Lighting Retrofit

San Diago Convention Center Exhibit Hall LED Retrofit install

One-to-one: Considering a lighting retrofit for your facility?

The availability of incentives [1]  from the government and energy providers encourages facility managers to consider replacing their existing lighting system with more energy efficient technologies. While using the existing lighting design and performing a one-to-one replacement is an option for some facilities and may prove cost-effective, many facilities can benefit from a complete lighting redesign.

penn state stadium arial front lighting

In order to determine if a lighting redesign is going to be advantageous for your facility, try answering the questions below:

  1.       Has a facility undergone considerable changes, including changes in structure, layout, equipment etc., since the last lighting upgrade?
  2.       Have the tasks and activities performed in the facility changed?
  3.       Have the average visual ages of the workers changed?
  4.       Do the aesthetics of the facility need improvement?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes”, then your facility can benefit from a lighting redesign instead of a one-to-one retrofit.

In order to conduct such a redesign, knowledge of the facility plans are a must. The values of wall, floor and surface reflectance, any sources of day-lighting and usage hours, would aid lighting designers in developing an optimal design.

The first metric to be determined is the illuminance levels. These are typically ascertained on the basis of the recommended levels by the Illuminating Engineering society of North America (IESNA) [2]. These illuminance levels are determined on the basis of the applications and the tasks carried out, and the percentage of the observers within certain visual ages. For more detail oriented tasks the illuminance levels are typically higher.

For example: For simple assembly tasks the recommended illuminance target is 300 lux. This increases to 3000 lux for exacting tasks in inspection scenarios. Hence, the knowledge of the tasks carried out is essential to determine the illuminance levels. The visual age of the facility users is also important as the illuminance levels can increase by upto 4 times, if the age of the users changes from under 25 to over 65, for certain tasks [3].

The color rendition ability of the light source is important when considering light quality. A higher color rendition index (CRI) implies a greater ability for the human eye to distinguish between colors. So again, depending on the intricacy of tasks for a particular facility, the CRI value needs to be fixed. For example, in a steel mill a CRI of 80 may suffice, but for a garment factory, a CRI> 85 may be more conducive to the tasks performed.

In addition to this, lower color temperatures create a warmer feel with a spectrum towards the red wavelengths, while the higher color temperatures are appear bluish.

Another important factor to consider is the illumination uniformity. Recommendations on maximum/minimum, average/minimum and maximum/average illuminance ratios are also provided by IESNA. For example: Recommended maximum/minimum values vary between 3:1 and 5:1 for manufacturing facilities.

So, in order to get the maximum benefit from your lighting upgrade, keep the above factors in mind.


Contact us to find out how URSA’s lighting specialists can maximize your cost savings by developing an optimal lighting solution for your facility.


To start with, let us do Lighting Design Simulation for you.

[1] Weblink:
[2] Weblink:
[3] IESNA, The lighting Handbook, 10th edition.

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