Top 7 LED Lighting Retrofit Mistakes

A light emitting diode or LED lighting retrofit is a big undertaking. It requires knowledge and understanding of products and lighting fixtures, energy usage, incentives from your utility, the best ways for installation and maintenance, and financial considerations. But, it doesn’t have to be if you choose a trusted lighting partner that can help guide you through it all, give you higher quality products, and ease of positive change without you having to stress about the project. 

Here is a list of seven LED lighting retrofit project mistakes to avoid so your lighting project goes smoothly:

1. Making a decision based on upfront project costs

Benjamin Franklin once said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” 

If you choose your LED commercial or industrial lighting partner based on price alone you are bound to run into issues, receive inferior products, and/or end up spending more money with hidden costs. 

Make sure the commercial lighting retrofit company you choose is upfront about costs and chooses and installs products and light fixtures based on your specifications. Many LED retrofitting companies will stick with only one brand or type of LED solution regardless of your facility, industry, or individual wishes.

If you only compare prices you may not notice one proposal lacks certain services a competitor’s proposal does. If you’re comparing proposals make sure the one that you choose aligns with your goals.

Read about how to save money with a commercial lighting retrofit here.

2. Waiting too long to begin your lighting retrofit

Delaying to pull the trigger on an LED retrofit project can be a costly mistake. The longer you wait to switch to more efficient LED technology, the more money you lose each day to high energy costs and maintenance costs.

The energy savings between LED and fluorescent lights can be dramatic. LED lights can last more than 50,000 hours, and in commercial environments, they’re known to last even longer – more than 100,000 hours. This can net out to a lifespan of 11 years if burned 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, last for only 24,000 – 36,000 hours.

If your existing lamps are metal halide, fluorescent, or incandescent, you need to swap them out for LED fixtures. Having an LED tube or LED lamp is much more energy-efficient and cost-effective than continuing to use an energy-zapping existing fixture. Leaving your current lights burning increases your utility and maintenance bill.

You could lose even more money by waiting due to the possibility of LED prices increasing as a result of world events or other factors.

Find out about the 16 key benefits of LED lighting here or if you want to dive deeper into commercial lighting, check out our ultimate guide to commercial lighting here.

3. Believing you can’t afford an LED retrofit project

LED lighting system costs have gone down considerably as the technology has been adopted by more and more companies. On top of that, the energy savings you will see on your utility bill once the project is completed could lead to a quick ROI, possibly in just a couple of years. 

Not only that, you’re already taking the right step by not doing a complete lighting system overhaul. Using an LED retrofit kit is much cheaper than replacing the entire existing fixture.

There is also a relatively new payment option known as Lighting-as-a-Service or LaaS, which works as a subscription model, similar to your trash or cable service. With LaaS you will have positive cash flow from day one and don’t have to worry about upfront costs of any kind.

Receiving inaccurate lighting audit data

A trustworthy lighting assessment consultant should perform a thorough inspection of your property which includes the number of existing fixtures you currently have, the number of hours each fixture is on each day, the type of lighting fixtures you have currently installed, where each fixture is located, the energy consumption of the lighting fixtures, and the square footage of your facility. 

Beware of lighting solutions companies that come into your facility and only look at a few fixtures and promise you a certain amount of savings. There is absolutely no way they can be 100% accurate without meticulously going through your facility counting every light fixture. You can expect many change orders from a quick audit like that and you’ll end up spending more than what was initially promised.

4. Calculating energy savings with an inaccurate electrical rate or wrong operating hours.

A reputable commercial lighting retrofit provider should present a proposal that uses your kilowatt hour or kWh rate and your run hours to calculate how much money you are spending on electricity now and how much you’ll save through an LED retrofit project. 

An LED retrofit company should ask you to provide copies of 12 months of electricity bills so that an accurate blended kWh rate can be calculated. If a provider comes up with a kWh number without asking for bills, that is an instant red flag. The figures they come up with will be inaccurate and more than likely adjusted so you see higher savings that don’t exist. 

5. Forgetting to include all stakeholders and frontline workers.

Don’t neglect the people who will be under the new lights day in and day out. They will benefit from increased morale and a brighter, safer workplace, but forgetting to include them in the project process could create animosity. If you include the employees who are on the frontlines, you can be more specific with what your particular needs are at your facility.

6. Undertaking an LED lighting project on your own instead of partnering with a commercial lighting contractor.

The LED lighting world is complicated – full of misinformation and gimmicky products with empty promises. Working with an LED retrofit company that knows and understands the ins and outs of the industry is the best way to go. A trusted provider can help you navigate the tricky process of incentives so you don’t have to and find the best products with the highest quality and savings for your commercial business.

Selecting the correct commercial lighting partner for your LED retrofit project can make a huge difference in your satisfaction, company morale, and your customer satisfaction rates. Make sure the lighting retrofit company you choose is one you can trust to have the knowledge and care to execute your project to your specifications.

7. Deciding on the wrong lighting solutions company for your retrofit.

Not all LED retrofit projects are created equal and many LED lighting solutions companies don’t understand that. It is best for your facility and business if you choose a commercial lighting retrofit partner that cares about your needs and puts them first.

Whether you are looking for a LED wall pack system, recessed lighting, track lighting, or another type of LED lighting solution, at WattLogic our goal is to maximize the potential of every watt in your facility. We are committed to the companies we partner with. Our goals are to create a lasting relationship where we can increase bottom lines and decrease carbon footprints.

We are constantly researching the latest LED technology and you can be ensured we are aware of new products and new fixtures that come onto the market. We will outfit your commercial or industrial facility with the fixtures that are the best fit.

Through a unique process, WattLogic has found a way to provide its customers with a turnkey package that includes utility rebates, products tailored to each customer’s energy needs, project management, and recycling of the old equipment.

Let us install an energy efficiency LED lighting retrofit at your facility exactly the way you want it…all it takes to start is a free estimate.

Vanessa Peng
Vanessa Peng
With a background in television news reporting, Vanessa Peng brings her passion for environmental issues to WattLogic through captivating written and video content creation. Her ability to craft engaging narratives ensures that WattLogic's message resonates with readers and viewers alike.