Just five years ago in 2010, four out of five lamps in commercial buildings were fluorescent, with most of them used in troffer luminaires, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). LED’s rapidly advancing technology has posed a challenge for the workhorse of the lighting industry. While LED may not have been the ideal choice in 2010, it has come a long way in a short amount of time. The DOE estimates that LED troffers increased from 40,000 units in 2010 to nearly 700,000 units in 2012. In the past two years, manufacturers report that demand for LED troffers has escalated, estimating 15+ percent of new troffer luminaires sold today use LEDs as the light source.

LED once posed many concerns in its first generation technology, including light levels, light quality, performance and high cost. It’s important to understand that LED lighting isn’t what it used to be, and is now a viable and high-performing option. In some cases, LED luminaires are priced lower than traditional lighting technologies, and this will likely continue to be the trend as the technology advances.

The DOE estimates that energy savings for an individual LED troffer project can be more than 25 percent. LED troffers typically operate at a 20 percent higher efficacy than traditional fluorescent systems operating at 100 lumens per watt, with a number of LED products reaching efficacies as high as 150 lumens per watt. For additional savings, LED troffers are generally rated for 50,000 without having to replace lamps. In the future, LED troffers will be rated at LM70 at 100,000 hours, and will actually last longer when used with dimmers.

Traditional lighting technologies cannot compete with LED when it comes to lighting controls. From occupancy sensors to daylight harvesting and full dimming functionality, LED is the winner in automatic lighting controls. Energy savings can be accelerated with the ability to control lighting, if utilized correctly.

If the goal is to maintain existing light levels, LED’s diverse capabilities can achieve this. LED troffers’ product portfolio has an expansive variety of options in size, style, optics and color temperatures. LED troffers are suitable for retrofits as well as new construction. For retrofits, it’s crucial to note the spacing criterion of an LED option in the existing space to ensure the continuation of uniformity of light levels across the space. However, contemporary light level recommendations are lower than what they used to be, allowing a reduction in light levels.

Since LED is still a young technology, it should be viewed cautiously during product selection. Access Fixtures lighting specialists provide LED troffers that are backed by testing to industry standards and are Assembled in the USA with domestic and imported components.

To learn more about LED troffers as an alternative to fluorescent lighting, contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist.