Do you know what lighting retrofit is and how to do it?
If you are looking to know what lighting retrofit is, there is a good chance that you are looking for modernization. Thus, you are on the right path. It is impossible to prevent the deterioration of conventional lighting systems (sodium vapor, mixed, metallic), as they are hostage to time. In turn, when one chooses to continue with a product with obsolete technology, several factors come into play. Among them is compliance with regulations and energy waste.
Retrofit is part of the revitalization process, through a new proposal for existing installations. The crux of the matter is the search for alternatives that can correct the difficulties arising from long-term use.
Many industries have opted for retrofitting to reduce maintenance and energy consumption costs, as well as to comply with regulations. This is because, in lighting, retrofit proposes changes that modernize, in a practical, simple and proven efficient way.
Do you want to know more about this process? Then keep reading this article and discover how LED luminaires can bring implacable benefits.
What is retrofit?
As we started to address, lighting systems have a rated life and can become obsolete in the face of current standards or technology. Therefore, it is necessary to know when a system needs to be discontinued or improved. This is where the retrofit project comes in.
It first appeared in the United States and European countries, as they were the first affected by the impact of laws prohibiting the demolition of architectural collections. But with nowhere to turn, the only possible option was to restore existing buildings.
Thus, retrofit was born, as a trend to value old properties, either for the adequacy of installations according to the norms or simply for modernization. Retrofit is carried out through the incorporation of new technologies and the use of advanced materials.
Modernization and re-adaptation of constructions have become increasingly common. How about understanding better all the benefits of this process?
What are the advantages of retrofitting?
Most of them are driven by reasons such as conservation and cost reduction with maintenance and electricity savings. After all, a good retrofit project can present significant gains in the amount spent on electricity.
However, compliance with the required standards is another important advantage as they establish guidelines that need to be followed by the industry.
Those who prefer a second-line service are certainly putting their operating license at risk and, with that, the safety of employees. Therefore, we can list the benefits of conventional lighting retrofit to LED as follows:
- Electricity savings of up to 90%;
- Protection against inclement weather;
- Reduction of maintenance costs; Lighting uniformity;
- Compliance with current legislation (ABNT NBR 8995-1, lighting for indoor areas) or (NBR 5101, lighting for outdoor areas);
- Low operating voltage;
- Homogeneity of lighting;
- Absence of UV and IR rays;
- Increased impact resistance;
- Gains with sustainability.
What is the difference between retrofit and remodelling?
Retrofit and remodellin are different concepts. In the first, there is a concern to maintain the original characteristics of the project, which does not need to happen in a reform.
When the retrofit concept is applied to lighting, the idea is to replace equipment focusing on more advanced and efficient technologies. Luminaires, lamps and ballasts are basically replaced according to lighting performance and energy consumption.
When to apply lighting retrofit?
The factor that usually defines the need for implementation of lighting retrofit is the recognition of the end of the useful life of a system. In a general scale of this process, the end of a building’s life causes expensive costs with renovations and maintenance, which can only be handled by highly specialized labor.
Thus, retrofit emerges as a means of correction for pathologies. In the field of lighting, it sounds like an opportunity to make an environment much more homogeneous and illuminated, generating lower costs, thanks to advances in lighting technology installations.
In summary, the factors that indicate the need for lighting retrofit are:
- When the lighting level of the environment no longer meets the current standard;
- The current lighting system has a high failure rate or depreciation;
- There are high maintenance costs and energy expenses.
How to design a lighting retrofit project?
If the idea of retrofitting interests you, it’s time to develop a detailed analysis and project for an assertive decision-making process. The first step is to understand if the workplace has a lighting level that meets the current standard. If the lighting level meets the standard, just replace it with the equivalent LED technology to the current installed technology. If the level is below the requirement, a lighting project will be necessary to define the ideal quantity and technical characteristics of the luminaires to correct the lighting of the locations in question.
Every detail needs to be raised, considering the best options for obtaining gains with the new installations.
For a direct retrofit
That is, equivalent replacement, the team must create an inventory with the following information:
- Average daily usage time;
- Value of kWh charged on the electricity bill;
- Quantity of installed luminaires;
- Power and technology of the current luminaires.
For a retrofit with lighting project
That is, it needs to adapt to the current lighting level, so the team must create an inventory with the following information:
- The same information presented for a direct retrofit;
- An extension .DWG plan of the location to be illuminated;
- Layout of objects/production plan/ or any objects with a height greater than 0.75 meters;
With these documents, the technician can suggest the necessary adjustments, mentioning the best lighting interventions and technical solutions. It is worth remembering that the detailed project is not enough.
To understand the advantage of applying both types of retrofit, a calculation is needed to understand the return on investment. The calculations are presented in a Payback report, where the investment made versus future savings with energy and maintenance is considered. In this spreadsheet, all equipment cleaning expenses, as well as scheduled and unscheduled replacements, should be included.
How does it relate to LED lighting and help with energy efficiency?
It goes without saying that LED is one of the most celebrated innovations in the lighting industry in recent times. Much of this positivity comes from the ability to reduce energy consumption by staggering percentages when compared to conventional models.
Not to mention the durability, which can be up to 25 times longer, according to information from the companies that sell the products themselves. This explains why a good LED lighting retrofit project contributes to the efficiency of the energy matrix.
If the retrofit does not propose sustainable alternatives, it is a sign that it has not fulfilled all its purposes or that the current lighting may be significantly lagging behind requirements. In this context, it is worth considering the use of natural lighting in indoor environments, the use of presence sensors in locations with non-continuous use, and the number of lighting points. A thorough study, considering product data, will reveal which option presents the greatest gains in sustainability and economy.
As you can see, the advantages of retrofitting are tempting for any manager. After all, cost reduction, increased comfort, and operational efficiency make this type of project not easily discarded.
Now that you are convinced that SX Lighting will provide you with the best lighting retrofit, click here and request a consultation with our specialists.