Replace Metal Halide with LED successfully!

Metal Halide can be replaced by LED… but don’t be caught out. Getting the balance between energy saving whilst ensuring you enhance the aesthetics of your retail store or showroom. Here’s a simple way of making sure your project is successful.

Especially in the retail and showroom industries, ceramic metal halide technology is still in common use. This includes metal halide lamps with bases such as G12, G8.5, GU6.5, PGJ5, GX8.5, GX10 and some ES PAR lamps. It is probably one of the last technologies to be taken over by LED due to its already high efficiency of 100lm/w and excellent light colour. In fact, many stores, even in prominent, “flagship” locations have had LED refits that have been detrimental to aesthetics in store, and ultimately footfall.

The message?
Choose wisely and trial the luminaires. Ceramic metal halide technology has been honed over many years to give high quality light that works well in the retail sector. The variation in LED is vast and it is critical the LED product you request has the same output and the best light colour.

So, what is the answer to make sure your store is lit correctly with LED?
1. Always trial the luminaires you are thinking of using on a small area before committing to the full quantity.
2. Keep a close eye on your supplier service levels during the trial period.
3. During the trial, note the following:
a. What does the trial area look like in comparison to the incumbent luminaires? Is it worse or better? Go with gut feel before getting technical!
b. Look at the light colour. Does the merchandise colouring look better under the LED light than the incumbent lighting? Ask for the R9 value. High R9 value LED luminaires bring out vivid colours, especially red, more.
c. Analyse shadowing. It is important the correct beam angle is used as this can affect the shadowing. In the example given, you will notice less shadows on the floor in front of the floor standing shelves.
4. Ask for a comparative light reading between the old and new. Remember that cooler light can often look brighter even though it is in fact the same or worse than the existing. This has led to a number of under-lit retail stores and showrooms.
5. Lastly, double check the energy saving. After all, you want to save energy and it is all too easy to sacrifice light output or colour to save more energy. However, with metal halide technology already being very efficient, LED won’t give as much improvement as it would over halogen technology for example. As a general rule, 40-50% energy saving is a good achievement for LED over ceramic metal halide.

Recent example of LED replacing Metal Halide successfully
– Points to note are:
o Reduced shadowing
o Better colour on merchandise (note the red due to high R9 value)
o Less glare from the white wall
o Little noticeable difference in light colour or aesthetics
o People in the area where the new LED track lights have been installed.

Image 1 Retail Comparison

Image 4 Retail Comparison

The advantages of your successful replacement
Energy saving is always the immediate benefit of changing to LED instore. However, a successful programme has so many benefits including the below:
– You are caring for the environment and your potential clients will perceive this.
– Lighting and aesthetics are improved increasing footfall.
– Maintenance costs are reduced.
– Heat in store is reduced.
– Energy costs reduced.

Image 3 Retail Comparison

Image 2.1 Retail Comparison

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