Should I Retrofit or Replace My High Bay?

If you are looking to upgrade your traditional HID high bays (such as metal halide lamps), you may be wondering if it would be better to retrofit or replace your existing fixtures. The two main factors to consider when making this decision are 1) Cost and 2) Ease of Installation. So, let’s compare.

Please Note: If your existing fixtures are in poor condition or are outdated, retrofitting may not be feasible or may not provide the desired lighting quality. In these cases, replacing the fixtures with new LED high bay fixtures will always be the better option.

Cost of Retrofitting vs Replacing

Generally, the upfront cost of retrofitting high bay fixtures with LED lights tends to be less expensive than replacing them with new LED fixtures. However, the overall cost depends on several factors, including the condition of existing fixtures and the type of retrofit kit or LED fixtures being considered. Another important point to note involving cost is rebate eligibility; new fixtures often receive higher rebate amounts than retrofit kits, but that does vary depending on utility provider.

Ease of Installing a Retrofit vs a New Fixture

Installing LED UFO high bay lights fixture typically involves removing the existing HID fixtures and installing the new LED fixtures. This process can be straightforward and relatively quick, especially if the new fixture is compatible with the existing wiring and mounting hardware. UFO high bays come in a wide range of wattages, efficiencies, and light outputs, including selectable models that allow you to pick your wattage and the color temperature during installation. When you buy your LED UFO high bay lights from ELEDLights, you get a minimum of a 5-year warranty, with support provided directly (and quickly!) by our onsite customer service team.

An LED retrofit kit, on the other hand, consists of an LED lamp or lamps, an integrated or separate driver, and mounting hardware that can be installed directly into the existing HID fixture. Retrofitting an existing HID fixture to work as an LED light requires bypassing the fixture’s ballast. This process does require some electrical knowledge and can be more time-consuming compared to installing a new LED fixture. 

Replacing vs Retrofitting Fluorescent High Bays

In addition to HID high bays, fluorescent lights have been a common option chosen for high ceilings. To upgrade these, you can rewire your existing fixtures to accommodate tubes for replacing fluorescent lights with LED or LED magnetic strip lights to replace fluorescent tubes.

Or, you could replace your old fluorescent fixtures entirely with new, long-life Linear High Bay LED Lights that provide the same amount of illumination, if not more illumination, than your current fixtures in a more compact, and often more attractive, housing.

Comparison Summary - Retrofit or Replace

Regardless of which method you choose, switching from HID or fluorescent lighting to LED lighting is a great choice for improving energy efficiency. If you are looking for a simple-install solution that doesn’t require using your existing fixtures, a brand new LED high bay fixture is likely the way to go. For those looking to reduce upfront costs and who are willing to spend a bit more time on the installation process, retrofitting with an LED retrofit kit will be a good option.

Ultimately, though, the choice between these two options will depend on your specific needs, budget, and location. It is best to consult with a lighting professional to determine which option would be the most cost-effective and suitable for your particular project. Our team of experts is ready to help find the perfect solution for your application, so reach out to get started! Call, text, or email us today.