A lighting retrofit is the process of replacing parts of an older system with their updated, often more energy-efficient counterparts, in addition to other components that make it possible to do so. Retrofits can ultimately save building owners enough energy, and thus money, to pay for themselves (as noted in the Light Guide provided by Lightsearch.com) – and use innovative products like several of those featured earlier this month in Aetna Corp.’s NEBFM14 presentation.
As noted in our last blog post, the Light Bar Modular Kit from Mirus Lighting (a new division of FSC Lighting that focuses on “energy-efficient” and “cost-effective” LED lighting solutions for retrofits), is one such product we showed at NEBFM14 that was designed specifically for retrofitting fluorescent fixtures. The Light Bar accommodates the difficulty of installing new parts into old assemblies with a unique “snap and click” design.
Lighting retrofits that incorporate LED fixtures are especially fitting (no pun intended); as GE Lighting notes, in the introduction to their continuing education retrofit course that will be held in both July and October, “due to energy legislation, a variety of incandescent, halogen, fluorescent and HID products will be made obsolete over the next few years.” Retrofits are crucial for business owners to be able to affordably keep up with changes in regulations and technology.
The Lightsearch.com Light Guide, in its analysis of the capacity for lighting retrofits to present a return on investment, notes the potential for additional savings when retrofits couple energy-efficient lamps and ballasts with sensors and other lighting controls to reduce the hours that the new, more-efficient fixtures are in operation. The use of sensors along with LED technologies is one method Aetna Corp. strongly believes will decrease power demand and increase the bottom line.
In an article on Forbes’s website from December, 2013, titled “Why LED Retrofits Are The ‘Trojan Horse’ Of The Internet of Things,” its author, Heather Clancy, seems to agree. Clancy anticipates the significant growth of annual sales for “occupancy sensors, photosensors and lighting network gear related to LED lighting applications” – not necessarily due to their potential to increase energy savings, but for their related implementation in “smart” applications (such as smart parking, security, mobile marketing, etc.).
The synergy between LEDs and sensors is fundamental to all of these diverse applications Clancy and others are excited about. Navigant Research, Clancy’s source, explains that “the semiconductor nature of LEDs makes them inherently controllable.” And Clancy concedes, “Yes, these networks are really good at turning off the lights when people aren’t around or dimming them when it’s bright, saving electricity.”
Yes, we say. Let alone, for a second, the data-harvesting potential of LEDs and sensors, and the debate about privacy that comes with it. Many building owners aren’t aware at the most basic level of the opportunities to save money and energy with lighting retrofits. And the multitude of new technologies available (which should only keep growing, if Clancy and Navigant Research are correct) will only make saving easier.
More information about retrofits is available on our website – which features the LED-based Intelligent System from Digital Lumens. Perhaps, after you’re done decreasing energy consumption and lighting costs, it could be fun to explore other possibilities of the kind Clancy imagined late last year.