industrial style indoor office space with lights on

Industrial LED Light Upgrades Vs. Total Relamping

If you’re looking to make your industrial lighting more energy efficient by switching to LEDs, you’re already on the path to reducing costs and increasing productivity. However, there’s still a lot to consider. Should you go for fast and easy LED light upgrades or go all in on a total relamping project? The short answer is, “it depends.” 

While you may be able to pass inspections by simply swapping out the fixtures, you could be missing a bigger opportunity to make your lighting a part of your operational advantage. The fact is that closely examining the type, location, and number of existing fixtures may reveal how you can get more lumens per dollar and increase the value of your facility. 

Here are some questions you can consider in deciding between LED light upgrades or a total relamp:

  • Are you using the space for the same purpose the existing lighting was installed for?
    Odds are, a relamp project can uncover efficiencies and provide the best solution for any property, but they are immensely valuable in the case of building retrofits. The type of lighting necessary for car repairs may be completely inappropriate now that your facility is primarily used for assembly. If you’ve found an excellent location for an urban warehouse, odds are the lighting system isn’t set up to help order pickers read labels, since this is a very recent trend. 
  • Can you use the existing fixtures, given the appearance of the building?
    If you–or someone before you–has made significant changes to the appearance of the building, the light fixtures may look out of place. While not an overt problem, it sends a clear message to both employees and customers about pride of ownership. They might wonder if your organization is struggling, because why else would the unattractive light fixtures still be there?
  • Do you need the same type of lighting and level of control in each part of the building?
    Mixed-use facilities are increasingly common, which may mean brewing craft beer or kombucha in one part of your facility, and creating a relaxed atmosphere for the tasting room, with the best color temperature for your product. Or it might mean making the first floor appealing to retail tenants, while making it possible for the higher floors to be rented as office, multi-family, or other commercial spaces. 
  • Are you hoping for significant improvements or energy savings?
    Upgrading your existing light fixtures is a good start, but you could still end up powering more lights than you need. Maximizing your savings means taking a holistic approach and addressing your industrial lighting at the system level, which may be more work and investment up front, but pays off more in the long run. 
  • What are your needs related to dimming and motion sensors?
    In addition to being up to 90% more energy efficient than traditional lights, LEDs have the ability to work with dimmers and motion sensors, which further reduces unnecessary light. Brightness levels can be brought up or down to meet the needs of the space, and can be set up with motion sensors to increase as the space is used more. 
  • Would you benefit from reducing the number of luminaires to streamline maintenance?
    Any time you simplify one of your systems, you reduce the cost to maintain it. Depending on how long ago your lights were installed, you may find you only need a fraction of the existing number when using modern, commercial grade LEDs. 
  • What is the operating schedule of the light systems/components you’re considering for an upgrade?
    The lights you use the most represent the biggest savings opportunities. Particularly in warehouse environments and other places where the lights need to be on all the time, it might be worth going down to the studs and reconfiguring the wiring in order to optimize your light output for leaner operations. 
  • Are there any financial incentives offered by your utility company?
    The up-front costs of LED lighting systems is typically the only barrier, given their numerous benefits in all commercial applications. The good news is many utility companies offer incentives you can capitalize on that will cover a large portion of the work. The more you save, the more they save. 

As demand for commercial space continues to grow, more organizations will find themselves adapting to new locations and building types, either as part of a larger strategy or simply due to necessity. Taking a thoughtful, long-term approach to how you light your new facilities will help you operate with efficiency and resiliency. There is still value to be had in each option, but upgrades and replacements offer lower value for lower investment. If you want longevity, a relamp is likely going to get you the best ROI and best protect your operations for the future. 

Contact our team today to get personalized product recommendations and insights into which approach will serve you best. Call today! 866-590-3533.

Learn more about LED solutions for industrial and commercial applications here

September 21, 2022
Posted in: Commercial Lighting