LED Technology Gives Contractors Flexible Entry Points

Think of LED lighting as the “gradual” revolution. Electrical 
contractors don’t have to go all-in overnight. They can enter the LED 
world in an unhurried way, based largely on available rebates and what 
their customers have in mind.<br><br>Contractors can start one lamp at a time if they choose, replacing a fluorescent lamp with a T8 LED lamp. Universal Lighting Technologies

Bill Brosius

Think of LED lighting as the “gradual” revolution. Electrical contractors don’t have to go all-in overnight. They can enter the LED world in an unhurried way, based largely on available rebates and what their customers have in mind.

Contractors can start one lamp at a time if they choose, replacing a fluorescent lamp with a T8 LED lamp. That’s the simplest and least expensive option. But in this scenario, they have to consult checklists to make sure the lamp and ballast are compatible. And what do they do when the ballast eventually fails?

Another option is to use an LED replacement kit. This gives contractors dimming capability and long lamp life – and it works from the get-go with an LED driver.

Contractors can also choose to install replacement LED luminaires. This can dramatically change the look and feel of the lighted space, and it gives contractors the most upgrade for the dollar.

There are obviously pros and cons with each solution. If you’re just swapping out a fluorescent lamp for an LED lamp, check to see if there are tube rebates in your area. If so, you’ll likely get very rapid payback.

An LED replacement kit delivers much better lumen maintenance than a replacement T8 lamp because it handles the thermal aspects of LED better. It works with the LED driver to give full dimming capability – and is often rebated.

Most manufacturers now offer two types of replacement LED luminaires: a general-purpose type with a prismatic lens and an architectural design. Both come in 2x2 and 2x4 sizes that drop easily into the ceiling.

A single T8 replacement lamp costs about six dollars, but it allows a contractor to cut energy costs in half. A replacement LED luminaire runs about $90 to $100, but it offers the dual benefit of improved looks and energy savings. Plus rebates are much larger when you replace the entire luminaire.

With LED technology, contractors can choose to either make a modest investment or enjoy the benefits of a brand-new fixture, warranty and aesthetic. They have complete flexibility to choose the option that bests suits the application.

Bill Brosius is vice president of key accounts and business development at Universal Lighting Technologies in Nashville, Tenn.


Photo courtesy of Universal Lighting Technologies