

Both Plug and Play LED T8 and Ballast Bypass T8 options provide as much as 40% more savings in energy use and costs when compared to fluorescent lamps. Having an understanding of how the ballasts impact your fixture, installation process, and overall maintenance can help you better choose which lighting option will work best for you.

Benefits of the High Bay LED Retrofit

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high bay LED retrofitIn commercial and industrial buildings, High Intensity Discharge, or HID, light fixtures are commonly found. These are high voltage fixtures that use a mix of metals and gases to create a bright and powerful white light. With each year, and as technology continues to advance, there are far more options for lighting than ever before. Among the most energy efficient options for illuminating any space are LEDs. Naturally, the larger the space, the greater the opportunity for savings. Making the switch from an HID light fixture to a high bay LED retrofit in your facility provides great savings in energy, energy costs, and much more.

Stacking up Savings
While HID light fixtures are the standard, their high voltage and wattage requirements result in high energy consumption. This leads to the cost of energy going up along with it. In contrast, LEDs are powered when a microchip receives an electrical current to create the light. The difference in technology is how a 90-watt high bay LED can replace a 400-watt HID light fixture.

In addition, LEDs contain technology called a heat sink, which absorbs the heat that is created by the light. Heat sink technology allows for up to 20% in air conditioning savings, furthering savings in energy costs. As if this isn’t enough, many of these energy saving lights are also DLC listed. This rating means that many of these fixtures qualify for energy rebates with local utility companies.

Where do they go?
High bay fixtures are designed for use in buildings with ceilings that are typically 20 to 45 feet in height. This makes them ideal for installation in gymnasiums, manufacturing plants, factories, warehouses, and other structures with high ceilings. Spaces such as these require illumination from all sides, and the LEDs provide it. The high bay LED retrofit is not only energy efficient, but long lasting. On average, they last as long as 50,000 hours. The long lifespan reduces the need for frequent replacement, which is ideal given how high up they’re installed!

The focus of LED lighting technology is on their power. They are designed to provide illumination of the highest quality without sacrifice. These energy efficient fixtures deliver brilliant light without affecting the temperature of the building, while saving energy and reducing energy costs from the moment they’re installed.

Fluorescent T5 vs LED Bulb Replacement

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As recently as 2010, the United States Department of Energy found that nearly 80 percent of lamps being used in commercial buildings were fluorescent. These lights are commonly found in large industrial buildings or other commercial edifices, such as hospitals and schools. They provide up to 75 percent more energy savings than their incandescent counterparts. That being said, as LED technology updates and shifts, even more savings can be realized by switching from fluorescent tubes to LED T5 plug and play or LED T5 direct wire lamps.

LED T5 direct wirePower Up
One of the major identifiers of any light is its wattage. This is the main indicator of how much you’re going to save when you switch. For example, a standard 28-watt fluorescent tube can be replaced by a 15-watt LED lamp. Additionally, a 54-watt high output fluorescent tube is easily replaceable by an LED that consumes only 25-watts of energy. With such a difference in the amount of power being used, savings in energy costs quickly follow installation.

Plug and Play
Plug and Play, or direct wire, LED T5 lamps make switching from fluorescent to LED simple. These bulbs are easy and quick to install. Replacing the ballast in your current fixture won’t be necessary, as it plugs directly into the fixture without any rewiring. This also reduces the the cost of labor and reduces maintenance for facility managers.

Bypass the Ballast
Ballast bypass, also known as LED T5 direct wire lights are slightly different from their plug and play counterparts. These lamps cannot be installed without first removing the existing ballast in a fixture. This is because they operate using the line voltage that flows straight to the sockets, essentially doing what its name indicates, bypassing the ballast.

Time is Money
On average, an LED T5 lamp is rated to last as long as 50,000 hours. This is more than double the standard 24,000 hour life of a fluorescent tube. Installing lamps with this long of a lifespan eliminates the need for frequent replacement. Also worth consideration are warranty periods. Standard fluorescent tubes have a warranty period up to 2 years. Conversely, the typical warranty period for LED fluorescent tubes is 5 years.

These lamps are available in cool and daylight white and designed with high lumen outputs. This provides both consistent color and illumination for a seamless switch. With lower power usage, longer lifespan, and a longer warranty, whether you choose an LED T5 plug and play or a ballast bypass lamp, you’re easily looking at saving as much as 45 percent on both energy usage and costs.

CFL to LED Conversion for Pin Lamps

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CFL to LED Conversion for Pin LampsPL lamps, given their name by their originator, Philips Lighting, have been in the game for many years now. These pin-based lamps are widely used and installed in a variety of fixtures, from recessed cans, outdoor fixtures, and ceiling fans, to table lamps and wall sconces. They’re used in both residential and commercial buildings across the country. Like most energy efficient lamps, these were first introduced in compact fluorescent format. While CFLs will always be the better choice over incandescent lamps, by considering CFL to LED conversion, you’ll discover an entirely new range of benefits. Just think of it as leveling up.

Dollars and Sense

For starters, let’s look at wattage. The wattage amount used by a bulb measures how much energy it consumes to illuminate the room. LED PL lamps that use only 12 watts of energy can replace CFL PL lamps that consume 26 watts. By switching out just one bulb, you’re cutting the energy consumption, and equally the costs, for that one bulb by more than half. LED lamps have been made to replace 13, 18, 26 , 32 and 48-watt CFL bulbs.

In addition to saving money long-term, LED technology is such that it removes the glow and flicker that is so commonly associated with fluorescent lighting. The LED lights provide instant-on lighting, and warm up in no time at all. While CFLs typically come with a 5 year warranty and 10,000 hour lifetime rating, their LED counterparts have warranties upwards of 10 years, and are rated to last 50,000 hours on average.

Battle of the Ballast

When shopping for PL lamps, you may notice some are labeled Plug and Play while others are labeled Ballast Bypass. Plug and play lamps attach directly into the socket of your fixture and operate using the ballast that’s already there. No additional wiring is required, making the transition both smooth and simple.

Rewiring is necessary to install ballast bypass LED PL lamps, as the existing ballast has to be removed. They are, however, a great choice for anyone wanting a lamp that will call for less maintenance. Each type is available in horizontal and vertical design for illumination in both commercial and residential environments.

Bulb Base and Basics

PL lamps come in multiple color temperatures and either a 2-pin led bulb or 4-pin led bulb configuration. All have a base of either GU24, G24 or GX23. You’ll want to pay careful attention to these details in order to avoid getting the wrong bulb for your fixtures. They come in color temperatures that range from the warm 3000K to a cool 5000K. The warm, or soft glow at the beginning of the spectrum is ideal for living areas. The cooler light is what is typically found in office buildings, schools, and hospitals. Once you’ve chosen your wattage, ballast, base, and color, you’ll be good to go! You’ve already switched from incandescent to CFL. Now committing to CFL to LED conversion just got a little easier.

DLC Standard vs DLC Premium

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Last week, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), delisted products that do not meet the new quality and efficiency standards. There are new dlcpremiumtechnical requirements for indoor and outdoor Luminaries and Retrofit Kits, and there are now two categories of designation, DLC standard and DLC premium.

The measurements include:

Minimum Light Output or Lumen – This is a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source

Minimum Efficacy – This is the measure of Lumens per Watts. So for example, if the light output is 5,000 lumens and the wattage is 55, the minimum efficiency is 90.

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)CCT measures the color of a light source by using Kelvin (K) temperature, which indicates the warmth or coolness of a lamp’s color appearance. The lower the Kelvin temperature (2700–3000 K), the warmer the color of the light, while the higher the temperature (3600–5500 K), the cooler.

Color Rendering Index (CRI) –  The CRI measures the light source’s ability to show object colors realistically compared to a familiar reference source, such as incandescent light or daylight. The higher the CRI, the better the light source renders every color in the visible spectrum. Light sources with a CRI of 85 to 90 are considered good at color rendering. Light sources with a CRI of 90 or higher are excellent at color rendering and should be used for tasks requiring the most accurate color discrimination.

Lumen Depreciation – L70 v L90 – Light sources gets dimmer over time. This dimming is called lumen depreciation. If a fixture had a lumen maintenance of 70%, that would mean it lost 30% of its brightness during its rated life. If it had a lumen maintenance of 90%, that would mean it lost just 1/10 of its brightness during its rated lifespan.

The results are then placed into two categories: DLC Standard v DLC Premium.

DLC Standard Designation

In general, for outdoor lighting, the minimum efficacy ranges from 90-100, and 65-105 for indoor lighting and the lumen depreciation L70.

The DLC Premium Designation

The DLC Premium designation is new, and is only available to complete luminaires and retrofit kits. The primary differences for thepPremium designation are the significantly increased efficacy requirements, which in general range from 110-120 for outdoor lighting and 90-130 for indoor lighting.  They also and the need to provide an L90 projection.

To find out more specifics about these measurements, please see the DLC’s Technical Requirements Table.

Rebates

Some utility companies offer tiered rebate programs, so it may be more cost effective to install lights that meet the DLC Premium standards. Before you install your lighting, you can check to with your local utility or the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to find rebates. DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.

Conservation Mart offers a wide range of DLC listed lighting options and our customer service team will help you figure out which products may be eligible for rebates from your utility.

 

DLC 4.0 Takes Effect April 2017

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The DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) is a non-profit organization which establishes product quality specifications and tests them to ensure that commercial lighting products are high-quality and energy-efficient.d-l-c-q-p-l-l-i-s-t-e-d-g-logo-jpeg

On April 1, 2017, products that do not meet the V4.0 Technical Requirements will be removed from the active qualified product list and will not be eligible for rebates.

The new standards of 4.0 can be found here, but basically, they are continuing to encourage innovation and efficiency by ensuring that improvements in LED technology include energy savings.

You can check to with your local utility or the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to find rebates. DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Click on this link to see if there are rebates available in your state.

Conservation Mart offers a wide range of DLC listed lighting options and our customer service team will help answer questions you may have about which bulbs meet these new standards.

 

 

 

EPA’s Successful Energy Star Program

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In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to energy staridentify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They began by labeling computers and monitors and in 1995 expanded the label to include office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment.

In 1996, the EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy for major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings and plants.

Today, ENERGY STAR encourages energy efficiency in more than 70 product categories. More than 1.6 million homes and over 25,000 buildings have earned ENERGY STAR certification.

Third party certification process makes sure anything that earns the blue label meets the highest standards. Even an LED bulb must pass dozens of checks to assure quality, performance, and efficiency. Conservation Mart is proud to carry a wide variety of ENERGY STAR bulbs.

Over the years, the ENERGY STAR label has helped save more than $362 billion on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons.  EPA’s ENERGY STAR program is the most successful voluntary energy efficiency movement in history. Visit their EPA Energy Star  site to learn more about this program and to find information on federal tax credits.

LED Retrofits vs. LED Ready T8 Replacement Fixtures

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Advantages of LED lights include, energy savings, better quality light, and the ability to respond to intelligent controllers, for even more energy savings. Fluorescent light technology  does not work well with dimming controls. In comparison, LED lighting can be controlled by ambient light sensors, either built into the individual light unit  or by as part of a lighting zone,  which makes it easier to have a planned energy usage system. Now the question is whether to use a LED retrofit orLED ready T8 fixtures to make the switch from fluorescent to LED lighting.

If you don’t want to buy a new fixture, LED retrofits are a good option. LED retrofitting means switching inefficient lighting technologies, such as fluorescent lights, to a new energy-efficient lighting system using the fixtures that are currently in place.

If you are happy with the layout of your existing fixtures, you do not need to pay for new fixtures or a redesign. You just need to purchase an all-in-one retrofit kit which usually includes everything you need for a fast and easy installation, such as, brackets, sockets, wiring, screws and fasteners.

First you will need to remove the existing bulbs, ballast, sockets, and brackets, and then replace them with LED lamps and a wiring harness. You do not need many wiring alterations but you should use a licensed electrician to be sure that you are adhering to your local code and safety requirements.

If however, you are looking to replace your fixtures, LED ready T8 fixtures allow installers to avoid bypassing the ballast and adopt the energy-saving benefits of LED technology.  Our selection  includes  Vapor Tight, Linear Utility Strips ,  and High Bays.

Either way, the switch to LED lighting has some of the best financial returns on investment of energy efficient installations. For example, a lighting upgrade reduced the energy lighting costs in a manufacturing facility by 40 percent, resulting in a savings of over $50,000 in annual lighting costs.

 

troffer

LED Troffers are Ideal in Office Drop Ceilings

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Found often in schools, hospitals, offices, retail settings, and for grid ceiling applications, LED troffers are rectangular light fixture that fits into a modular dropped ceiling grid, which are usually 2’x2′ or 2’x’4.  Troffer fixtures initially used fluorescent bulbs, such as the T5, T8, or T12. There are LED Troffer retrofits available or if you are putting in new fixtures, high-efficiency LED lay-in troffers and LED Flat Panels are available. These fixtures are available in multiple lumen light outputs, and warmer white (35K), cool white (41K), and bright white (50K) colors.

Many LED panels deliver a polished look with their sleek design and advanced light dispersement. This Maxlite  2’x4′ LED Volumetric Troffer model runs on 45 watts and generates 3985 lumens.

One of the best advantages of using LED 2×4 Troffers, is that the bulbs generally last 50,000 hours, versus only 30,000 hours for an average T8 LFL. This means less calls to the maintenance department to change bulbs in the facility.

To view Conservation Mart’s wide selection of LED Troffers and Panels, please visit our website.