Can I Upgrade to LED with Direct Replacement Bulbs?

Can I Upgrade to LED with Direct Replacement Bulbs?

By Leah • Feb 18th 2019

There are many considerations to make when upgrading to LED lighting, but none of them should make you hesitate the initial decision. LED lighting is safer, faster, cheaper and more efficient than rival technologies such as metal halide and high pressure sodium hardware. When considering whether you can upgrade to LED with direct replacement bulbs, the answer isn't found in the bulb you buy. To know how we can upgrade, we need to look at the fixtures.

What Ways Can You Upgrade to LED?

LED lighting is a relatively new technology, certainly in terms of availability and affordability. The factories, plants, warehouses and other industrial sites where they may be installed aren't always as current. This results in three main ways of installing LED lighting:

  • Direct replacement LED: if the fixture is able to support the new bulb, then you will be able to insert the bulb directly without having to amend the fixture. This is the simplest and most cost effective way to upgrade to LED lighting. The main reason it is cheaper is because you won't have to hire extra help for installation.

  • Retrofit: retrofitting requires taking the existing fixture and adapting it with a retrofit kit. Included in this kit are the brackets and sockets for bypassing the ballast. The ballast is used to control the flow of electricity into the bulb, something very important for high intensity discharge bulbs. The ballast is not needed for LED because they use much less energy to achieve better brightness.

  • New fixture: if your fixtures are so outdated that neither direct replacement nor retrofitting will work, we can install a new fixture. This will take a little more effort in terms of installation, but it will still save you money in the long run by making the upgrade.

To determine if you can have a direct replacement LED installed, you will need to check your fittings against the bulbs you wish to purchase. You will also need to ensure you have the right bulbs for your needs. Industrial spaces will have more considerations to make than other commercial or private properties. You can contact us to discuss your fixtures and fittings if you are considering making the upgrade.

The Advantage of Direct Replacement Bulbs

You may have a lighting system which works well to your needs, so new fixtures aren't a consideration for you. Direct replacements work by inserting directly into the old fixture and working immediately. You will be able to perform the installation yourself and will likely only have to pay for the product.

Once you have your direct replacement bulbs installed, they will work as your previous lighting system worked with some fundamental differences. Your light quality will be much better, making use of lens angles and clearer light to ensure a brighter and safer working environment. You will save money on monthly energy bills, you will be benefiting the planet by saving energy and the bulbs will last longer without suffering lumen depreciation.

The Disadvantage of Direct Replacement Bulbs

The only real disadvantage of direct replacement bulbs depends on the quality of your existing fixtures. LED lighting has further advantages in its ability to be programmed. You can set timings, use motion sensors and change the type of light emitted with the right technology. If your fixtures are unable to handle these tasks, then you may want to consider updating to new fixtures to take advantage.