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Upgraded Troffer Performance Specification Means More Savings, More Flexibility

Approximately $5 billion could be saved annually using the new high-efficiency performance specification

April 2017
Upgraded Troffer Performance Specification Means More Savings, More Flexibility
The most common type of commercial lighting is a troffer: square or rectangular recessed ceiling fixtures. These lights typically operate throughout commercial spaces for ten or more hours a day. That space and time adds up fast, resulting in hefty electricity bills for commercial building owners and managers.

Most people don't think about the overhead lighting when they go shopping or enter an office building. But commercial lighting consumes a huge portion of electricity—over 96 billion killowatt-hours per year. That’s equal to the amount of energy consumed by nearly 9 million U.S. homes.

A newly updated specification for commercial lighting can help building owners save up to 50 percent on their energy use per troffer, and up to 80 percent if advanced lighting controls are included. If all troffers in the U.S. met this specification, approximately $5 billion in energy costs could be saved annually just from lighting alone!

The newly released Troffer Performance Specification, Version 6.0 provides commercial building stakeholders with a description of troffer requirements that will result in energy savings, reliable performance, and energy cost savings. It also includes options for additional requirements such as emergency lighting, dimming, and controls. The specification was developed by PNNL researchers on behalf of the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Alliance, through collaboration with Better Buildings Alliance Lighting and Electrical Team members and with input from manufacturers and other interested parties.

Major U.S. companies, such as MGM Resorts International, are already using the BBA Troffer Performance Specification, Version 6.0 in their energy management strategies and are realizing the savings from their troffer upgrades.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Commercial lighting retrofits are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption and lower electricity costs. Strategic building energy managers may turn to LEDs or other efficient lighting products, but still may be uncertain about which products best meet their needs. The updated specification is the resource building owners and managers need to help ensure that their lighting retrofit projects are successful.

The updated specification remains aligned with technology advances, and encourages lighting manufacturers to develop higher performance troffer products. In a nutshell, here's what's new to the Troffer Performance Specification, Version 6.0:

  • Luminaire efficacy has been increased from 100 lumens per watt to 125 lumens per watt. This update makes fluorescent elements no longer applicable. The new efficacy level is significantly greater than the average of the market, but there are products that can meet this level of efficacy.
  • Fixtures able to change from a blueish white to a yellowish white, called tunable white, are gaining interest in the market, and this update includes language addressing tunable products.
  • New color metrics.
  • Formatting improvements were made to increase readability and usability for commercial building stakeholders.

See the High Efficiency Troffer Lighting Fact Sheet for more information, or read the full High Efficiency Troffer Performance Specification, Version 6.0.

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