An In-depth Look at Troffer Lighting

What is Troffer Lighting?

Troffer or recessed troffer lighting is generally utilized to provide illumination for interior areas such as office buildings, retail, industrial and warehouse spaces, as well as education and medical facilities. The range of fixture shapes and sizes vary greatly but are commonly mounted within the ceiling, with the most common size range running from 1×4 troffers, 2×2 troffers and 2×4 troffers. Most existing troffer lighting that has not been switched to LED an operating with fluorescent lamps such as T12 and T8 lamps.

Below are a few visual examples of non-LED troffer lighting applications.

Common Issues in Non-LED Troffer Lighting Applications

Like we stated above, most existing non-retrofitted troffer lighting applications are utilizing fluorescent lamps. As a result, all have shared concerns. While the cost of a fluorescent lamp is lower than most lamps. Almost all fluorescent fixtures operate with multiple lamps per fixture. Causing multiple concerns if a single lamp is having performance issues within the fixture.

Energy Cost

The typical wattage usage of a 4ft fluorescent lamp is between 28-40 watts per lamp. If your facility is utilizing 2×4 troffers, then you are operating 4 fluorescent lamps and consuming up to 160 watts of energy per fixture. The electric cost for a single 2×4 troffer will run you $85 per year. Multiply that by the total number of troffers in your facility and your energy costs are through the roof.

Lighting Performance

Depending upon the type of lamp you are utilizing in your troffer application you could be experiencing a wide variety of lighting performance issues. Like we stated above, the T12 and T8 fluorescent tubes are the most common lamps used in this type of application. Most people would assume that the performance of these two types of fluorescent lamps is very similar. Unfortunately, they would be wrong. Even the manufacturer can play a huge difference in performance quality between the same types of lamps. To make matters worse as individual lamps fail, the aesthetics and performance of that fixture are diminished.

Maintenance Costs

The maintenance volume for fluorescent troffer lighting can also vary greatly. Cold temperatures as well as continually switching your lamps on/off, can cause rapid deterioration. Every time you turn a fluorescent lamp on, it degrades the ignition system within the tubes causing a much shorter lamp life. The average life span of a fluorescent lamp is between 10,000 – 30,000 hours. For a single moderate office space, your maintenance costs can easily reach over $1000 per fixture, per year.

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The Benefits of an LED Troffer Light Retrofit

There are substantial benefits to performing an LED troffer light retrofit to your organization’s fluorescent troffer lighting. Light Emitting Diodes or LED’s generate light utilizing a semiconductor. They do not rely on the consumption of a fuel source like a fluorescent lamp. We would like our readers to be mindful, that the quality of an LED troffer light retrofit depends significantly upon the manufacturer. We suggest contacting a product-neutral service provider to help with your LED troffer selections.

Energy Savings

Most LED troffer light retrofit applications range in wattage usage for 22-50 watts. Which can result in a 40% – 60% reduction in energy consumption. By retrofitting a troffer 2×4 to LED, your organization could save $80 per fixture, per year in energy costs.

For more on an LED’s energy savings, check out the section on Energy Savings on our LED Education Page

Lighting Performance

As a result of an LED troffer light retrofit fixtures multi-point design, you will see a bright evenly distributed light pattern perfect for illuminating indoor workspaces, no matter the size. While a fluorescent troffer is not dimmable. Your LED troffer will be adjustable to suit your lighting needs at any given moment. As an added bonus, LED troffers are available in a wide range of CCTs (Correlated color temperature). With their high CRI (color rendering index), you are looking at illumination suitable for any location and occupant.

For more on an LED’s lighting performance, check out the section on Lighting Performance on our LED Education Page

Maintenance Savings

Due to the way LED’s generate light their functional lifespan is much longer than a fluorescent. An LED’s generated light output will degrade very slowly over time. As a result, an LED troffer light retrofit lifespan can range from 50,000 – 150,000 hours. The LED’s lifespan drastically reduces the costs associated with maintaining your troffer lighting. With the fact that LED’s are not affected by constantly switching them on/off, you can save up to $1000 in maintenance costs for one fixture over the course on a year.

For more on an LED’s lifespan, check out our blog, Understanding LED Lifespan.

Here are a few comparison images from one of our Troffer LED Retrofits.

Determining Next Steps in an LED Troffer Lighting Retrofit

So, you have established an LED troffer light retrofit is the right decision for your organization. Now the big question is, what are the next steps in the process? We have a few considerations for you to review.

Commercial Lighting Service Provider

Consider partnering with a project management provider. Make sure they can supply a national LED lighting and electrical project management program. Review these items when vetting a national LED lighting and electrical service provider.

Interested in Learning More about LED Troffer Light Retrofits?

The first step in any LED troffer light retrofit project should be to contact a lighting solutions provider or lighting company that is manufacturer and product-neutral. With neutrality comes a higher focus on your needs. As opposed to the desire or limitation of selling a specific product, purchasing from one distributor or electrical supply house.

A LED Retrofit provider should ask you about your project.

  • What are your desired results?
  • Are you looking at budget or project completion constraints?
  • Do you have an energy reduction target?
  • Do you have lighting performance specifics?

At Action Services Group, our business model is designed to offer you the maximum ROI. While taking your lighting performance, maintenance cost, and energy efficiency into consideration. Which allows us to help you prioritize your product selections based on your unique performance goals. No solution or product is ever a one size fits all. We understand the need to customize solutions to meet the organization.

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A Critical Guide to Setting Criteria goals for your LED Project

Narrowing down the best LED solution for your organization can be a challenge. The LED Industry has thousands of lighting options, and not all of them offer the same results. Without knowing product specifics, you might select an LED lamp that provides optimal performance but does nothing for energy efficacy. That is why prioritizing your LED goals should be your first step in any LED Retrofit project. No matter what your lighting application is, a full review of these factors is needed to prioritize them based on your LED Retrofit goals. We created this guide for LED projects; it will lead to the appropriate LED lighting solution for your organization. (more…)

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