LED Lighting Retrofits

Long lasting, highly efficient lighting upgrades that enhance building performance and occupant well-being.

Tech Overview

Applicable Buildings Types all buildings
When to Implement anytime

*Be sure to consult a qualified service provider to determine the right measures for your building.

What is LED Lighting?

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are a long lasting and compact type of light source that uses efficient lighting technology to emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers while generating very little heat (waste). LED lighting upgrades are a low-cost, high impact opportunity to improve the performance of a building’s lighting system, reduce energy use, enhance occupant comfort, and save money.

Fig 1. Upgrading to more efficient fixtures and installing advanced controls can reduce lighting electricity use by as much as 75%. The diagram below shows a general breakdown of savings, however specific project savings will vary depending on the scope of work and baseline conditions. (Source: BE-Ex analysis, 2017.)

How to Implement

Lighting upgrades can vary considerably in complexity and cost. Understanding the process, players, and goals at the beginning of a retrofit can make the project easier and more successful. Download the full tech primer to learn more about each of the following steps:
A. Upgrade Lamps and Fixtures to incorporate higher efficiency LED alternatives in existing spaces for significant savings
B. Install Advanced Controls and Sensors to ensures functionality and integration of the retrofit through options including real-time scheduling, occupancy and daylight response, task-tuning and color-tuning
C. Incorporate Daylighting control systems to save energy by reducing the level of electric lighting in response to available daylight
D. Incorporate Interior Design by planning smart interior layouts with low cost, passive design solutions can improve energy savings and enhance occupant comfort

Cost and Benefits

Cost and benefits of a LED lighting retrofit will vary depending on your building’s baseline systems and conditions. Typically, buildings can expect to see the following results:
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Savings
An LED lighting retrofit can greatly reduce lighting related GHG emissions
Tenant Experience Improvement
LED lighting has excellent lighting characteristics, offering a broad range of colors and color rendering capability that can positively influence occupant comfort and satisfaction.
Utility Savings
LED lighting uses significantly less energy than incandescent or florescent bulbs, resulting in dramatic utility savings.
Capital Cost
LED lighting retrofits requires a relatively low capital investment, although costs can vary greatly depending on
project scope, degree of disruption, and market forces.
Maintenance Requirement
LED lights require a low level of maintenance, have a long lifespan, and are easy to dispose of because they do not
contain any of the hazardous heavy metals found in fluorescent lamps.

Take Action

This information is part of more than a dozen High Performance Technology Primers prepared by the Building Energy Exchange and the Retrofit Accelerator to introduce decision-makers to solutions that can help them save energy and improve comfort in their buildings. Curious about other retrofitting possibilities? Explore our complete library of Tech Primers here.
The NYC Retrofit Accelerator’s team of Efficiency Advisors offers free, personalized advisory services to help streamline the process of making energy efficient improvements to your buildings.
Get in touch with the NYC Retrofit Accelerator today!
Call (212) 656-9202
Visit nyc.gov/RetrofitAccelerator
Email info @nycretrofit.org






Available For You


  • Deep Retrofits
  • New Construction
  • Retrofit
  • System Upgrade
  • Commercial
  • Institutional
  • Residential
  • Multi-Family
  • Passive House

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