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Helecta in the ZfK Newsletter

LED retrofitting: retrofit instead of complete reconstruction

Initial investments for street lights with light-emitting diodes (LED) need not be high, reports Fabio Tinagli, Managing Director of Helecta GmbH. His company specialises in advice, development and manufacture of innovative and sustainable LED products, especially for public street lighting. "We can recommend a so-called retrofit solution instead of completely new LED luminaires for many customers", says the Managing Director. "The retrofit approach means that the existing lamps need not be reconstructed, and compared to a cheap Chinese LED luminaire the procurements costs are also only around 25%, reports the LED practitioner.

The Hohen Neuendorf municipality north of Berlin has been retrofitting around 3500 street lights with mercury or sodium lamps to LED technology, since November 2012. Experience gained in comprehensive pre-testing: Depending on the luminaire type, savings of between 64 and 86% compared to previous consumption values are achieved. "At the current price of electricity that means a saving of approximately 240,000 € per year", according to a press release by the municipality. Based on a rough calculation, the investment will have been paid for in less than two years, plus which the service life of the lamps is significantly higher.

"Quality varies a lot" | Master electrician Helmut Wollschläger prepared a long-term field experiment for the municipality, during which he also provided support: "The design and quality of the LED luminaires varies greatly. The Chinese manufacturers involved were not acceptable in terms of quality because of a high early failure rate despite the high price of the luminaires. Other offers were shown to be too expensive and not suitable for street lighting from a design point of view. The retrofit approach from Helecta, on the other hand, was completely convincing." He confirms how simple the replacement with the new LED lamps was. "Even after two years we have not had any defective luminaires. The light is noticeably brighter and much more pleasant than with the previous lamps. There is hardly any heat development and contamination due to insects", says the master electrician.

Advice and simulation | "Every lighting situation requires a slightly different solution. If our customers so require, we advise them on what would work best, create light simulations for the illuminance that can be expected on the ground, show optimisation options through different mast distances for example, create comparisons on the illuminance of LEDs and conventional luminaires, calculate the energy savings that can be achieved and realistic amortisation periods", elaborates Helecta boss Tinagli on the services provided by his company. He also places great value on the repair capability of his products: "Where a luminaire base has been broken out by vandalism, we can replace it. Replacement of the power supply or any other module enables us to extend the already long service life of the LED lamps even further. As far as we know, nobody else offers this", adds Tinagli.

Martin Ortgies
Source: ZfK (www.zfk.de) Edition 7/2013

About Helecta

Helecta GmbH specialises in development, production, consultation and distribution of innovative and sustainable LED products of the latest generation for public street lighting, industrial lighting and office and business illumination.