Editors’ Choice Money-Saver: Lighting Retrofit Kit

April 8, 2019

Kenall Lighting’s Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology is targeted toward any lighting products you already use that have florescent fixtures. Those fixtures will then be replaced with LED luminaires. The goal is to reduce facilities mangers’ energy costs, as well as their maintenance costs. Find out why this was chosen as an Editors’ Choice winner.

The Money-Saving Products award program focuses on manufacturers and companies with products that support commercial buildings and create cost savings to facilities managers and building owners.

The Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology product from Kenall Lighting was chosen due to its versatility in both types of buildings and what it can do. It not only uses energy efficient LEDs and has a simple installation process using existing light fixtures, but it actually disinfects surfaces and kills harmful bacteria in a unique way.

The LED retrofit kit utilizes a new, state-of-the-art technology to kill bacteria including Staph, such as MRSA, in critical environments, including patient rooms, dayrooms, locker rooms, waiting rooms, schools, physical therapy spaces and more, by combining white LED light with 405nm Indigo light, providing on-demand environmental disinfection.

Find out below why BUILDINGS’ editors chose this product.

(Photo: The Retrofit Kit is ideal for fitness centers and gymnasiums, where there is potential for harmful bacteria, including staph. Credit: Kenall Lighting)

Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology from Kenall Lighting

Categories: Life Safety, Lighting, Energy Management

Kenall Lighting’s Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology is targeted toward any lighting products you already use that have florescent fixtures. Those fixtures will then be replaced with LED luminaires. The goal is to reduce facilities mangers’ energy costs, as well as their maintenance costs.

The LEDs have disinfecting Indigo-Clean Technology, which means the light fights against harmful bacteria, including staph, in critical environments. The Retrofit Kit is ideal for such spaces as health care facilities, locker rooms and other fitness facilities. Unlike UV devices, 405nm light is safe for room occupants.


Lighting Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology

Kenall Lighting’s Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology is targeted toward any lighting products you already use that have florescent fixtures. The goal is to reduce facilities mangers’ energy costs, as well as their maintenance costs. 

Frank Gonzalez from Kenall Lighting talks to Sarah Kloepple about this winning product. Listen here >>

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[Start transcript]

Sarah: Hello, everyone. I’m Sarah Kloepple, staff writer for BUILDINGS Media, and I’m here with Frank Gonzalez. He’s director of product management with Kenall Lighting. Kenall Lighting was recently honored as an Editors’ Choice winner for BUILDINGS’ annual Money-Saving Products awards for its Retrofit Kit using Indigo-Clean Technology.

Congratulations on being named an Editors’ Choice winner, and welcome, Frank.

Building Type Versatility

Frank: Thank you, Sarah. And, of course, we’d like to thank BUILDINGS magazine for recognizing the Retrofit Kit using Indigo-Clean technology and our contribution from a lighting perspective into many different types of buildings.

A little bit about Kenall. We are a manufacturer of lighting products located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. And we focus on five different types of markets. And we do more institutional types of products. I put our products into two categories: either our products are physically abused or environmentally abused. And our vertical markets are transportation.

We get into high abuse, which are going to be for university work, park and rec, so when we get universities and schools, like dormitories and locker rooms, our fixtures are going to be abused. We’re the leading manufacturer when it comes to security detention lighting, so prison and federal prison work we do.

Markets for Indigo-Clean Technology Lighting

  • Schools and higher education (dorms, locker rooms, wrestling rooms, etc.)

  • Parks and Recreation

  • Transportation

  • Security Detention (prison/federal prision, etc.)

  • Health care (waiting rooms, surgical rooms, pharmacuetical, biosafety labs, etc.)

One of our biggest segments in the health care market, as well as what we call “clean room environments,” so that would be any pharmaceutical type of production, semi-conductor production to biosafety labs, like the CDC, some of their labs, where our fixtures are going to be in pressurized environments, could be encountering caustic types of cleaning agents to the luminaires that we do have.

So, it keeps us busy here. The Retrofit Kit with Indigo-Clean Technology, from an energy standpoint, is one that really helps the building owner reduce some of their operating costs and, with that, also the maintenance costs.

This is really targeted to any products that have fluorescent tubes in it. I know we say light bulbs, we say luminaires with lighting, with a light bulb per se inside the fixture. And the configuration here, it’ll go in a 2x2 configuration or a 2x4 fixture. So, for like the 2x2 configuration, we have a four-lamp system that they basically pull out the old fluorescent tubes, disconnect the ballast that’s in there, install a new driver to operate the new LED tubes that would get put inside of the fixture.

[Related: 11 Life Safety & Security Money-Saving Products for 2019]

And then on the 2x4 configuration, it’s actually a two-lamp system that we utilize. So, with both cases, we’re taking that and converting from fluorescent products to an LED technology. The end-user doesn’t have to go and buy new fixtures. They’re basically just gutting out their old fixture and putting in our technology into it.

How Indigo-Clean Technology Works

Sarah: Yeah. That’s awesome. So, what I think is really impressive about this Retrofit Kit is that it has this disinfection capability. Can you talk more about how that Indigo Technology works?

Frank: Yes, I can. I think that’s the benefit of this product, and the way we designed it was to be two-fold. One, is to give you the ability to upgrade your lighting systems to an LED type of technology. And then we integrated it in what we have, our patented Indigo-Clean Technology. And with LED technology, you have the ability to actually fine-tune the specific wavelength that’s being generated by the diode, or the LED chip. And when you look at white light, it’s a full spectrum.

In this case here, with our Indigo-Clean Technology, it’s a 405-nanometer wavelength. So, it’s a very specific wavelength. And that wavelength has been proven both in laboratory testing and clinical testing to actually have that ability to kill bacteria into the space.

“So, when you look at bleach and any of these disinfecting wipes and such, they’re attacking that molecule, the bacteria from the outside. We’re actually attacking it from the inside.” - Frank Gonzalez

So, one, you’re improving your operating costs and you’re upgrading to an LED system, but at the same time, having that ability to really reduce any bacteria that might be in certain areas where you’re trying to keep that space clean, and if you think about it from a locker room type of perspective, staph and MRSA can be rampant in high school wrestling training areas to the locker room. And we utilize a lot of this technology in our health care products.

So, specifically what that 405-nanometer wavelength does, it actually penetrates the bacteria cell, and it attacks the porphyrins molecule. And what it does, it creates a chemical reaction. And it’s almost the same chemical reaction when bleach is applied to bacteria.

(Photo: In this behavioral health dayroom, Kenall’s Retrofit Kit using Indigo-Clean Technology helps support cleaner healthier living conditions for behavioral health patients, and are ideal for use in patient rooms, dayrooms, infirmaries/treatment areas, and exercise/recreational areas. Credit: Kenall Lighting)

So, when you look at bleach and any of these disinfecting wipes and such, they’re attacking that molecule, the bacteria from the outside. We’re actually attacking it from the inside. And what it does then is it creates what’s called a “Reactive Oxygen Species” that basically kills that bacteria.

So, we’re doing that with visible light. And that’s the benefit here, is in the retrofit using Indigo-Clean Technology, we’re blending both white light in this 405-nanometer wavelength inside of the LED tubes. So, you’re getting the benefit of white light, but it also gives you the ability to have disinfecting properties with that light source.

Here are the other two Editors’ Choice winning products:

Another Advantage: Disposal

Sarah: Yeah. That’s amazing. It’s so impressive what lighting can do these days. Great. What else is unique or interesting about this product? Or any other details you can say about how it can save facilities managers money?

Frank: Well, I think when you look at any type of fluorescent type of system, and I think it’s very prevalent throughout all of our lighting industry in the conversion, the quick adoption to LED technology from what we call “Legacy Sources,” being a high intensity discharge, which were your old street lamps, roadway lighting, and I’m sure you’re driving through your city, in your communities, you’re seeing a conversion to LED in roadway type of lighting.

And that’s even also being done when you look at it from a commercial buildings standpoint. And getting away from that fluorescent source.

[On topic: Fluorescent Lamp Disposal: Box and Store vs. Bulb Crushing]

If I look at like a four-lamp 2x4 fluorescent type of product, with the lamps and the ballasts that operate the lamps inside of that type of fixture, you’re probably looking at a package maybe about utilizing about 130 watts consumed in that 2x4 fixture.

With the technology that we have with this Retrofit Kit, with that blended white light with the Indigo-Clean Technology, we’re operating at only 60 input watts. So, we’re cutting your energy usage down about a half in that case, or a little bit more than a half. And I think you’d realize that across any other type of legacy type of light sources, and that’s the benefit you’re gonna get.

The other thing is, there’s no mercury, so disposal, trying to get rid of your fluorescent tubes, you need care to do that because that can’t just go into a landfill. It’s got mercury content to it, so technically it should be disposed of properly. And this product that we’re utilizing utilizes none of those types of materials inside of our product.

So, even at the end of the life of the light source, there’s no additional cost associated with disposing of any type of LED type of product.

Sarah: That’s great.

Frank: Definitely a benefit to those end-users and the building operator.

Sarah: I can definitely see that. Great. Well, thank you so much for your time, Frank, and for talking about the Retrofit Kit. We really appreciate it.

Frank: All right. Thank you very much, Sarah. And you have a great day.

Sarah: Thanks, you too. And thanks so much for listening, guys.

[End transcript]

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About the Author

Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.

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