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Emergency Solutions for LED Retrofit

Maintaining emergency egress lighting with new LED technology for fluorescent fixtures.


The modern lighting world is rapidly adopting LED technology, and businesses are looking to capitalize on the energy savings and style that LED designs have to offer.

LED retrofit technology is a popular way to bring the benefits of LED energy savings to your existing fluorescent fixtures. When converting your lighting space to LED, however, you’ll still need to comply with local and federal emergency egress lighting requirements. IOTA offers several emergency lighting solutions that can be employed for each retrofit application and that will enable you to make a seamless transition to modern LED lighting while maintaining your code-required emergency egress requirements.

There are three common types of LED retrofit options: LED Tube Lamps, LED Tube Lamps with Internal Drivers, and LED Retrofit Kits

Part 1- Solutions for LED Tube Lamps (T-LEDs)

The first retrofit option, LED Tube Lamps, uses linear, compact or U-bent LED tubes, also known as TLEDs, which directly replace the fluorescent tubes in your fixture. These TLED lamps are designed to convert the A.C. voltage coming from your fluorescent ballast to D.C. current. This allows you simply replace your existing fluorescent lamps with new LED tube lamps and achieve the greater efficiency and energy savings of LED without having to replace the entire fixture.

This T-LED technology limits the use of existing fluorescent emergency ballasts due to the fact that the older emergency ballasts provided D.C. current to the lamp load. Therefore, it is important that your Emergency Battery Pack is capable of providing true A.C. output to your TLEDs. If it isn’t, then your lights won’t be powered in an emergency situation.

IOTA Engineering offers six different Emergency Ballasts that are capable of providing true AC output. All of these Emergency Ballasts have been tested and UL Listed to work with select TLEDs from major LED tube manufacturers, and will allow your retrofit fixtures to maintain their emergency capability with these LED lamps. For more information on which IOTA Emergency Ballast would work with your retrofit fixture, you can visit our “Retrofit Lamp to Ballast” Selector on our website at iotaengineering.com/ledretrofit.htm.

Part 2 - Solutions for LED Tube Lamps with Internal Drivers

The second LED Retrofit situation you may consider involves using LED retrofit lamps that feature internal drivers. These lamp types may be downlight retrofit kits or linear LED lamps. Like the first option, this allows you to convert your fluorescent fixtures into energy saving LED fixtures with minimal fixture re-design. The key here, however, is that the driver is built into the LED lamp and is not accessible. Using these lamps, the existing fluorescent ballast is removed entirely, and your LED tubes are wired directly to the line voltage.

Since your LED lights are wired directly into the line voltage, and an emergency battery pack cannot be introduced between the driver and lamp, the emergency lighting solution for this situation requires delivering line voltage to the LED tubes from an auxiliary supply. This can be done with either a generator set, or an inverter.

IOTA Engineering offers several different inverter options to deliver emergency line voltage to your LED retrofit fixtures. The benefits of an IOTA inverter over a generator are lower cost and the ability to maintain the use of switch technology, and in some cases dimming technology, on your lighting circuit. Additionally, an IOTA Emergency Inverter will bring excellent zone coverage, simplified testing, and the benefit of full lumen output during emergencies to your LED retrofit fixture.

Some LED tube lamps with internal drivers are able to be wired directly into the line voltage or used in conjunction with a fluorescent ballast. Because these lamps can be powered by line voltage or a fluorescent ballast, your emergency solution can be either an IOTA inverter or one of the AC output emergency ballasts mentioned previously, depending on your desired retrofit design. Please contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-866-4682 for more information, or wiring diagrams, that pertain to these LED tube lamp designs.

Part 3 - Solutions for LED Retrofit Kits

The third LED retrofit fixture design that you may employ involves using “LED Retrofit Kits” that include LED tubes or arrays paired to an LED Driver. The LED lamps and driver replace your fluorescent lights and your dedicated fluorescent driver to retrofit your existing fluorescent fixture for LED.

Since we are completely replacing the fluorescent technology with LED technology in these retrofit fixtures, the Emergency Lighting solution of choice is an Emergency LED Driver suitable for field installation. The Emergency LED Driver wires between the Driver included in your retrofit kit, and your LED tubes, and powers your LED lamps during an emergency situation.

Most LED Emergency Drivers on the market today, are U.L. Recognized Components for factory installation only and are not readily available for retrofit installation. If an LED emergency driver was not included in the kit, then you will need to use an LED Emergency Driver certified for field installation. IOTA ILB-CP LED Emergency Drivers are U.L. Classified for field installation and offer a full line of wattage and mounting styles. Select an Emergency LED Driver based on the specifications of your fixture or your power requirements. Visit iotaengineering.com/cptools for more information on IOTA’s ILB-CP series Emergency LED Drivers and find out which LED Emergency Driver would be right for your LED retrofit fixture.

Part 4 - Recap

These three LED retrofit fixture designs are all excellent ways of converting your fluorescent fixtures into LED fixtures, but all require different solutions to providing their required emergency lighting. Regardless of your LED retrofit approach, IOTA Engineering has an Emergency Lighting solution to bring code required emergency illumination to your fixtures. This allows you to have a less costly and more efficient transition to LED lighting, while still achieving your emergency lighting requirements.

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IOTA LED Retrofit Guide

Read the print companion to the IOTA LED Retrofit Video and learn detailed information about IOTA Emergency Solutions for LED Retrofit.

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