There’s no doubt about it: electricity prices keep going up and up. If you’ve decided to switch to energy-efficient lighting to save money, what do you need to do? The good news is that we can help you retrofit your existing 400-watt metal halide or high-pressure sodium HID fixtures to LED, helping you save money and increasing light levels and quality. In fact, there’s no time like the present as energy costs are set to grow in the future.
First, decide whether or not you will do the job yourself, or hire a contractor. If you use a retrofit kit that doesn’t need a rewire, you might be okay to do this yourself. Otherwise, you will be working with high levels of electricity. We recommend that you hire a licensed professional to perform any electrical work that needs doing.
There are three main types retrofit options available. The first is where you just screw in an LED lamp with no rewiring necessary. It’s as simple as changing any light bulb and works with the old existing HID ballast.
The second option is to screw in a lamp that requires rewiring the power circuit to the lamp socket, and removing the old HID ballast. The final option is a new fixture. In some instances, retrofit kits don’t fit, or the existing fixture is just too old to be used. This is when it makes sense to purchase an entirely new fixture.
Costs of retrofitting can vary, depending on factors such as efficiency, light output, warranty, quality and more. Do choose quality products that will have a longer lifespan. The slightly more considerable outlay for good quality items will pay off in the long run.
Not all LEDs builds in the same way, and wattage isn’t all that matters. When choosing an LED solution, take the issue of lumens into account. Lumens are a measure of the amount of light that is visible to the human eye from a light source. The higher the lumens, the brighter the lamp will look. As an example, one particular brand of 100W LED retrofit lamps for metal halide produces 15,550 lumens, which translates to a huge 155 lumens per watt. In comparison, another brand of LEDs only produces 93.6 lumens per watt. The point is if you’re trying to save energy costs, why use old LED technology? Go for quality, and go for lumens over wattage.
One of the great things about converting to LED lighting is that some utility companies offer substantial rebates for converting to energy saving options. Before starting your conversion, speak to your utility company about any rebates they might offer. Some of these companies require you to obtain pre-approval before installation.
How to convert from 400W HID to LED
- Find out if you have a 400W HID fixture or bulb
These bulbs are quite significant at either 8 – 9” long or 11 – 12” long. The bulb should be marked with the number 400 somewhere to indicate that it is 400 watts HID.
- Determine the voltage
LED bulbs come in two voltages. Order the correct one out of 100 – 277V or 277V – 480V to avoid blowing your driver.
- Determine your goal
If it is to reduce energy costs, LED is a compelling choice, and it can save up to 75% of your energy spend. If it is to reduce maintenance costs, know that the lifespan of a (quality) LED is much longer than that of HID.
Fewer bulbs mean less cost and if your reason for switching is to change the light levels in an area, you can get professional help for this. He or she will set up your new system to optimize your light levels.
- Determine what kind of HID fixture you have
Most LED retrofit kits are made to replace 400W Metal Halide or HPS bulbs. Find out which kit is suitable for your fixture and make your selection.