Updated: Oct 26, 2020
Selecting the right solution for your retrofit project is the third most challenge aspect of selling a successful lighting project, right behind getting the first meeting and closing the deal. It’s also the step that arguably gets the most attention with countless classes, webinars, blog posts, industry support, and specialists available to provide support. I’m going to share the top level concepts to consider while selecting solutions and will list a few resources that may be helpful as you continue your training. Finally, I’ll be revisiting this topic with its own Top 10 blog series.
First off, there is no perfect solution to your problem, only the “right” solution for your customer and his site. We train our folks to always lead with their ‘recommended’ solution and sell on value, not price. Remember, your client is relying on you to be the expert and provide recommendations, so show your talent and believe you have suggested the right solution.
Now that you’re in the right frame of mind, the top concepts to consider when determining what solution to recommend are: Form Factor, Effective Light Output, Color Temperature, Controllability, Efficacy, Utility Rebates, Architectural Requirements, and Compliance.
You have to get form factor right before moving on to anything else. Form factor means you’re replacing a troffer with a troffer, a downlight with a downlight, and so on. Sometimes the initial design was poor and the right solution is a different form factor as well. This is straight forward for about 90% of solutions, but the other 10% are very tricky.
Effective Light Output, Color Temperature, and Efficacy are all related and are specific to the light application and quality of fixture you are selecting.
Controllability refers to the ability to control the lamp or luminaire, and includes dimming, emergency backup, 0-10v or wifi or ethernet, power consumption, and others. This is very site specific and also requires questioning your client to understand their goals.
Utility Rebates should also be considered since one solution may cost a bit more but have a much better utility rebate. A good example is the wide range of rebates for tubes, troffer retrofit kits, and troffer luminaries.
Architectural Requirements are important when you’re in certain building types like retail, museums, high end offices, and others. Definitely requires understanding your clients goals as well.
Finally, it is your responsibility to ensure your solution meets all relevant standards, including UL, DLC, Energy Star, Title 24, ASHARE 90.1, and others.
Super easy! Just kidding, this is tough stuff and something that takes experience and training to get right. I can’t help with the experience, but here’s some resources for training:
Send me your favorite training ideas and I’ll keep updating the list!
Leif Elgethun, CEO, Retrolux