Replacing First-Generation LEDs With New LEDs

3 min read - Lighting Trends

Once you’ve installed LED light fixtures, that’s it, right? You’re all set for as long as you’re in business?

For a while, yes, since LEDs in general have a longer lifespan compared to old technology. But by not upgrading your first LED installation from years ago, you could be missing out on cost savings you didn’t even know were possible. 

Technology advancements have resulted in LEDs reaching optimal functionality: vibrant lighting for any setting with high energy efficiency and low heat to extend the life of core components. If you’re still counting on older LEDs and an outdated setup, your facility may not be living up to its full potential.

An upgrade to current LED technology can help you achieve increased energy savings.

Are All LED Lights Energy-Efficient?

LED lights, by their very nature, are more efficient than incandescent, halogen, metal halide, HPS, and fluorescent lights. But first-generation LEDs weren’t always designed to be future-proof, and manufacturers continue to revolutionize chip technology, LED drivers, and the fixture design itself to take them to new levels.

When factoring energy savings, it isn’t just the LED light itself that matters — it’s the entire fixture and the system as a whole, which includes controls and sensors

LEDs and controls have come a long way over the past decade, so don’t sell your organization short by never trading up.

When To Upgrade To New LED Fixtures

By now, first-generation LEDs are getting worn out, dimmer, and may have sustained damage. They’re almost certainly out of warranty, so any complications you have with them could cost you. On top of that, the engineering wasn’t as sophisticated as it is now, so they’re utilizing a lot more energy than is necessary.

Has it been about five to 10 years since your last LED installation? Then there’s no better time than now to think about retrofitting your facility.

How can you be even more certain? Aside from energy consumption readings, you can purchase a light reader (found in retail stores) to measure light levels and see if they’re where they need to be for your facility. Better yet, you’re welcome to reach out to Orion to audit your light levels for you.

Why New-Tech LEDs Are The Right Option


New-tech LED fixtures are far more efficient than LED fixtures from just five years ago. Imagine your facility with superior lighting that enhances productivity and safety at an even lower energy expense.

The technology has come so far that organizations such as the DLC (DesignLights Consortium) have been established to drive improvements in the energy efficiency and quality of modern lights. They list approved products that meet or exceed strict requirements based on lighting quality and environmental effects, and chances are first-generation LEDs won’t reach those standards.

Many of Orion’s LED products are DLC® listed

Additionally, far more options are available for color temperatures, optics, accessories, and more with current LEDs, which makes for better customization. And today, products can even have certain adjustments done in the field. 

Providing the right lighting for a comfortable and safe atmosphere goes a long way in protecting workers and keeping morale high.


Controls and sensors are where you can really maximize efficiency and energy savings. Such energy savings can be achieved by using motion sensors to make sure the lights aren’t wasted on empty spaces or unnecessarily kept on overnight. More controls can also be implemented to set the light at appropriate levels.

This is once again an example of technology taking quantum leaps over the past decade, allowing for programmable light levels, remote access, customizable timers, and more.

You can program your lighting systems to much more minute details than in the past, and with better convenience as wireless technology has advanced.

You could see 20% to 30% better energy efficiency in new LED fixtures compared to earlier LED products.

Making The Upgrade To Modern LED Lights

While it’s an investment to make an upgrade from first-generation LEDs to new fixtures, it’s a lower cost than upgrading from fluorescent to LED. Plus, hanging or mounting apparatuses can be reused if they’re in good shape and compatible in order to save money.

With a more efficient setup, you’ll see a bigger ROI, and the upgrade will pay for itself in just a few years. In addition, some rebates may be available even for upgrading from older LEDs to newer LED fixtures, and many of them incentivize better energy efficiency. Take a look at our rebate finder to see what’s available.

Are you interested? We’d love to discuss all the benefits of boosting your efficiency and light quality with new-tech LED fixtures. Please contact us and let’s get started.

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