A Commercial Retrofit Is a Long Term Investment; Plan Carefully
Since most high-quality LED fixtures are rated for 250,000 hours or 20+ years of continuous 24 hour use, building owners considering a commercial lighting retrofit should realize that they are investing for the long-term. A properly done LED retrofit requiring minimal or no maintenance will stay in place more than a decade. Rather than relying only on the initial cost of fixtures and installation to evaluate return on investment, owners and managers should calculate the cost of ownership over the entire life of the project.
Of course, payback periods differ depending on what you are retrofitting. For instance, changing from incandescent lighting to LED fixtures can result in a payback period less than a year. On the other hand, retrofitting fluorescent tube fixtures with LED tubes takes a two-year payback while switching from fluorescent fixtures to LED tubes may provide a three-year payback. Rebates and other incentives can lessen these payback periods.
Likewise, the quality of the site visit, the proposed layout, installation and customer service plan are more significant for LED retrofits than for metal halide or fluorescent retrofits requiring maintenance every 2-3 years. While an LED retrofit doesn’t last forever, it comes close and deserves the extra care.
Considering LED’s longevity, it’s important to identify the right LED product for the project, such as LED color which varies from a very bright blue suitable for parking lots to a medium blue for an office setting and perhaps a warmer range for break areas.
Although return on investment accelerates when companies capitalize on funding opportunities, the funding process is often complex with many requirements including submitting the correct form at the right time and specific inspection criteria. Choosing a company experienced in working with utilities and other funding agencies, really streamlines the funding process. In addition, utilities often require that a participating contractor be in the loop to obtain funding for a building retrofit.
To optimize the return on a commercial lighting retrofit, building owners and managers should work with a partner who stays up-to-date with the latest advances in LED products and who is proficient in sourcing rebates. We’d like to share our expertise with you. Please contact us for more information.