Why LED Retrofits Are the Future of Commercial Lighting


LED lighting is the most recent innovation in the lighting industry. The cost savings and energy efficiency of this technology makes it a potential choice for businesses to revolutionize the way they light their facilities.

LEDs, light-emitting diodes, are semiconductor devices that emit light when current flows through them. They are common in many electronic devices. In the lighting industry, it has become even more prominent because of its small size and the quality of its color renderings (among other reasons).

LED retrofitting involves the conversion of an existing light fixture to a LED lighting fixture. In cases where it is not feasible or possible to convert an existing fixture to LED, a brand-new LED fixture would be installed in its place.

Let’s take a closer look into what an LED retrofit involves, and some of the reasons that make it a viable commercial LED lighting solution, for now, and for the future.

Practical Benefits of LED Retrofits for Industrial and Commercial Lighting 

Benefits of LED Retrofits

According to market research, the global industrial LED market value was 16.8 billion in 2018, is 59.8 billion in 2022, and by 2030, it is expected to reach a market value of 132.96 billion. Industry experts also predict that adopting LED retrofits will minimize energy consumption by more than 50% across all industries. 

Here are a few more reasons that make LED lighting the future of commercial lighting: 

1. Energy Efficiency 

One of the leading benefits of LED lighting is that they’re energy efficient. The energy efficiency of a lighting source can be measured in useful lumens, which describe the amount of light the bulb emits for each unit of power it consumes. 

We used to measure light by how many lumens it produces, but some of the lumens go to waste as heat. Compared to other lighting technologies, LED lighting provides more useful lumens than waste light. 

You can increase the overall energy efficiency of the lighting in your facility by as much as 70%. You can even get up to 90% efficiency depending on the LED lights you use.

Energy efficiency and cost savings have a direct relationship; an increase in one is equivalent to an increase in the other. So, by adopting LED retrofits for commercial lighting, you’re saving both energy and costs. 

2. Low Maintenance Costs 

The significantly lower maintenance costs of LED lighting fixtures are an additional advantage of LED retrofitting. Traditional lighting fixtures require a lot of maintenance work and expensive replacement parts because of their shorter lifespan. 

However, LED lighting has a longer operational lifespan, reducing the need for costly replacement parts or maintenance labor. The cost savings (from maintenance) associated with LED lighting can add up to a reasonably large amount over time.

3. Long Lifespan

The lifespan of an LED light is far longer than that of a typical incandescent or fluorescent bulb. LED lighting can last for 50,000 hours, or even 100,000 hours based on how you use it. This means that after retrofitting your facility, you will be able to reap the benefits of LED lighting for 6 to 20 years.

Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, last for about 2% of the time of an LED light. Even when compared to sodium vapor, fluorescent, or metal halide light, LED lighting still shows superiority when it comes to lifespan.

4. Increased Lighting Quality

An additional benefit of LED retrofitting that makes it ideal for commercial lighting is the quality of light produced by LED fixtures. 

The Coloring Rendering Index (CRI) is a measure of the quality of light, on a scale from 0 (grayscale) to 100 (natural light). The quality of light increases as you go up the scale. Most LED lighting has a CRI of 80+, and for applications in retail CRI of 90+, which is considered excellent lighting quality. Adopting commercial lighting solutions with excellent CRI-like LED lighting will improve the aesthetic appeal of your facility. 

5. More Safety 

As previously mentioned, LED retrofitting guarantees high-quality light. Due to the improved visibility in facilities, employees can work safely and avoid common accidents caused by a lack of proper lighting. In comparison to other lighting sources, LED has a higher CRI which makes it an excellent choice for your facility. 

You can also select the glow of the LED retrofit light to compliment the environment it’s being used in. This “glow” is referred to as color temperature and it is independent of the CRI. This is a benefit that is not common with traditional lighting. 

Types of LED Retrofits for Commercial Lighting

There are different types of LED retrofits and fixtures available for industrial and commercial lighting. These could be drop-in LED bulbs that fit into existing traditional fixtures or replacement LED fixtures that mimic the properties (size, aesthetics, and shape) of the lighting fixture they replace. 

Some of the available LED fixtures include: 

1. LED Tubes 

LED tubes are the most prevalent LED retrofits. It involves changing the original light tubes and replacing them with LED tubes while retaining the existing light fixture.

2. LED Troffer & Flat Panel Lights 

LED troffer lights mimic traditional troffer lights. It allows for the integration of LED lighting without detracting from the existing aesthetics of the office space. They offer some of the best general lighting for large spaces.

3. LED Strip Light Fixtures

Also known as “shop lights”, LED strip light fixtures offer a precise amount of lighting over a workspace. They are most often used in storage facilities, workshops, and garages. Additionally, more decorative versions of Strip Light Fixtures are now being utilized as hanging fixtures in offices and classrooms.

4. LED Vapor Tight Fixtures

This type of LED retrofit lighting is sealed from moisture and dust. They find their application mainly in manufacturing facilities, canopies, garages, and areas that are prone to dust and moisture.  


Given their many advantages, LED lights are the best option for lighting in commercial and industrial settings. They enhance the aesthetics of your building while reducing costs and energy use, and by providing excellent lighting, they also increase employee productivity.

Energywise Solutions offers an area light replacement program to help you change the lighting around your facility space to an excellent choice—LED lighting. Within your facility space, we also provide excellent services in LED retrofitting.  

Our team takes charge from start to finish in LED retrofitting so that only quality materials are used, to ensure cost savings and guarantee the full benefits of LED lighting in the long run. 

Energywise Solutions works with architects, engineers, business owners, and commercial lighting contractors to create exceptional spaces with energy-efficient LED lighting solutions, lighting controls and automated building controls. Our network includes trusted manufacturers of wireless control components and wireless control systems, and our team is experienced in designing, start-up and commissioning custom energy solutions and control systems for all buildings. 

Scott Van Kerkhove is the CEO of Energywise and writes on topics and issues surrounding the lighting and controls industry, energy management, profitability and sustainability. Find me on LinkedIn – Author: Scott Van Kerkhove