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How retrofit kits give cities LED’s benefits – and let them keep their traditional lighting equipment


Ledification is spreading, with LED tech forecasted to account for 80 percent of the lighting market by 2020. What accounts for LED’s popularity? Its superiority over conventional lighting. LED lasts longer; offers better light quality, efficiency and control and requires less maintenance.

As the U.S. Department of Energy explains, ledifying conventional lighting can happen three ways. The first way is to replace the lamps alone, substituting in tubular LEDs (TLEDs) for your conventional equipment. The second way is to completely replace the conventional luminaire with a new LED one, thus maximizing energy savings and optimizing your LED source performance.

 

The third way involves using a retrofit kit. Retrofitting retains the existing housing of the luminaire but replaces old lamps, ballasts and sockets with new electronics and LED modules. This method is seeing growing interest from municipalities and other clients who want LED lighting without having to give up their existing lighting systems, perhaps for budget reasons or perhaps because those systems lend charm and visual appeal and have historical value.

 

The benefits of the retrofit kit

 

Good retrofit kits offer the following:

 

  • Ease of installation: A kit doesn’t require you to disconnect a lighting installation’s main external elements (such as the canopy, frame and spigot for example) from the pole to install a new housing. Rather, the kit integrates into the existing housing, necessitating only the disconnection and, in most cases, the removal of the luminaire’s electrical components, like its ballasts, sockets, and wiring.
  • Great heat management and lower failure potential: LED beats conventional light sources in both of these areas. The right retrofit kit needs to offer them.
  • High energy efficiency: Given that high efficiency is one of the biggest benefits of LED technology, a retrofit kit needs to provide cities with significant savings as well.
  • The chance to add control options and to future-proof luminaires: The right retrofit kit gives a city the option of adding dimming and other types of efficiency-promoting controls, as well of potentially connecting the light source to more advanced lighting management systems and software applications.
How retrofit kits give cities LED’s benefits

The trusted long-term lighting partner of a number of municipalities, Philips Lighting offers cities a variety of retrofitting options.

 

Here are four crucial retrofitting areas that Philips Lighting pays especial attention to, and that lighting professionals should too – as well as a few words about how Philips lighting solutions stack up in each.

 

Light distribution

Retrofitting can change the light distribution at a site, making it wider or narrower. If the on-site lighting requirements remain the same – the same four highway lanes need illumination, say – then you’ll likely have to make adjustments.

 

All Philips’ retrofit kits use the latest generation of Ledgine light engine, guaranteeing high and reliable performance across our portfolio and facilitating constant upgrades. And to satisfy a variety of light distribution requirements, we offer a wide range of fully application-tailored optics that ensure that you always get the right amount of light on the road, highway, square, bike lane, or other space in question.

 

Efficiency

Even though no strict minimum efficiency guidelines exist for retrofit kits, a kit should deliver up to 60 percent increased efficiency as compared to a conventional source and works for a minimum of 50,000 hours.

 

All our kits deliver that extra 60 percent energy efficiency and they do so using standalone light sources. They last for 100,000 hours.

 

Dimming and controls

Retrofit kits offer even greater energy savings and utility when you combine them with lighting controls, like dimmers. So choose a kit that offers several dimming functionalities and enables the light source to potentially connect to lighting software or a lighting system if that becomes necessary in the future.

 

Philips kits come with various dimming options, such as DALI and Dynadimmer controls. All our kits can connect to Philips remote light management software if the client so requests at the start of the design stage.

 

Special requirements

In addition to the above, you may want to make other requests of your lighting partner. You might, for example, want equipment that can send light in different directions depending on the time of the day or that can illuminate different surfaces with different light levels at night.

 

Philips Lighting is also happy to satisfy special demands and deliver customized retrofitting solutions. Two recent examples for this capability are the dedicated retrofit kits we developed of the cities of Toulouse and Millau.   

 

A new look for lighting in Toulouse

The French city of Toulouse wanted to replace a conventional lighting solution with a LED solution, while retaining its existing heritage luminaires. The LED solution that the city chose offered three separate lighting distributions:

  • a pedestrian application ensuring that the street was illuminated at the correct level, in line with class requirements
  • an ambiance application producing vertical light, eliminating harsh glare
  • top façade lighting to enhance particular effects on façades (as an option)
Retaining classical lumina lanterns in the French city of Millau


Retaining classical lumina lanterns in the French city of Millau

Millau wanted to replace its conventional lighting system with a LED solution while keeping its luminaires, which were relatively new as well as aesthetically consistent with the city’s architecture and monuments.

 

City managers experimented with various kits on the market, but had difficulty finding options that satisfied all the requirements. They needed a solution that offered excellent visual comfort, color rendering, and light distribution – and so turned to Philips Lighting. The result has been impressive from the perspective of both lighting design and lighting performance.

 

Next to customized solutions, we also offer standard retrofit kits for the most popular functional and decorative luminaires in our conventional portfolio like Iridium for example luminaires – plug-and-play solutions that offer direct 1:1 replacements of the conventional source, integrating easily into existing housing with a minimum IP rating of 54.