LED Ready vs. Integrated LED
In this new age of energy efficiency, more and more commercial buildings are replacing their fluorescent and HID fixtures with LEDs. This upgrade is a no-brainer for many, but the real question is what type of fixture is right for you: LED ready or integrated LED?
What are LED Ready Fixtures?
LED ready fixtures are any type of fixture designed for use with LED bulbs. These fixtures typically do not come with LED light bulbs, so they allow you to use any LED bulb so long as it’s the right shape, size, and wattage. This freedom of customization may be one of the biggest benefits to LED ready fixtures. The installation is fairly on par with LED integrated fixtures, however replacing just the bulb is easier if you already have a fixture. LED ready fixtures also make it easy to upgrade your LED bulbs as new technologies come out. Before you decide, keep in mind that there can be dimming challenges with LED tubes.
What are Integrated LED Fixtures?
Integrated LED fixtures are complete fixtures with the LED arrays built in. Unlike LED ready fixtures, the diodes in this type of fixture is designed with a specific Kelvin color temperature and Lumen output. Although these fixtures often have a higher upfront cost than LED ready fixtures, they also tend to have a longer life rating and efficacy when compared to the LED lamps in other fixtures. Compatibility problems with ballasts are also eliminated since it’s an all-in-one system.
Which One Do You Need?
When deciding which fixture is the best choice for your building, there’s a few things to consider. First, do your current fixtures need major repairs? Sometimes, if combining repair costs with the cost of LED lamps, it’s worth simply replacing the entire fixture with an integrated LED one. Second, what building codes do your light fixtures need to meet? The U.S. Department of Energy has codes that demand more stringent efficiency requirements. These codes can differ from county to county, so be sure you’re familiar with what’s needed in your county. Finally, are you looking into rebate opportunities? The Design Lights Consortium (DLC) is a non-profit organization supported by several electric utility companies. Installing fixtures that are DLC qualified can mean rebates in your pocket. This year marked to beginning of the DLC 4.0 efficiency requirements. These qualifications demand a minimum efficacy rating for each type of fixture or bulb as well as standards for Kelvin color temperature, CRI, and life hours. You can learn more about the current DLC qualifications in a previous post. There may also be local rebates, so keep an eye out.
Which type of fixture do you prefer? Leave your opinions, experiences, and questions in the comments section below or explore your options in our selection of commercial light fixtures.