The majority of commercial fixtures, especially in warehouses and outdoor lights, consist of inefficient and lower quality metal halide lighting technology. The majority of building owners and / or facility managers are making the switch for multiple reasons, but the most common one being the energy reduction that LED brings along with it.
Before talking about if it’s possible and / or how to replace metal halide (or MH for short) lights with LED, let’s talk about the major benefits that LED will bring you over metal halide.
Up to 75% energy reduction. A conversion to LED luminares over metal halide can bring you a savings of up to 75% in energy costs related to your lighting fixtures. While it does depend on which LED products you buy and from whom as well as which fixtures you currently have now will depend on how much you actually save after the conversion. Any business that makes this switch will be able to collect a positive ROI fairly quickly and realize some amazing savings after a ROI has been reached. This will allow for your overall bottom line to increase tremendously, especially if your facility has a lot of lighting fixtures installed. Another factor to remember is this; the more you use your lights (e.g 6 hr vs 12 hours a day), the quicker and greater ROI you will realize. Taking that fact into account will help you better estimate the upside you have by making the switch.
Rebates will come. As long as you buy DesignLights Consortium qualified lighting products, typically only available to LED technology because they are efficient, you will be eligible for rebates through your utility company. This is great because it will offset your lighting investment costs associated with your lighting upgrade, making it even more worthwhile to upgrade to LED away from metal halide fixtures. Just remember, only buy lighting products that have been and are confirmed to be qualified by the DLC.
Longer life. The life of an LED vs a metal halide light can be 2 all the way up to 4 times longer. This will allow you to not buying replacements as often, which will actually prove to be a cost reduction. On top of this, the maintenance costs will decrease substantially due to the less frequent maintenance that LED lights require.
From higher efficiency, to rebates, to longer life and lower maintenance costs; LED is the surefire winner over metal halide by a long shot. But the bigger question is, can you switch to LED from metal halide? If so, is it easy and how can you do it as inexpensively as possible?
Basically, the answer is a big yes. You can convert from metal halide to LED actually easier than you may of thought. So there is such thing as a LED replacement for metal halide lights, and that can be either in the form of a retrofit kit or a full fixture replacement.
By retrofitting your existing fixtures instead of a full replacement, you don’t need to get rid of the external fixture shell but rather only the light source itself. This also allows for a cheaper conversion because retrofit kits tend to be cheaper than an entirely new fixture replacement.
The difference between an entirely new fixture vs a retrofit is simple: a retrofit is simply a replacement of a light source. While on the contrary, an entire fixture replacement consists of not only switching out the light source, but also switching out the entire fixture and shell that the light is held in. This option is typically chosen over retrofitting when an entire fixture replacement is deemed necessary. This can be because of old fixtures that are falling apart or simply don’t match with the environment that they are in and look “off.”
To answer the topics question in short, you can replace metal halide technology; and in a variety of ways at that.
By making the switch to LED, you open yourself to all of the benefits that have been listed here. From energy savings to rebates that will allow you to realize a greater and quicker return on investment. The switch is highly practical, and becoming more affordable for companies to make a switch that makes sense.