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CALiPER Snapshot report evaluates performance of troffer lighting

March 2017
CALiPER Snapshot report evaluates performance of troffer lighting
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LED troffers registered in the LED Lighting Facts program have higher luminous efficacy over their fluorescent counterparts.

DOE created the LED Lighting Facts program to assure that the performance of lighting products is represented accurately as they reach the market. Manufacturers that list their products with LED Lighting Facts pledge to report performance results by including a Lighting Facts Label.

LED troffer products listed in the database include both luminaires and retrofit kits, for which performance is nearly indistinguishable. In 2016, there were 7,363 products classified as troffer luminaires while 965 were classified as retrofit kits.

Look around. You almost certainly see a light source. Whether it’s fluorescent tubes or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the light you use should support the task you are performing. For many offices and schools, troffers are the answer. And now there are many more troffers to choose from that save energy while maintaining color and performance.

What's a troffer? Typically sized as 2x4, 2x2, or 1x4 foot panels that fit into modular ceiling grids, troffers are a staple of the lighting industry. Traditional troffers are fitted with fluorescent lamps, but modernized fixtures include LEDs. Researchers at PNNL recently evaluated the state of troffers in a Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting (CALiPER) Snapshot report.

Funded by DOE's Building Technologies Office, CALiPER Snapshot reports use data from DOE's LED Lighting Facts product list to evaluate the current performance and efficiency of LED lighting products. In their recent troffer evaluation, PNNL researchers noted outstanding growth in the variety of LED products offered. In 2010, troffers outfitted with LEDs were nearly non-existent, but just six years later, the LED Lighting Facts database had over 8,300 LED troffer products—nearly 20 percent of total products listed.

Product Performance

In addition to growth, the report highlights the performance of this rising product category:

  • Efficacy: How efficiently light sources produce visible light. 56 percent of LED troffer products have a luminous efficacy above 100 lm/W, which is greater than the maximum for fluorescent troffers.
  • Color Quality: The ability of a light source to reveal the colors of illuminated objects. All troffer retrofit kits and 89 percent of troffer luminaires have a color rending index (CRI) in the 80s, which is generally considered appropriate for commercial office spaces, although some color-critical applications require higher CRIs. About 25 percent of other luminaires register at less than 80.
  • Power Quality: How efficiently power is used in alternating current circuits. 98 percent of troffer products have a power factor above 0.90.

LED troffers clearly outmatch their fluorescent counterparts in efficacy, and most LED troffers match the performance of fluorescents in color and power quality. For more information, check out the Snapshot report on DOE’s website.

PNNL Research Team: Michael Royer

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