When Should You Get Permits for Your LED Retrofit Lighting?

LED retrofit lighting can save you significant money over the long term with long life and low power usage. To be able to realize those results, you should know when a permit is or is not required to retrofit existing lights to LED lighting and how to get the most back from your investment.

1. Personal Property LED Light Replacement

In general, there is no permit required when you are replacing your home lights with LED lights. Home lighting systems have a low impact on the electricity grid and don't require advance planning. In many cases, homeowners are encouraged to replace older lighting systems with new, more efficient LED lights to reduce electricity consumption. There are even state and local rebate programs that can provide monetary incentives for making these changes.

In some cases, the LED lighting won't qualify for a rebate, but installing a smart home hub to control thermostats, lighting, appliances, and other electronics will qualify. Since LED lighting can also be smart lighting, it is worth looking into that extra control upgrade to see if it is financially beneficial.

2. Commercial Property LED Light Replacement

Commercial properties are a bit different, and the laws can vary from state to state. There are several states, such as Colorado and California, where there are specific wattage or lights per square foot requirements that must be met. But it is not always a cut-and-dry requirement. In Colorado, for example, no permit is required if an employee does the light replacement. But, if someone is hired by the commercial building owner to do the LED lighting replacement, then a permit must be filed.

Remember those rebates that personal property owners can get? Those exist for commercial property, too. The requirements are often a bit more stringent and are related to the permits that are required for doing the retrofit. For example, if any lighting efficiencies are required by building code, those lighting costs are usually not eligible for a rebate. For those that are eligible for a rebate, the lighting installations must follow the building codes for retrofit or new construction, unless exempt. This means that to get the rebates, you must file for the permits and have the retrofits inspected to make sure they comply and can then be claimed for the rebate. 

An LED retrofit can provide significant benefits over the long-term, both for personal and commercial property owners. Make sure to understand permit requirements before embarking upon a retrofit project to make sure you comply with codes and can get the maximum benefit from any local rebates or incentives.