For many years fluorescent has been the product of choice for commercial and other lighting applications so far. But now a tough young “David” has arrived to challenge “Goliath.”
The Department of Energy reports that about 80% of dropped ceiling lighting systems were fluorescent in 2001. As the cost of LED technology has dropped in recent years, LED Troffer Lighting systems are now a viable option to traditional fluorescent systems.
And the number of installations is rapidly increasing awareness and popularity grows. The Department of Energy further estimated that the number of units skyrocketed from 40,000 units in 2010 to just under 700,000 for 2012.
Not only has cost of LED lighting dropped in recent years, but other issues that were causing some to hesitate have been resolved. Problems with light quality and fluctuation in levels of luminosity are now a thing of the past. There are even products out that allow for color tuning so far.
The word “Troffer” is created when you mix “trough” with “coffee” to get the inverted container that supports the lighting element itself. There are a wide variety of size options to match two, three and four lamp fluorescents.
We’ll discuss replacement in more detail below, but the simplest and cheapest option is simply swapping out the lamps while leaving the fixtures in place – a retrofit. In a two-lamp retrofit, you should look for a product compatible with existing ballasts. Cost savings of a retrofit versus a new installation are about 50%, approximately $70 vs $130 depending on the region. This can be a do-it-yourself project or a lighting company may be employed to complete the work during evening hours.
Product features come in a wide array of options for optics, size, color temperature and style. The dimming options are very attractive in the modern office environment. Before the advent of the computer, there was a greater need for soft, overhead light to illuminate the workspace and desktop. The kind of light that fluorescent was well equipped to provide.
But with most workers today within a foot or so of their computer monitor, the need for over-the-shoulder lighting is reduced. The dimming option is ideal to regulate this need. This, of course, contributes to saving in electricity at the same time.
The advantages of LED Troffer Lighting are substantial. They include among others…
· Reduction in maintenance costs
· Low-cost way to update the look-and-feel of the office
· More control options, including the dimming feature
· As high as 75% savings in energy efficiency
· An improved light quality to enhance worker safety and performance
· Addition of resale value to the property from an investment standpoint
The lumination produced by the typical LED system is delivered with an even glow and uniformity to flood the entire space with the desired light quality. The light texture and beauty is complemented by the refined appearance of the fixture.
There are literally thousands of options for application of LED troffer systems so far. In general, they break out into two broad categories that are listed here bellow:
1) LED bulbs, or lamps in industry parlance, simply replace existing fluorescent tubes in the traditional fashion. The only precaution is the need to consider the compatibility of your LED lamps with existing fixtures.
2) Integrated Products in which the LED lamp is integrated with the fixture component or troffer as a single unit. This option requires complete removal and replacement of existing troffers.
Within these broad categories, here are some of the more popular applications
This is the typical commercial application mentioned earlier. These are typically 2-foot x 4-foot rectangular fixtures mounted flush with ceiling panels in a dropped ceiling system. They can hold anywhere from 2 to 4 tube-type bulbs. Usually, the LED conversion is a simple one-for-one swap, but in some cases, you may need to remove the lamp ballast and replace with a unit that is LED-compatible. The integrated application is more involved and will require up to an hour of time for a certified electrician.
Energy Saving Benefits
Estimates of energy saving over fluorescent vary greatly depending on the situation and the product, ranging from 25% to 75% in operational efficiency. The biggest savings are realized from both greater efficiency and longer lamp life so far.
Another attractive option for a low budget project is the capacity for retrofitting. Even though energy savings with completely new units is better, the savings associated with leaving existing troffers intact is attractive to many businesses.
In addition to the dimming feature, other control features include sunshine harvesting and occupancy sensors, both of which contribute to energy efficiency. The latter works in tandem with the before-mentioned need for overhead lighting.
To sum it up, energy savings associated with LED troffer conversion, come from
· Inherent superiority of the technology in terms of energy efficiency
· Longer life of LED troffer units
· Capture of Daylight Energy
· Less need for luminosity in computer work environment
· Ability of the technology to auto-adjust based on human occupancy
Whether you opt for an integrated system or a trendy retrofit, makes no difference. When the need for replacement of existing fluorescent lighting systems has arrived, the verdict is now in. The LED troffer lighting system is a bright idea. It’s hard to go wrong with a LED troffer lightings
LED Lighting Conversion – Is It A Bright Idea?The dimming options are very attractive in the modern office environment so far.