Why Redbird Stripit Kit® and Why Now
Economic Viability of T8 LED replacement
LED replacement tubes for T8 fluorescent have become a viable option within the past 3 years. Efficacies are increasing,costs are dropping, and both are getting to the point where the costs of installation can be easily recovered through energy savings within a relatively short time. Adding in the reduction in maintenance costs due to the longer life span of LEDs and switching to LEDs makes good economic sense. It is no surprise that the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of the global illumination market is being driven by the new wave of LED lighting products being offered today.
Fixture or Retrofit
For many commercial and industrial spaces, the choice then becomes fixtures or lamp retrofit. In many cases it is true that fixtures specifically designed around LEDs are usually more efficient than fixtures designed for T8 fluorescent and retrofitted with LEDs. However, the choices of these fixtures available are quite limited. The majority of indoor commercial lighting fixtures claiming to be LED fixtures are actually slightly reworked fluorescent fixtures with LED strips installed in place of the fluorescent lamps. In other words when a new ‘LED’ fixture is purchased, in most cases it is actually a fluorescent fixture with a factory installedLED retrofit, so why pay for the entire fixture?
In addition, there are substantial reasons for not replacing the entire fixture. The labor cost of for removal and the disposal of the discarded fixtures are substantially more than the costs of the removal and disposal of lamps and ballasts alone. And, more importantly, the removal of the fixture housing breaks the ceiling plane and can trigger the need to upgrade the plenum contents to meet all current building codes. Rewiring, the removal of asbestos and other outdated materials are often required. At the very least, accumulated dust and dirt must be removed. This is particularly important in healthcare facilities. Furthermore, discarding a fixture which could have been retrofitted to provide many years more of quality service
What kind of retrofit
Several companies are offering LED retrofit kits. Most of these offerings are unnecessarily complicated and, in many cases, are the equivalents of adding another complete fixture inside the existing housing. These solutions are expensive, difficult to install and add substantial weight to the ceiling. In some cases, this added weight can pose a safety hazard requiring additional support for the ceiling grid.
Tubes or Redbird Stripit Kit®®
A large number of companies are now offering LED T8 replacement tubes. RedBird offers some of the best. However, there are some inherent issues with LED replacement tubes. One of the biggest differences between linear fluorescent lamps and LED tubes stems from the fact that LEDs are directional and fluorescent lamps are not. All the light from an LED chip emanates from the front and none from the back. Light from a fluorescent lamp radiates in all directions. This is seen by some as a problem for LED replacement tubes. Actually, it has always been a problem for fluorescent lamps. In a fluorescent fixture only half the light from the lamps can exit the fixture without being reflected off a surface.
Because reflective surfaces are never perfect, each reflection reduces efficiency. Replacement LED lamps don’t have this problem. Essentially all of the lumens produced by the LED lamp can directly exit the fixture.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that in a retrofit, the LED tubes are being positioned in a location optimized for fluorescent tubes and not for LEDs. The location of the LED replacement tube is controlled by the sockets which were designed for fluorescent lamps. Because there is no light emanating from the back of an LED tube this means that the fixture housing behind the LED tube is dark and there is no fill light to illuminate the housing or to contribute to the distribution of light from the fixture. The problem is that the position of the LED replacement tubes i not optimized. They are in the wrong place.
Redbird Stripit Kit®® overcomes the problems
Because the Stripit Kit® is mounted to the back of the housing and because of the proprietary Stripit Kit® lens, light is distributed evenly throughout the fixture housing. Stripit Kit® takes advantage of the inherent directionality of LEDs while, at the same time, successfully mimicking the light distribution and low brightness of fluorescent lamps.
Redbird Stripit Kit®
Also, because the Stripit Kit® is lighter than the fluorescent light engine it is replacing, there is no weight added to the ceiling. In fact, the finished LED retrofit is lighter than the original fluorescent.
Additionally, because the aluminum extrusion of the Stripit Kit® Kit is installed in direct contact with the fixture housing, the LEDs run cooler that the LEDs in a tube suspended from sockets and surrounded by air, thus increasing efficacy and life.
High efficacy, low brightness, less weight, compelling economics – Redbird Stripit Kit®
And the installation of Stripit Kit® is so easy that an eight year old can do it.