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Retrofitting an HPS bulb light with an LED bulb ( Higher than 30W LED) - A potenitally bad solution

By August 19, 2015 135 Views No comments

Many products are available on the market proposing to retrofit your existing HPS bulb light with an equivalent LED bulb light. We are only talking about high power LED bulbs that could be used for street lighting such as replacing a 150W HPS light bulb with a 30W LED bulb.

That solution seems to be very convenient, as you would only have to rent a bucket-lift , and hire an electrician to simply open and replace the light bulb, but this solution raise some serious concerns

  • A regular HPS lamp, is designed very differently from an LED lamp. The HPS technology doesn't require a lot of care toward temperature management, and thus the housing of an HPS lamp is usually very basic, with a simple extruded aluminum shell, with a reflector, a location where to install the ballast, and the porcelain socket to hold the HPS light bulb.
  • An LED fixture has a very different housing design, and the housing is often integrated with the LED panel into one unique block. In fact, the LED's are very sensitive to the ambient temperature and their efficiency greatly decrease when the temperature rise, not only the lumen per watt, but also the rated lifetime of the system is affected in a very dramatic way.
  • Also one thing to consider with the products available on the market, that proposes 30W LED bulb to replace your 150W HPS light bulb. Often a 30W LED bulb will present itself with a quite imposing heat sink made of aluminum , but still a very heavy unit. If you consider replacing your 150W HPS bulb light with a more heavy LED bulb, you have to be very careful that the socket for the light bulb can manage that significant increase of weight. Most of the time, the existing HPS light bulb socket will simply break under the weight of the LED bulb, and you will have to replace the whole fixture.

In conclusion, replacing only the HPS light bulb can be an easy solution for energy-efficient solution, but many factors have to be carefully assessed, and most of the time, the full replacement of the light fixture (housing, light bulb, and ballast) is often a preferable solution than a simple replacement of the light bulb.