Project Management: The Key to a Successful Lighting Upgrade

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Hiring a lighting contractor with a dedicated project management team is the best way to ensure a successful commercial lighting or industrial lighting upgrade project. Project managers are experienced in handling the biggest challenges in LED retrofit installation projects—and every aspect that comes along with it. You can avoid the challenges of commercial or industrial lighting installation and enjoy the benefits of a newly brightened and transformed work area while staying focused on your business.

When you hire a team with a dedicated project manager for your new lighting upgrade project, the logistics are covered—learning more about the project up-front allows the installation to run smoothly. Our knowledgeable and experienced project managers will handle everything for your lighting upgrade project, making sure that the LED investment you’re making is as non-disruptive and as successful as possible.

Coordinate the Lighting Project Installation


The key to a smooth lighting upgrade installation is the research and work put in ahead of time. Having a project manager dedicated to your project ensures that there is one person who knows the complete needs of your facility, project, and installers, which means there’s far less room for error. Ultimately, it’s the job of our Project Managers to turn your Sales Engineer and lighting designers’ concept proposal into reality. 

Note: If your are planning on using an incentive, the project manager will be present for any required pre-incentive inspections, and will help guide the inspector through the project area.


The project manager understands the design of the system you purchased and will provide a clear map of out the fixtures to be used in the lighting project, with full knowledge of what will work best for your space. They’ll note voltages, mounting needs, power, and control for each fixture in addition to assessing 1) whether the chosen fixtures will work for the project; and 2) any other installation challenges.

During scheduled job walks, the project manager re-takes pre-foot candle readings these readings will then be compare against post-foot candle readings to ensure the project provides light-levels as per the lighting design, and meets or exceeds the customer’s expectations. Also during these scheduled job walks, the project manager takes notes and photos (to ensure project build out is seamless) and meets with multiple electricians to determine the best fit in terms of project needs and client budget.


After gathering all the knowledge of the project from the Sales team, the project manager goes to the project site to review the process, timeline, and scope with the customer—and is available to answer any questions. During every step of the installation process (planning, material ordering, project kick off, installation, and post-project) of upgrading your commercial or industrial lighting, your dedicated project manager will be in regular communication to answer questions and confirm timelines and scope.

Coordinating Electricians, Design Specifications, and Vendor Relations


Every facility is different—and so are the customers’ needs. Our project managers are experienced in solving complex problems. PEC addresses every detail for commercial lighting or industrial lighting upgrade projects. The project manager will provide an installation map with all fixture locations, instructions and a key for all fixture types; they’ll identify installation challenges, coordinate the material ordering and delivery, and inventory/organize the material for the installers. The project managers have extensive knowledge of every product PEC uses.

The project manager (PM) hires and consults with their selected electrician and the lighting designer (your PEC Sales engineer) to execute the proposed lighting solutions while solving any implementation challenges that may arise. The electrician will confirm the voltage use, while the PM will commission control systems, provide and monitor installation requirements, and execute the predetermined/custom specified fixtures, lumen packages, optics, and positioning (if a regrid is required) to meet the facility’s precise use case and needs. Each of these conversations is handled by the project manager so you can focus on solving your regular, everyday problems—not a new one.

Every installation is different, and some are more complicated, especially in regards to accessing area spaces. Our Project Director Chris Johnson recalls an especially complex installation at an active sawmill in Washington State:

Sierra Pacific LED retrofit project

This LED retrofit installation at Sierra Pacific in Aberdeen, WA, was particularly challenging. The site was an active sawmill requiring 45 high bay fixtures that couldn’t be accessed by lifts or ladders. Additionally, a constructed second level had cat walks, and machinery covered 98% of the floor. Various options were brainstormed, including using a lift, using an extension ladder or building scaffolding, but none of the options worked within an ideal time frame or budget, or for safety reasons. Instead, the safest and most efficient way of installation involved using an on-site crane—something that would also allow the customer to access the fixtures in the future, too. Because of the pitched ceiling, PEC’s project manager also hired a scaffolding company to build different heights of scaffolding under each of the five rows of lights, enabling the materials to be installed in each light row. Even with highly complicated logistics to work out, the project manager was able to oversee complete installation and tear down within 12 hours—a full 24 hours ahead of the customer’s deadline.


Because we’re manufacturer agnostic, our Sales Engineers are free to select only the right solution for your facility and project. We leverage our national purchasing power to get you the best value from a wide array of high-performance, high-quality, & known suppliers with warranties that mean something and we trust. Not all LEDs are created equal, will years of experience in this industry we know how to vett manufacturers and fixtures to keep your total cost of ownership (TCO) low..

Safe and Timely Installation


Any time a workplace is under construction, there’s a possibility for work to come to a halt—but for how long? What other considerations do you have to keep in mind? Beyond choosing the appropriate lighting, fixtures, and controls, there are also space-specific details to consider, such as: 

  • When can the area be accessed?
  • Is there any special equipment needed to access fixtures?
  • Is PPE required?
  • Are there special safety requirements (e.g. food production facilities must ensure nothing falls into the food or machinery)
  • What type of equipment is in the facility and are surge protectors required to protect from voltage spikes?

A project manager will be considering each of these questions in addition to building out the materials list and creating the installation map for subcontractors. All the necessary supplies are ordered for a specifically requested delivery date so each piece is ready to go, come project time. And when all of the logistics questions are asked and answered ahead of time, that means less downtime for your crew and far less disruption to your daily workflow processes.

Hiring a project manager makes light upgrade installation easy. The project manager or the assistant project manager takes inventory and organizes all of the material and kicks off the project with the installers and customer, answering any outstanding logistical questions. After this, communication remains open, with weekly check-ins. After installation is complete, the project manager does a walk through to verify the project’s completion; they address any outstanding items if necessary. The post-incentive walk can be done at this time, too. If it sounds easy, that’s because we’re working really hard on our end. Less management for you so you can keep up with your regular duties.

Note: To make it a little easier on your project manager, ensure that your installation requirements are set—any adjustments can cause a delay in your project, because the installation plan will need to be rewritten and redistributed. Additionally, make sure your voltage panels are clear—fixtures being installed are voltage specific and must be either 120-277V or 480V.

Post-Installation Support


With any new installation, there’s a learning curve. To that end, we can have our project manager available to train relevant staff on how to use the new lighting system. We’ll commission any lighting control systems and teach your teach how the zoning, dimming settings work and how to change these. enabling you to control and manage in-house if you wish to do so.


It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes something gets broken or doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Warranties can be processed by our project coordinator to get the replacement and hire an installer for the new fixture. PEC covers the labor for warranty items in the first year after the project has been completed.

We’ll work around your operations so you can run your business with minimal (or no) disruption. 

All the work our project managers complete on the front end of each project makes our projects run smoothly. We’ll go to great lengths to ensure all concerns are addressed immediately and that our customers are happy. Just ask our customers.

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