Sustainability Stewardship Matters

November 30, 2023

Considerations when restoring rather than replacing your lighting equipment

There are many reasons why considering restoring or upgrading your existing lighting equipment may make sense, especially if it has architectural, cultural, or historical significance. However, consideration should be given for output, aesthetics, glare control, certifications, and team members involved to ensure proper performance and safeguarding of your precious collections.

The simple reason why LED technology has replaced virtually all traditional light sources is because it is much more efficient at converting input energy into light versus heat. In comparison to incandescent technology, where 95% of input energy is converted into heat and the remaining 5% into light, LEDs are much more efficient. With this, LEDs can last considerably longer and significantly reduce wattage consumption, based on similar lumen output, which can translate into significant energy and maintenance savings.

However, these are not the only advantages of LEDs. LED technology allows for much easier integration of personal, daylight-response, and occupancy-based controls, whether wired or wireless. And controlling LED light fixtures can be done much easier whether at a personal/fixture level, group, room, floor, building, or campus level. In addition, LED technology has evolved to offer color changing capabilities to help create mood, atmosphere, or to help signal community or cultural events such as holiday themes. 

With such promise, it might be tempting to want to replace existing lighting equipment when doing any sort of facility upgrade. However, the challenge of replacing those iconic pieces may prove to be daunting and thus, restoring or upgrading those pieces may be the optimal route.

If restoring or upgrading of your lighting equipment is worth pursuing, keep in mind these challenges and know where to turn for outside assistance.

LEDs sources are directional whereas incandescent, fluorescent, and HID sources are omni-directional. How the fixture shields the source, emits the light, and interacts with the source to produce the desired highlight, shadow, and accents of design features may be significantly different with LEDs versus traditional sources.

Is the original UL Certification still valid? If considering a significant refurbishment, the original UL label will need to be removed and a new marking defining the equipment as Refurbished will need to be obtained.


Where to go for assistance: If considering a refurbishment of an iconic lighting piece, consider a restoration architect and lighting project manager. Restoration architects will help define written, general, and performance specifications of your project to ensure safeguarding and deliverable of the desired final output. A lighting project manager, well versed in lighting manufacturing, will help shepherd the project and keep lines of communication open to all participants to ensure the project requirements and timelines are executed as intended.

PU Chapel Yellin Fixture Restoration

Circadia Group

(609) 375-2899

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