Industrial Facility Lighting Retrofits

a guest post by Lisa J. Reed, Lighting Designer

Industrial lighting is low-hanging fruit for retrofits. If your current lighting system is over ten years old, chances are you are burning money. Here are my top ten tips for Industrial Lighting Retrofits:

Block number 10 blue background

Old fixtures and lamp/ballast combinations consume more energy than today’s technology. Upgrade fixtures and controls to save up to 75% in lighting energy costs!

Block number 9 blue background

An upgrade can be as simple as changing to a lower-wattage metal halide system. Or change from old probe-start lamps to pulse-start lamps with electronic ballasts.

Block number 8 blue background

Switch from metal halide to a new fluorescent or LED system. Not just for the increased efficiency but also because of lamp start and restrike times.

Block number 7 blue background

Football fans recently got a quick lesson on metal halide restrike time. Those lamps take 5-8 minutes to get to full brightness when they are first switched on, and it takes more like 15 minutes to brighten up if they are switched off then back on. This means once they are on you leave them on, eliminating the opportunity to turn off the lights in a little-used warehouse aisle. Changing to fluorescent or LED allows that extra savings associated with using lighting controls to turn off the lights when no one’s in the space.

Block number 6 blue background

Your old fixtures are dirty, noisy, and glary.

Block number 5 blue background

When you retrofit, you’ll at least get rid of some of the dirt on the fixtures, automatically increasing light output.

Block number 4 blue background

When you upgrade to electronic ballasts, listen…no buzz!

Block number 3 blue background

Honestly, the new system may still be glary. But minimize glare by putting light where it is needed and not where it isn’t. Remove lights located above unused spaces or warehouse stacks. Drop lower wattage fixtures close to tasks to increase light levels where needed, but don’t overlight circulation spaces. (Most people don’t need 50 footcandles to walk down a hallway.)

Block number 2 blue background

When you install the new lighting system, be sure to improve the CRI in the space. This upgrade is going to make your employees so happy! And happy workers are productive workers. Plus, better lighting quality = safer work environment which can reduce workplace accidents.

Block number 1 blue background And my number one tip for Industrial Lighting Retrofits? Get someone else to help you pay for it! Check with your electric utility company for rebates for lighting upgrades. If you install the new lights before the end of 2013, the U.S. government will even give you a tax deduction for your energy savings.

Have any other tips for industrial lighting retrofits? Let us know!


Lisa J Reed photo - Lighting Blog

Lisa J. Reed has been attracted to lighting (like a moth to a flame) for 20+ years. She is the Founding Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC in St. Louis, where she designs, teaches, and writes about architectural lighting.


The opinions expressed by authors herein and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Graybar Electric Company, Inc. or any employee thereof. Graybar Electric Company, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors or commenters. All the information on this website is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. Graybar Electric Company, Inc. does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website, is strictly at your own risk. Graybar Electric Company, Inc. will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.