The LED Retrofit Calculator

June 21, 2021

Switching from traditional lightbulbs to LED lightbulbs offers a number of advantages. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the savings you will make over time from having energy-efficient lighting. The LED retrofit calculator helps you visualize the potential cost savings from making the switch.

LED Lighting

Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is one of the rapidly developing lighting technologies. It is the most energy-efficient lighting on the market today. On top of that, LED light bulbs are more durable than traditional lighting and produce, if not better comparable light. LED energy-saving lightbulbs use on average 20 to 25 percent of the energy that a traditional lightbulb does. In addition, they will last between 15 and 25 times longer than traditional lightbulbs.

LED lighting is effective as both interior and exterior lighting. It is also effective as a small lighting source in mechanical applications. The versatility of LED lighting is considered a major advantage. 

No Heat

LED lights are tiny, about the size of a grain of salt. Usually, they mix red, green, and blue light to produce white light. Part of the reason for LED’s energy efficiency is that they produce very little heat, so their energy goes to creating light and is not lost as heat. Traditional lighting loses between 80 and 90 percent of the energy it uses through heat. This is effectively wasted energy and, by default, wasted money.


Most light bulbs require reflectors and diffusers that can trap light, making the bulb less efficient to direct the light in the direction required. On the other hand, LED lighting emits light in a specific direction, negating the need for all the extras. It also makes LED lighting ideal in several instances, such as task lighting or recessed downlights.

LED Retrofit

A retrofit involves adding something to a building or house that was not part of the original plan. In the case of a LED retrofit, it effectively replaces the traditional lighting with LED lighting. Almost all of the lighting retrofits today are LED retrofits. 

Is it Worth the Effort and Cost?

Changing all the lighting in your home or business from traditional lighting is not cheap; however, the savings made by making the switch will pay for themselves in very little time. This is something you’ve no doubt heard before, accompanied by a table comparing traditional and LED lighting. As useful as this information is, it doesn’t give you a number that you can weigh up against the cost of the retrofit to determine the cost-effectiveness of completing the retrofit.

With that in mind, we have created the LED retrofit calculator, which gives you the chance to enter information specific to your retrofit and get a precise projection on the savings you will make from taking the leap.

LED Retrofit Calculator

LED retrofit calculator assumes equivalent light levels.

Required Information

To use the LED retrofit calculator, you will need the following information:

  • The wattage of the traditional lighting fitting
  • Billing rate per kilowatt hour
  • Hours per day the lights are on

Once you have gathered all of the information, it is just a case of entering it into the calculator and letting it do the hard work for you.


$ kwh

All the inputs are required.

Current Montly Energy Cost

LED Retrofit Montly Cost

Montly Savings!

Other Benefits

The cost savings are only one of the benefits associated with an LED retrofit.

Improved Light Quality

LED lighting will typically offer better light quality than traditional lighting. The lighting is a cooler tone that shows the natural color of the item being illuminated more effectively. LED lighting also has a better illumination footprint, meaning shadows are less of a factor.

LED Retrofit Rebates

Completing an LED retrofit is seen as being beneficial to the wider community. As such, there are a number of state and federal rebates that your business may be eligible for when you make the switch to LED lighting. There are different requirements for the different rebate schemes, so if you are planning to apply for a specific rebate, it is essential that you understand the eligibility requirements before applying. The requirements might include certain wattage, shape, warranty, or listing.

To qualify for the rebates, you may be required to obtain pre-approval prior to commencing the project, which in North America takes on average around a month. Therefore, it is worth completing the pre-approval process when you are planning your retrofit as that way; you can ensure the LEDs you are planning on using do, in fact, qualify for the rebate. 

A database of the available state and federal incentives for renewables has been compiled by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.

Key Considerations of Retrofit

Two key considerations that need to be factored into the retrofit costs are:

  • If you rely on dimmers, these will need to be replaced by LED lighting-specific dimmers.
  • New LED lighting may not be compatible with your current fittings. If you want to keep the fittings, this may impact the type of LED bulbs you have available to choose from.

The LED Retrofit calculator gives you the opportunity to enter the details of a range of different products and options and work out the savings for each. This allows you to perform a cost-benefit analysis for each option and ensures that the choices you make are right for your individual business or home need.

The LED Retrofit Calculator is available on our website. If you have any other questions about LED lighting and its potential benefits, contact us directly or check our education center.