Lighting Retrofits – How to Reduce Your Business’s Energy Costs

When you’re considering signage upgrades or sign repairs for your business, did you know you can save a considerable amount of money and improve your energy efficiency by upgrading your business’s lighting, as well? While upgrading your lighting can present a major investment, “retrofitting” or “converting” your current lighting to LED can offset a considerable portion of a lighting upgrade, by using existing lighting fixtures in your commercial buildings.

LEDs in process of dominating lighting market

Light Emitting Diodes, which is what gives LED lighting fixtures their light, are used in nearly every electronic device on the market today. The dominance of LEDs for industrial applications is driven by several factors, including:

  • Compact size
  • Energy efficiency
  • Minimized maintenance
  • Quality of light

LED Retrofitting

Did you know lighting accounts for 17%-25% of all electricity consumed in U.S. commercial buildings. In an increasingly energy-conscious world, retrofitting your commercial lighting is gaining traction as a popular option in upgrading many aspects of your business to make your lighting more energy efficient. LED retrofits essentially use existing fixtures, including: CFL, fluorescent, incandescent, and others to convert to LED lighting. While using your existing fixtures to convert your commercial lighting to LED is the goal of retrofitting,  in some cases the existing fixtures won’t work or aren’t practical for retrofitting. New fixtures may be required in some areas, but businesses still save a significant amount of money, by replacing only the fixtures that aren’t possible or practical to retrofit with LED lighting.

Benefits of Retrofitting

Retrofitting not only saves your business money on lighting  fixtures, it reduces your energy costs, increases productivity, and keeps your staff safe. For example, retrofitting existing fixtures with LED lighting:

  • Increases ROI
  • Save energy costs
  • Increases lighting levels
  • Loonger-lasting lights
  • Reduces mercury levels and gives you a greener footprint
  • Removes tons of CO2 from the air
  • Reduces operating expenses

Also, according to, “By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could reduce our nation’s electricity use equal to the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants, and lead to total savings of more than $30 billion.”

Reducing Energy Costs

Drastically reducing energy costs by 80% over a year, in comparison to traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting , as mentioned before, provides the primary motivation for businesses to convert their facilities to LED lighting. Given that around 90% of a commercial building’s total lifetime costs, including the initial cost of the building, is determined by operating expenses, and the largest portion is relegated to energy costs from lighting, LED lighting is a game changer.

Reducing Maintenance Costs

Another factor contributing to the benefits of retrofitting your business with LED lighting revolves around the fact that LED lighting offers exponentially longer operating lifespans than traditional lighting, with far less parts replacement and labor hours required to maintain LED lighting.

Improving Lighting Quality

Indirectly related to energy savings, LED retrofitting will increase the quality of lighting in your commercial buildings. LED lighting ranks 90 on a scale of 0-100, with grayscale on the low end at 0 and natural light on the high end at 100 on the Color Rendering Index (CRI). Light that measures a 90 or above is considered excellent. Better quality of light increases the visual appeal of warehouses and industrial facilities, which acts to increase the general quality of life for personnel, customers, and others in commercial facilities.

Increasing Safety

Improved quality of light can also increase production and the quality of production, as improved visibility will positively impact production levels. Additionally, unlike traditional lighting sources, you can select color temperatures of LED lighting to match your business’s environment. Color temperature, measured in Kelvin (K), on a scale of approximately 1500k to 8000k refers to the “glow” of light. When the Kelvin temperature is lower, you’ll see a higher concentration of red in the color of the light, whereas it will appear bluer when the Kelvin temperature is higher. Sunlight typically measures 5000k, reaching 6500k depending on cloud cover. The color temperature selected for your business environments are based on the work performed in particular facilities. offers a general lighting guide for business applications:

  • 4600K-6500K gives off a bright amount of blue-white light, similar to that of daylight; best for display areas and work environments where very bright illumination is needed.
  • 6500K and up gives off a bright bluish hue of light, often found in commercial locations; best for task lighting.

Other Considerations

Some other things to consider when planning your LED retrofit include:

  • Possible limitations of options available for existing fixtures. While multiple configurations are offered for most commercial LED lighting applications, sometimes the lighting you need in one area may require a different fixture than the existing one to achieve your goal.
  • Dimmer switches and other controls configured for traditional lighting will not function with LED lighting. In order to keep the dimmer function of your LED lighting, you will need to change your existing dimmer switches to LED specific switches.
  • Check into LED utility rebates and incentives offered by utility companies and other energy efficiency program sponsors to promote ENERGY STAR products throughout the US. Along with certified bulbs and fixtures, decorative light strings, plus ceiling and ventilating fans with light kits, many of these programs are specifically geared for commercial building applications and can add up to $249 in savings for LED light fixtures.
  • Contact a reputable lighting contractor to provide expert advice and guide you through the retrofitting process

Yesco to the Rescue

Take the guesswork out of retrofitting your lighting. Experts in exterior and interior signage and turnkey lighting retrofitting solutions, our knowledgeable and experienced lighting team provides a comprehensive approach to your lighting requirements. We will show you how you can reduce your energy costs and operating expenses, as well as helping you qualify for applicable energy rebates. We can show you how YESCO’s multiple financing options can make your retrofit project a cash positive situation.

The key benefits of YESCO’s lighting retrofit include:

  • Turnkey project management, from product specification to installation, we handle your project from start to finish.
  • Enhance your facility’s appearance and your production metrics, while saving money.
  • Payback analysis including maintenance, energy savings, and rebate analysis.
  • Extended warranty programs.
  • Multiple financing options available.

We’re ready to turn on the savings and help your business shine brighter with energy-efficient lighting. Contact YESCO for your LED retrofit!