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How to decide whether to convert to T5 and LED high bay lights?

March 09, 2023

There's been a lot of talk about converting industrial high bay lighting to something more energy efficient. It seems like everyone is interested in LEDs, but not ready to invest when they hear the cost of converting to LED lighting. Here are some facts to help you make an informed decision.

First off, if you're still using 400-watt metal halide HID lighting in your facility, it's definitely time for a change. The opportunity to convert to T5 lighting has been around for years and saves you 50% of your profits instantly! You'll get more light and significantly reduce your lighting energy bills.

Your other option is to go directly from HID lighting to LED high bay light fixtures. LED high bay lights can save nearly 70% of energy and require almost no fixture maintenance.

From a labor standpoint, the installation cost to convert to T5 or LED luminaires is the same. Since LED high bay lights are typically rated for 60,000-70,000 hours, your LED option will have a higher upfront cost, but save more in the long run in terms of energy savings and ongoing maintenance costs.

Remember, whether you choose to convert to T5 or LED highbay, your return on investment will always be shorter if you operate more than one shift, as your upfront installation costs will be the same, but your cost due to the LED highbay retrofit will be lower High, usually only slightly longer return on investment after accounting for greater energy savings.
For comparison: A facility with 100 high-bay fixtures converting from metal halide to four-lamp T5 fixtures would have a 2-year return on investment for two-shift operation after accounting for installation costs.

The same two-shift facility converted to each 100 LED 16,000 lumen high bay fixture would have a payback period of 2.4 years due to higher fixture costs and greater annual energy savings.

In conclusion, if you view lighting as an investment and don't plan to move out of your facility within the next few years, LEDs are probably the best option for you.

Will save 2 - 3 times the energy compared to one shift operation.

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