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About LED Troffer

LED troffer fixtures are a popular lighting option for offices and other commercial spaces. These fixtures are designed for a recessed installation on grid ceilings, and there are also surface-mounted and suspended options available. Compared with traditional fixtures with T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes, LED troffers save up to 50% of energy bills. They also have a rated service life of 50,000 - 100,000 hours, while most fluorescent tubes need a replacement in around 20,000 hours.

LED troffers are available in volumetric and flat panel versions. In existing buildings with fluorescent lighting, LED troffer retrofit kits and T8-equivalent tubes allow an upgrade without a complete fixture replacement.

Lumenco offers a wide product variety from leading LED troffer manufacturers like TCP, SATCO and Green Creative. LED troffers are ideal for commercial buildings like offices, retail stores, schools, universities, airports, hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities. They can also be found in many government buildings.

What Are the Types of LED Troffers?

There are many LED troffer designs, but they can be classified into three general categories:


Volumetric troffers have an integrated LED array covered by a curved lens, and the fixtures use an internal reflective surface to achieve uniform light distribution. These light fixtures are also known as center basket troffers, due to the shape of the central lens that covers their LEDs.

Flat panel troffers are characterized by their low profile design, which makes them easier to handle during the installation process. They can be classified into two subtypes, based on how their LEDs are distributed:

  • Direct-lit or back-lit flat panels, which have the LEDs on top.

  • Edge-lit flat panels, which have the LEDs distributed around their sides.

Traditional fluorescent troffers with LED tubes are a common option for building owners who want an LED upgrade, but without replacing their fixtures completely. Some LED tubes are compatible with fluorescent ballasts, others are connected directly to AC power (without ballasts), and some tubes can be connected in both ways. There are also LED tubes that use their own drivers - external power sources that look similar to ballasts.

  • Most traditional troffers use 2, 3 or 4 fluorescent tubes, which can be replaced with LED equivalents.

  • You can also find LED troffer retrofit kits, which convert a traditional fluorescent fixture into a volumetric troffer, without using any tubes.

Regardless of the type of LED troffer, you will find standard sizes that are designed for the dimensions of grid ceilings:

Advantages of LED Troffers

LED troffers are unmatched when you need uniform lighting for a commercial space. Compared with fluorescent troffers, they offer the following advantages:

  • LED troffers can achieve energy savings of up to 50% when used instead of linear fluorescent fixtures. For example, you can find 2 x 4 LED troffers with the same lighting output as a 96W fluorescent troffer (3x32W T8 lamps), while consuming less than 50W.

  • Fluorescent tubes normally last for around 20,000 hours, while the best LED troffers are rated for up to 100,000 hours. This simplifies maintenance, and many years can go by before you need an LED troffer replacement.

  • LED troffers are also an environmentally friendly alternative to fluorescent fixtures, since they contain no mercury like T8 and T12 tubes.

  • Fluorescent ballasts may produce a humming sound, especially when they are old, and this can cause distraction and discomfort. However, LEDs operate silently.

  • Thanks to their uniform output, LED troffers can illuminate ceilings and the upper portions of walls. On the other hand, fluorescent fixtures tend to concentrate their light downward, creating a “cavern effect” in commercial spaces.

The uniform lighting output of LED troffers also reduces glare. This is an excellent feature to have in office buildings, schools, universities, and other places where occupants remain inside for long periods.

LED troffers are available in a wide range of color temperatures - covering common values like 3500K, 4000K and 5000K. There are also CCT selectable LED troffers, capable of adjusting their hue according to your lighting needs.

Most LED troffers are also compatible with dimmers, allowing you to save more energy when their full lighting output is not required. For example, they can be combined with natural lighting and dimmed according to the amount of daylight available, minimizing their energy consumption.

Recommendations When Upgrading to LED Troffers

Volumetric and flat panel LED troffers are strongly recommended for new constructions, since they will maximize your energy savings from the start. However, when upgrading an existing lighting system with fluorescent troffers, there are several options:

  • Upgrading only their fluorescent tubes, by using LED equivalents.

  • Using retrofit fits to convert fluorescent fixtures into volumetric troffers.

  • Replacing the existing fixtures completely with new LED troffers.

LED tubes have the lowest upgrade cost, retrofit kits have an intermediate cost, and a complete fixture replacement is the most expensive option. However, if you’re planning a major renovation where the grid ceiling will be removed, you can use that opportunity to install new fixtures.

Note that there are many LED options to replace fluorescent tubes, and the toffer must be wired correctly according to the type of LED tube. For example, you can cause an electrical fault if LED tubes designed for ballasts are connected directly to the AC voltage.