Architecture and design firms are notoriously demanding clients, especially so when it comes to lighting their own workspaces. For a firm such as Helix Architecture + Design, Kansas City, Mo., which keeps its focus on people instead of structures, this may be especially true.

Founded in 1992 and located in the heart of KC’s Crossroads arts district, the nationally recognized firm believes “great architecture and design transforms the world and its people.” Helix’s business platform begins and ends with the people who live, work, or play in the places they create. So when the company recently remodeled its offices along sustainable lines to include top quality LED retrofit lamps throughout, EiKO Ltd., also based in the Kansas City area, responded.

The retrofit project officially launched in August 2012 and was completed in Jan. 2013. The upgrade was designed to reduce energy consumption and maintain lighting quality throughout the office. The project involved the upgrade from PAR30 and MR16 halogens to EiKO’s more efficient LitespanLED replacement lamps. The LightspanLED line of replacement lamps have light levels that are adjustable to suit individual preference (perfect for conference room settings), savings of up to 80% of current electricity costs compared to incandescent and halogens, and come with an average lifespan of 35,000 hours, saving time and energy by requiring fewer replacements.

“Bruce Yarnell and Jacob Hothan of Yarnell Associates, Architectural Lighting Design, worked closely with Kathy Kelly and Mike Huele of Helix Architecture + Design and Curt Anderson, LC of EiKO Ltd to outline a path of investigation regarding the feasibility of an LED retrofit for the Helix offices. One of the main priorities for everyone involved was to ensure that the quality of light and dimmability was not compromised, while at the same time, guaranteeing energy efficiency and maintenance benefits,” said an EiKO case study.

In the end, according to EiKO’s case study, the retrofit installation costs $2,470 and delivered annual savings of $1,884, making it pay back in 1.3 years without rebate assistance from the local utility.