How to Retrofit High Bay Light to LED

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Industrial, manufacturing, and commercial buildings that use fluorescent, HPS, MH, and HID lighting may consider retrofitting their lights with LED high bay light fixtures instead of replacing them altogether. Is that even possible to do? Yes, it is, but why would a company choose to retrofit their existing lighting to LED lights rather than replace them?

Why Convert High Bay Lights to LEDs

  • Energy Saving – The key reason a business owner chooses to go with LED lighting is to save money. LED lights tend to lower energy consumption by up to 80 percent. 
  • Decrease Maintenance Costs – When you convert your high bay lights to LEDs, it will reduce the amount of maintenance needed. Unlike other light sources, LED light output is slow in its degradation process. LED lights will last far longer than HID lamps, meaning maintenance costs drop significantly. 
  • Light Performance – LED light manufacturers use a multi-point design that evenly distributes the light on surfaces. There is no bright spot that tends to occur with HID lighting where it is affixed, and less light in the surrounding areas until the next HID light fixture. 

3 Ways to Retrofit High Bay Light to LED

1. Use LED T8 Tubes to Modify 4ft T8 Fluorescent

It wasn’t until recently that LED lights became a norm in many commercial and industrial buildings. As such, many HID fixtures used fluorescent tubes. These have lost their luster when the superior technological advance of LED and its reduction in costs appeal. 

Two disappointing aspects of the fluorescent T8 lamps are the need for heat-generating ballasts and the constant need for maintenance. Ballasts of high-bay locations are typically a significant factor since a 32W fluorescent is drawing around 37W. If you have relatively new ballasts, using the Type A LED T8 tubes with the currently installed ballasts is better. 

Be cautious with this converting option. It would help if you were mindful of any compatibility issues that could arise, as it’s possible the LED T8 you buy won’t work with your current ballast, which means constant maintenance for your ballasts. 

You can also get rid of the ballasts and use wire-direct Type B LED T8 lamps. There is the option of a single-end wired that will need rewiring at one end using a non-shunted socket. However, for a quicker install, you can also use double-end wired for existing in-shape sockets.

ProductT8 Type B LED Tube Light
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T8 Type B LED Tube Light
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T8 Type A LED Tube Light
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Power Consumption17W17W14.5W
Luminous Flux2,200lm2,200lm2,200lm
Tube TypesType BType BType A
Power TypeSingle Ended PowerDouble Ended PowerDouble Ended Power
Ballast CompatibilityBallast BypassBallast BypassBallast Compatible
Dimensionsφ1.10” × 48”Lφ1.10” × 48”Lφ1.10” × 48”L
Download IES FileDownloadDownloadDownload
Choose the Perfect Lepro LED Tube Lights

2. Use LED Linear High Bay Lights to Retrofit Fluorescent T5HO

There are a minimal number of DLC-certified LED T5 tubes available, meaning you can get rid of the F54T5HO lamps and go with a more eco-friendly LED high bay fixture. This option improves the lighting quality, will last longer, and doesn’t need near as much maintenance.

Traditional lighting ballasts often start to fail after five years, which means using LED tube lights is unsuitable for converting high bay or warehouse lights. In these cases, you’ll need to use 2- or 4ft LED linear high bay lights

3. Use LED UFO High Bay Fixtures Instead of HID Fixtures 

Instead of converting your existing HID fixtures, go with new LED high bay lighting. This kind of lighting provides many advantages, and the cost is often comparable to retrofitting your existing light fixtures. For instance, you have a more uniform light quality with a new 150W UFO LED high bay fixture than if you continued to use a 400W metal halide. To get the same output, you’ll want a 150 to 170W with a 20,000 lumens fixture. 

Another reason to remove your old fixtures and install new LED high bay lights is the different mounting options available, optional money-saving sensors, and a step-down transformer if you have a 480V. Most LED high bay fixtures have a 0-10V dimming standard and IP65 rating to hold up against the elements. 

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