LED lighting company Cree is taking on the overhead fluorescent lights that are a fixture of office buildings with a light source it says will quickly recoup the investment.
The company today announced a new line of "architectural troffers," or rectangular-shaped fixtures designed for overhead lighting. The troffers use Cree's LED light sources, which offer a longer life and improved efficiency over fluorescent lights, according to the company.
The fixtures offer a white light with an efficiency of 110 lumens per watt and a color rendering index, a measure of light quality, of 90. The lights can be dimmed and are designed to last 50,000 hours, which would be more than 10 years at 12 hours a day. The fixtures have a thermal management system designed for long life.
Design services company O'Brien/Atkins Associates said in a statement that the measuring efficiency over the full product life cycle, including sizing, heating and cooling, and disposal, can be cut lighting costs by 60 percent.
Using the national average for electricity prices of 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, Cree calculates that the payoff of office upgrades to LEDs can be less than one year to replace typical fluorescent tubes. Because of the higher upfront cost of LED lighting technology, consumer adoption of LED bulbs is expected to be slower than that of commercial customers.