How to make sure your LED retrofit goes right

It’s hard to believe just how great LEDs are. And we don’t expect you to just yet. (We respect a fair amount of hesitation.) But the truth is: LEDs will better light your space, you won’t have to replace one for at least ten years, and your energy costs will go way down. But for every benefit LEDs offer, there’s still the question of risk any time you’re replacing an old stand-by with something new—especially something that claims to be superior in every way. 

 

Some things that can happen when an LED project goes wrong:

  • Best Project Cost is not achieved

  • Energy savings aren’t achieved

  • Lighting has not improved or light levels have increased/decreased

  • Color temperature changes over time

  • System requires more maintenance

  • Isn’t compatible with your Emergency System or Controls

 

We usually see these issues occur when a lighting company or contractor hasn’t taken the proper steps to ensure the quality, lifetime, and compatibility of the LEDs. These mistakes can happen due to a variety of reasons:

 

Vendor-bias influences decisions

Not all manufacturers can cover all lighting applications and not all products are created equal. Usually architects have strong bias towards working with specific manufacturers. If they used the product once and it worked, they rinse and repeat. Sometimes the manufacturer themselves performs the lighting design, and, you guessed it, will add quite a bit of unneeded product. There is often a better-priced, better-quality, better-suited product available.

Our focus is how happy our customers are. Wavelength does not exist to serve the interests of specific lighting manufacturers. Don’t get us wrong, we work closely with excellent, high-quality LED manufacturers on an hourly basis, but our interest lies in bringing the best quality lighting design and LEDs to our customers, regardless of which manufacturer the product is coming from. Since we’re a high-volume purchaser and in constant contact with many manufacturers, we’re able to pass on these savings to customers.

 

Lack of transparency

It’s notoriously difficult to find accurate pricing on lighting applications. Most often, the price of a fixture or lamp will vary depending on lead time, region, or, even, who is asking. Wavelength will find you the best price for your specified products, but as a manufacturer-independent distributor, we also have the ability to provide an alternate package—sourcing products of the same quality and functionality as those specified by your lighting designer, but at a much lower cost. Wavelength prides itself on straightforward communication. We make sure our clients understand exactly how much they’re paying and what they’re paying for.

 

“One for one” wattage equivalent

Wavelength knows LEDS—and anyone else who does knows that replacing an incandescent or fluorescent bulb with an LED of equivalent wattage is not going to result in good lighting. Unfortunately, this simplistic take on lighting design happens all too often. It’s crucial to have an understanding of how LEDS work and the limits of the lumen to effectively transition a space to LED lighting. There are a variety of solutions to sort through to determine the best one for your space, with considerations that vary depending on the type of space, occupancy level, light levels, energy goals, original fixtures, ad infinitum. By partnering with an LED-exclusive distributor like Wavelength, you’re ensuring that the team designing, specifying, and installing your lights has the insight and experience to effectively evaluate the benefits and disadvantages to each solution.

 

Here today, gone tomorrow

The lighting industry has traditionally functioned with a lot of players involved at different points throughout a retrofit or construction project. Typically a lighting designer will come in at the start of a project, specify product, and, well, that’s it. The project is passed onto the next person involved and it carries on from there. But once your new lighting has been installed and something goes wrong, there’s no one around with LED expertise to figure out the root of the problem, or offer a solution. Wavelength is with you from start to finish. Our extensive knowledge of and experience with LEDs means that the likelihood of issues after installation is slim, but if something were to happen, we’re still here.

 

Interested in a free lighting audit? Get in touch with us!


We use this space to air thoughts on the industries in which we take part: LED lighting, aesthetic commercial lighting, and the growing industry of LED lighting as a service.

Wavelength is proud to be part of a community that includes offices, hotels, schools, retailers, LED manufacturers, and energy project investors. Material published here, however, reflects only our personal views on lighting, not those of our various partners.