Energy Efficient Solutions: How To Transform Existing T12 To T8

Posted by Dave VanTol on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 @ 08:02 AM

If You Have Existing T12 2x4 Fixtures, You Don't Have To Remove Them....Here's Why...

Hello....Energy Efficient Lighting Retrofit Kits

Have you heard about retrofit kits? 

Maybe you may have heard this term before and wondered what they are?

Using a retrofit kit is a cost effective method of replacing old T-12 technology without having to replace an entire fixture. 

Many customers we talk to often insist on getting new fixtures.  What they don't typically understand, is that the shell of the fixture is steel or aluminum and typically treated with coatings that don't rust.  The shell of a fixture typically does not deteriorate. 

It's the "guts" of the fixture that need to be changed out.  Manufacturers have created a suitable alternative to make upgrading your facility a much easier task to accomplish. 

To give you an idea of how a retrofit works, let's look at a product that we used on our most recent project.

Here Is A Project We Just Completed A Project Utilizing This Concept...

We recently upgraded a large tile manufacturer to T8 F-bay lighting.

Along with the manufacturing area we also were given the task of installing retro fit kits into the existing office lighting. The lighting provider for the project, Coffman Home Decor introduced us to a very economical and labor saving product that really got our attention. 

We were very impressed with the product. Here's more about it,

The Retrofit Kit We

Texas Fluorescents is a product line that Coffman Home decor carries. They are the manufacturer of the 24C - 2 x 4 Retrofit Reflector Kit that we used in our project.

The kit consists of new end plates, tombstones (otherwise known as bulb holders), and your choice between a white or mirrored specular reflector.

Texas Fluorescent also packages their kit with energy efficient GE UltraMax ballasts (these are the Good ones!) to provide a turn-key style solution to it's customers.

In our installation we utilized the specular reflector as well as Ultramax ballasts for the install.

Retrofit Installations Easier Than A Complete Fixture Change Out....

The installation is relatively easy, but this is not to say everyone should go off and try to do this on your own.  The hardware portion of the installation is easy enough, it's the electricity that can give you problems. 

Electricity is not to be played with by amateurs.  Nonetheless, I wanted to go over the procedure just to show you how simple a retrofit can be done. 

1. Go to the breaker panel, shut off power to circuit you will be working with. 

2. Open the fixture and remove the ballast cover pan and ballast.

3. Remove the tombstone sockets and holders.

4. Install new sockets, holders, ballast, lamps, and reflector.

5. Turn the power on and enjoy!

Essentially, you eliminate removing the existing fixture and putting in a new one.  This can sometimes be nearly impossible depending on the scenario. 

Shouldn't I Just Buy A New Fixture?

That is still entirely up to you...but we think it is silly to replace the ENTIRE fixture.  Utilizing a retrofit kit is essentially recycling the existing fixture. 

Actually retrofits are more cost effective for a few reasons.

1. No Disruption Of Existing Ceiling

All work can be done from below the ceiling, in older buildings this is a plus as you may run into Asbestos in older ceiling spaces.

2. Guaranteed Quality Ballast

One thing to keep in mind when comparing a retrofit to a new fixture, is that if you order a new light the manufacturer uses whatever ballast is cheapest to buy at the time.

There's a chance that the ballast you get with your fixture will NOT meet guidelines for an energy rebate program. Yes you can order it specifically with a ballast that does, but lighting manufacturers then charge you more for the fixture.

3. Easier To Work Around Existing Schedule

Since there is less time involved with installation, it is much easier to keep the normal pace of operations going on during a retrofit application.  This is especially important in office situations where you want to get the person back to work. 

Retrofitting Is More Cost Effective

Hands down retrofitting 2x4 fixtures is more cost effective than buying a new fixture. Plus you know exactly what you are getting.  It will require less time and save a lot of disruption to your business. 

If your thinking of doing an upgrade in the near future I highly recommend them.

Got question....curious to see if they are right for your business?

Contact us today or leave a comment below and we will get in touch with you. Or come try our FREE downloadable e book below....

Topics: t8 retrofit, t12 retrofit, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient solutions, t12 2x4