LED Lighting

Why Consider LEDs

LED lighting is a rapidly evolving technology that uses semiconductors to convert electricity into visible light, which offers so many advantages over traditional light sources. LEDs also differ from other light sources in that they emit light in a specific direction, instead of in all directions, making them not only efficient, but also well suited for downlighting applications.



LEDs use significantly less energy, last longer, turn on and off instantly and can be equipped with dimmers and motion controls for more energy savings.

As solid-state light sources, LEDs have very long lifetimes and are generally very robust. Quality LED products have the potential to last two to three times longer than conventional traditional lamps. Look for products that have been qualified by ENERGY STAR® or Design Lights Consortium (DLC).

When properly matched to their application, quality LEDs can last longer. The long lifetime of LEDs reduces the need to replace failed lamps, and this can lead to significant savings in lamp replacement labor.

LEDs are high-efficiency light sources. The directional nature of light produced by LEDs allows the design of luminaires with higher overall efficiency that use less energy.

LEDs are ideal for use in applications that are subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that burn out more quickly when cycled frequently, or HID lamps that require a long time before restarting.

LED's "like" low temperatures and will startup even in subzero conditions making them a particular advantage for certain applications such as Cold Storage.

A bulb's capacity for producing correct-looking colors is measured by its score on the Color Rendering Index (CRI). While most LEDs score in the 80's, many LEDs score in the 90's. In addition to CRI many products now publish their R9 value, which refers to how an LED renders a saturated Red color sample. For best color look for products with a high CRI and an R9 value >0.

LEDs do not contain mercury and in many cases steps are being taken to replace lead-containing solders (used mainly to fix LEDs to circuit boards) with lead-free material, in line with European directives. The energy-efficient nature of LEDs also makes them environmentally friendly.

LEDs can very easily be dimmed. Use of LED sources with controls that eliminate over-lighting can help you cut back your energy usage and greatly enhance savings.

LED Rebates

LED technology is beginning to surpass the quality and efficiency of existing lighting technologies—but not all LED lighting is created equal. That is why PG&E and other California utility companies are working to create programs that offer rebates for pre-qualified LED lamps and fixtures that meet stringent performance specifications such as those validated by third-party ENERGY STAR® and Design Lights Consortium testing.

Fluorescent lamps currently dominate the commercial sector, where they account for 80 percent of installed lamps.* However, Linear LED lighting technology — like LED technology in general — is receiving a lot of attention now because it has the potential to offer even greater energy efficiency and improved light quality with longer lifespans and better control. Modern LED lighting solutions are available for places where fluorescent lights now predominate, including office spaces, classrooms, healthcare facilities, retail space and more.

Three main categories of LED products are currently available for retrofitting existing fluorescent lighting systems. Selecting the best option will depend on a number of factors, including the condition of your current system; your desired light level, ceiling accessibility and your initial and on-going economic goals for the upgrade. Your PG&E lighting expert can help you assess your situation and choose the best LED solution.

Linear LED Replacement Lamps
Today's quality Linear LED replacement lamps are easy to install and fit most existing fluorescent lamp sockets/fixtures right out of the box, making them the ideal upgrade solution where energy savings and easy installation are key considerations. These products work on the existing T8 electronic ballast, therefore the life of an LED Replacement Lamp is directly related to remaining life of your existing ballast. While there are lamps that will operate on T12 systems, PG&E recommends upgrading the T12 ballast to an T8 elctronic ballast or Linear LED Retrofit kit LED.
Learn More About Direct Install Incentives (PDF, 740 KB)

Retrofit Kits
Linear LED kits are designed to replace existing fluorescent lamps and require some form of rewiring (such as replacing the ballasts). Each kit typically comes pre-packaged with all the required components to complete the retrofit, making installation easier. Kits are available as light-bar and lamp-style fluorescent lamps for Strips, Industrial style and surface mount lensed fixtures as well as Troffer kits with new door frames and lens.

Dedicated LED Luminaries
Dedicated LED luminaires can often easily replace existing linear fluorescent luminaires. While typically higher in cost (because it is a complete light fixture), this option often provides the all the benefits of LED technology in a well-designed package that often allows for simple redesign or reduction in the fixture layout.

*Department of Energy, 2010 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization. Prepared by Navigant Consulting for DOE Solid-State Lighting Program, 2012, p. 44.

Learn More About Linear LED Rebates »

Earn instant rebates from participating distributors when you purchase and install ENERGY STAR listed LED directional (PAR and MR) replacement lamps.

Additonal LED ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lighting:
  • Uses at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting.
  • Lasts 20 times longer than incandescent lighting and about two to five times longer than fluorescent lighting, reducing maintenance costs.
  • Produces very little heat, reducing cooling costs.
  • Does not flicker when dimmed or draw power while turned off.
  • Offers brightness equal to or greater than existing lighting technologies, with consistent light output and color quality.
  • Comes in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes to fit any décor and task.
  • Brings lighting systems up to date to meet new state and federal energy reduction requirements.

Earn incentives for replacing high-intensity discharge (HID), low-pressure sodium or incandescent outdoor fixtures typically used in parking lots, gas stations and outdoor parking structures with qualified LED fixtures.

Learn more by downloading the Lighting Rebate Catalog.

Earn incentives for replacing interior high-intensity discharge (HID) or fluorescent high bay fixtures typically used in gyms and warehouse and assembly facilities with qualified LED fixtures.

Learn more by downloading the Lighting Rebate Catalog.

Earn incentives for replacing fluorescent refrigerated and frozen food case lighting systems with qualified LED fixtures.

Frozen food and refrigerated display cases in supermarkets are typically illuminated by fluorescent sources. Although they are reasonably efficient and reliable, fluorescent sources operate best at indoor temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Light output for fluorescent lamps can drop by as much as 60 percent in cold temperatures. LED lighting, on the other hand, performs better as the temperature drops.

Learn about how PG&E can help you save more with rebates.

View participating distributors in the Efficient Refrigerated Case Options (ERCO) program.

Find incentives for municipal customers interested in retrofitting their street lights with LED fixtures. Learn more about this program.

This service is your complete one-stop solution if you are looking to upgrade your existing street lights to LED fixtures. Learn more about this service.

Watch this video to see our Lux Lighting Showcase in action and find out how you can visit.

For all other inquiries, contact your local PG&E Account Representative or call our Business Customer Service Center at 1-800-468-4743 anytime you have a question about lighting or a lighting rebate.

Calculated Incentives 

Continuing technology improvements to LEDs have helped make some lighting applications far more cost effective and energy efficient.
  • Customized Retrofit Incentives: PG&E offers technical assistance and calculated incentives for replacing equipment to achieve energy efficiency, which can benefit your business by reducing energy costs and improving operations.
  • Linear LED Replacement Lamps, Troffers Retrofit Kits, and New Fixtures (PDF, 740 KB): As of January 1, 2015, PG&E has added incentives for all Linear LED solutions, including plug-n-play LED T8 Replacement Lamps, through all Energy Watch Direct Install programs. Small and medium businesses can take advantage of this promising lower-cost technology by contacting their local Energy Watch program for a no-cost audit and technical assistance.
  • Other eligible LED retrofit kit solutions for linear fixtures can go through both Custom Retrofit and local Energy Watch programs.

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    Contact your local PG&E Account Representative or call our Business Customer Service Center at 1-800-468-4743 anytime you have a question about lighting or a lighting rebate.

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