Upgrading Your Commercial Lighting from Fluorescent Troffers to LEDs

There was a time when fluorescent troffers were in nearly every office and retail store in America. Now, that low-profile look is still popular, but LEDs have usurped the throne. With more energy efficiency, lower lighting bills, and a significantly longer operating life, LED options are tough to beat.

When you convert to LED troffers or panel lights from fluorescent fixtures for your suspended ceiling applications, you’ll enjoy a sleek, modern revamp to your indoor commercial space. Get the satisfaction of low cost, high benefit lighting that also looks great!

Troffers vs. Flat Panels

LED Troffers and LED Flat Panels are both recessed fixtures for drop ceilings, designed to replace inefficient T5, T8, or T12 fluorescent tube lights. So, what are the differences? Here are some key things to consider when choosing your fixtures:

  • Style
    As the picture above indicates, LED troffers resemble the fluorescent troffers you’re used to, but use integrated LED strips, eliminating the need for tubes. Comparatively, LED flat panels resemble seamless fluorescent drop ceiling fixtures due to their edge-lit LEDs and built-in diffusers.
  • Profile
    When choosing to install new fixtures or update old ones, you should take ceiling depth into consideration. One of the main differentiating factors between troffers and flat panels are their profiles. Our troffers are 3.5”, ideal for installing in standard drop ceilings, or deep ceilings. In comparison, our panels are only 8mm and are well suited for shallow ceiling applications.
  • Lumen Output
    For an office environment that has 8-12ft ceilings, the light output from troffers is plenty, but panels are ideal for higher ceiling requirements. By comparing a 45W 2X4 LED troffer to a LED panel light, you can see that the panel has an output of 5,850 lm while the troffer has a lower 4,725 lm. Whichever LED upgrade you select, you will have better, more even light than before.
  • Controls
    All the panels we offer are 0-10V dimming capable, which is unavailable with comparable fluorescent fixtures. Our panels are also Control Ready – so, you can easily combine them with building controls, motion sensors, timers, and daylight harvesting systems for increased energy savings. Trying to integrate fluorescents into your system could result in a fire hazard, but with LED, you can safely use controls.

What to Know When Purchasing

When shopping online, be sure to know these key differences when comparing prices.

  1. Generally, our edge-lit troffers and panels will cost more than backlit ones, but they will provide a cleaner light output.
  2. When looking at diffusers, look for “PMMA,” which is a higher-quality material that will not yellow over time.
  3. Lastly, keep an eye out for warranties. Any DLC-qualified (rebate eligible) product must have a five-year warranty, but many manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty.

Benefits of LED

Lowering the cost of energy and maintenance is crucial to keeping organizations efficient, and LED troffers or panels will help you do just that by having a longer lifespan than fluorescents.

For instance, if you decided to replace two 4ft two-tube fluorescent fixtures with a 45W 2x4 LED Panel Light, you will save more than 50% in energy costs. With those savings, the initial cost of your new fixture could be paid off in as little as four and a half years.

To lower your payback time even further, you could use energy incentive rebates on our DLC-qualified panels and troffers. Reduce the electricity consumption of your building or facility with the right lights, and rest assured, knowing your new lighting upgrade will last at least 50,000 operating hours.

Ready for an Upgrade?

Once you have narrowed the search and decided whether troffers or panels are best for your purposes, visit eledlights.com to browse our selection of high-quality options. Choosing to go with our Panel Lights? You will receive a minimum warranty of 5 years. Decided that the Center Basket Troffers work best for your application? They come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

If you still have questions about which fixtures are the best fit for your indoor commercial space, feel free to contact us. You can reach our knowledgeable team by calling (215) 355-7200, emailing us at lights@eledlights.com, or through Live Chat at the bottom corner of our website.