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Retrofit Projects: Replacement Bulbs or New Fixture?


The uprise of LED technology is significantly more efficient than its competitors, and has brought many replacement products; however, it has also brought a new option to the table: LED Fixtures. This new alternative creates the commonly asked question of whether to go with a LED replacement product, or make the switch to a new LED fixture.

outdoor building lighting

Of course with either route you choose to go with, you more than likely are familiar with the advantages of LED technology, however, one important advantage to remember is the lumen output does not depreciate with LED Lighting like it does with Flourescent or HID Lighting! 

First things first, what are the pros and cons of each option; LED replacement bulb, or new LED fixture? 

LED Replacement Bulb Options

led retrofit kitsLED replacement products are quickly growing as one of the easiest ways to improve your energy efficiently and save on costs, but they don't work for all retrofit project applications!


- Typically a quick and effortless installation

- Easy and cost effective to replace again once new technology arises.

- Long life rating and efficiency gain compared to traditional lighting that you are replacing

- Great rebate programs to help with upfront costs 

- Can keep and use existing fixtures 





- Fixture modifications sometimes needed

- Maximum wattage for the fixture remains the same, can't go with a higher wattage than what you have

- Not all have the same functions, such as dimming capabilities and their light direction

LED Fixture Replacement 

led fixture replacement
Changing your old fixture to a new LED fixture provides some of the best visual appeal to your location, in addition to having the highest efficiency ratings and life spans in lighting options! 


- Longest life ratings and efficacy across all lighting options

- Multiple options to control the fixtures, dimming capabilities

- Lower maximum wattage per fixture, equalling in less energy used and allows you to meet specific building codes and local laws

- Maximum light control and output to personalize your needs 


- More extensive, and lengthy installation required

- Higher up front costs

- Cannot be retrofitted with new upcoming technology, the fixture would need to be completely replaced again 

Now that there are a few pros and cons listed, how do you decide which is best for you? 

Is this a new construction build, or a remodel? 

  • If this a new build/construction or you're doing a remodel, going with new LED fixtures would be the best starting point to consider.
  • While the upfront cost may be a big factor, the difference between the cost of a traditional lighting fixture might not be too far behind; furthermore, the benefits of LED fixtures will outweigh any cost difference. 
  • Another factor to keep in mind is your local laws and building codes, which are commonly not met when using traditional lighting fixtures. Having the advantage of lower maximum fixture wattage with LED can help tremendously with meeting strict codes and making the process go by faster. 

If you have existing fixtures, do they need any maintenance? 

  • Typically when you are using old fixtures to retrofit, they need some maintenance as most of them haven't been touched in years. When the cost of maintenance on old fixtures plus the cost for the new LED replacement products add up, they equal out to be the same cost of a new LED fixture, if not more. If you get to that point, it is suggested to save the headache and just replace the entire fixture, guaranteeing you will be pleased with the outcome. 

Have you considered any local rebate programs? 

  • One last thing to consider is the available rebate programs that are offered by local electric companies to help offset some costs. Typically these companies look to offer rebates for bulb replacement options, however, some are willing to offer more incentives when changing the entire fixture over to LED.
  • In order to determine what your electric company is currently offering, always be sure to reach out to HTM Lighting Solutions lighting experts with your utility and project information, and let us do the research for you! 

led corn light retrofit
While considering the options on your LED retrofit project, rest assured that either way you go, you will be happier and have a much better outcome than what you are starting with! From the great efficiency of the LED technology to the low maintenance costs, changing over to LED will provide countless benefits that you will not be disappointed with. 

Still puzzled and need help making a choice? Reach out to HTM Lighting Solutions today for your one on one support session!

Questions or comments? We always have ears open to any new input and suggestions, as we enjoy learning from others and sharing knowledge. Contact us today for your complimentary quote on any retrofit project, or just to give some input, 813-649-8899 or

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  • Mary S