What is retrofit led lighting? - B-Lite

LED retrofitting is a method of upgrading the existing lighting installation in commercial or residential buildings to LED lighting. The process involves installing LED lamps or fixtures and removing the old lighting system.

In this article we will explore the advantages of Led Retrofit led lighting and the cases of uses that might apply.


Advantages of retrofit LED lighting


Retrofit LED lighting is one of the most cost-effective ways to upgrade old lighting systems. It can reduce electricity consumption, maintenance costs, and replacement costs by up to 90%.

Safe choice

They are a better choice for safety because they produce less heat. This means that they are safer to use in areas where there is a risk of fire or even just the risk of getting burned.


To replace a 100W incandescent light bulb, an LED will require approximately 10W, and to replace a 32W fluorescent tube, an LED tube will consume 13W to 15W. Think of the savings on an entire office floor. It can also improve the quality of the light in an area without adding additional energy consumption. On top of being more energy efficient, they depreciate slowly. Did you know a fluorescent lamp loses much of its original brightness in the first quarter of its life? LED will depreciate gradually and reach 70% of its original brightness (L70) after thousands of hours. From 15000 for screw-in, domestic grade lamps to hundreds of thousands of hours for high-end commercial fixtures.

Environment friendly

One of the top benefits of LED retrofitting is drastically lowered energy consumption. This is a highly positive change for the environment, as it reduces emissions and air pollution. LEDs are more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lights, which means they require less energy to produce the same amount of light. This translates to lower electricity bills and lower environmental impact. On top of that, Fluorescent lamps require special handling when recycling. They contain mercury vapour and fluor powder. Of course, LEDs also use electronics and are not entirely pollution-free, but they have a significantly smaller environmental footprint.

Case of uses

The first thing to do is to find out what fixtures you have that could be retrofitted. If you have any of these technologies, you can retrofit them to LED: 

  • fluorescent tubes, or CFL (Compact Fluorescents)
  • incandescent or halogen bulbs
  • MH (Metal Halide)
  • HPS (High Pressure Sodium, Orange light) also known as LU70, LU100, Lu250…
  • CDM (Ceramic Metal Halide)
  • Mercury Vapour (please replace them, urgently)

Retrofitting fixtures is a great way to save money. You can either replace the fixture entirely or replace the lamps in your fixture. Ask an expert about your situation.

When retrofitting your fixtures, you may also have to change the dimmer switches to an LED specific version.

Types of retrofit LED lighting

LEDs are not just for lighting. There are several types of these retrofits and fixtures that are available for offices, factories, warehouses, retail stores, hospitals, schools, and many more.

Here is a list of commonly used solutions:

  1. LED Tubes in existing Fluorescent fixtures. These tubes come in four versions.
    1. Type A, also called Plug and Play, can be installed on a fixture that uses a relatively new electronic ballast for T8 and T5 fluorescent tubes.
    2. Type B, also called ballast bypass, is used with line voltage. The fixture in which these are used is modified, and a new label is applied to warn whoever will be doing the maintenance that this fixture requires Type B LED lamps.
    3. Type C, driver driven, are LED tubes that function with a driver that replaces the ballast. Instead of increasing the voltage like a ballast does, the driver reduces the voltage and turns the alternate current into constant current. This type of solution is used when dimming controls are required.
    4. Hybrid Type A+B. These tubes have an internal driver that detects if the lamp is being driven by ballast or if it is fed line voltage. Many are so versatile, that they can even detect if the line voltage is fed on only one side or if they have the line on one end and the neutral on the other.
  2. CFL replacement LED lamps. Just like the LED tubes, they come in Type A, and Type B and are made specifically to replace pin-based CFL lamps in pot lights, wall sconces and surface mount fixtures. Some produce omnidirectional light, others are made to be side-mounted and have directional lighting.
  3. Corn cobs. As funny as this may sound. Corn cobs are a type of LED device that screws in replacement of an MH lamp. They also come in Type A and Type B formats. Use them in Shoebox fixtures, highbays, wall packs, and street lamp posts, also known as cobra heads. Corn cobs are a quick and easy fix.
    Lighting Efficient Design offers a large selection of retrofit lamps. This is the Flexcolor Bollard corncob. It can be set to warm white, to cool white on the field.
  4. LED downlights. They come in various sizes for various applications. As slim as half an inch for tight applications to strong and powerful downlights for high ceilings. These can replace Metal Halide fixtures or CFL fixtures. They can also modernise the look of a room on top of reducing the energy and maintenance costs by more than half.
  5. LED Flat panels or Backlit Panels. If you are tired of the prismatic lenses on your troffers and would like to reduce your energy costs. These panels definitively change the look of a room and cut energy costs. Commonly known as flat panels, they slip in a T-Bar ceiling or a frame kit where a troffer once stood. They take 20 minutes to install and will give your office a fresh look.
  6. LED HighBays. They come in various shapes, sizes, and mostly light output. From 15 000 lumens to 50 000 lumens. LED highbays are used where ceilings are high and aesthetics are not the main focus. Use them to replace a MH  “UFO” fixtures, fluorescent highbays, 8′ fluorescent industrial strips, and more. The highbays will save you money and time. Most of these fixtures will give at least 50 000 hours to L70, and many will provide more than 100 000 hours to L70. This translates to decades without replacing a single lamp in your facility. This is particularly important when changing the lighting disrupts production and requires equipment rental.

Do you require a custom lighting solution for your building or facility?

Contact our team of experts to get a consultation on the best installation for your specific needs and situation.


Like what you read
Please take some time to share the word

BL Solutions: A sustainable and cost-effective choice

By choosing our residential, commercial and industrial lighting, you’ll enjoy a vast selection as well as a guarantee of sustainability! Read more about our commitment and our values to find out what makes BL Solutions unique.

Plus, thanks to our large network of partners and manufacturers, you’ll enjoy great prices on all our equipment.

A team at your service to create a tailor-made solution

Select a Language