Energy Efficient Lighting: CREE LED More Efficient Than Fluorescent?

Posted by Dave VanTol on Wed, Dec 07, 2011 @ 14:12 PM

What Could Be More Energy Efficient Than Fluorescents?

What replaces energy efficient fluorescents?

Think of a large office building, or perhaps a high school or college. One thing they all have is a lot of fluorescent 2x4 fixtures in the ceiling.

Even with todays advancements in T8 technology they still have to address the lamps every 30-40,0000 hrs. Let's look at an LED option and see what it has to offer.

The Issues:

Were starting to see LED options flood the marketplace for replacing fluorescent tubes. Some from reputable companies in the industry, the rest from over seas manufacturers that I have never heard of.

I have yet to personally install these replacement tubes as I have not heard good things. LED lighting produces a good amount of heat and I have yet to see any of these replacement tubes address the problem of getting rid of said heat.

While LED is very efficient, it likes cooler ambient temperatures to reach it's maximum rated life. The tubes I have seen are a strip of LED sealed inside of plastic casing.

The Solution: Cree CR24Cree-led-troffer-installed-by-energy-efficient-lighting-contractor-clarksville-tn

The tubes I spoke of above cost between $40-$80 apiece. On a 2 lamp fixture thats as much as $160.00......for lamps?

My opinion of the matter is just get a whole new fixture, one that has heat dissipation designed in to maximize fixture/lamp life. The Cree fixture produces 4,000 lumen's.

The tubes I spoke of produce 3,000 so in that respect you would be getting even more light for your money. The Cree fixture is in the $225.00 price range. 

So for $60 dollars more than "tubes" you would get a fixture designed to maximize lamp life, a 5 year warranty from a reputable company, as well as more light. It's a no brainer to me.....this is a case of "you get what you pay for".

The benefits of LED:

Energy Savings

The first and obvious benefit is energy savings. With wattages ranging from 22 to 50 watts, the fixture is more efficient than just one T12 fluorescent lamp! 

Better Light Quality

The Cree LED fixture will also produce light that closely resembles daylight. This results in truer, brighter colors and also much less eye fatigue....especially important in office settings!

Decrease in Maintenance

The Cree CR24 is designed to produce a minimum of 50,000 hours of trouble free service. This far surpasses the life of a T12 fluorescent lamp which will be usable anywhere from 18-20,000 hrs.

Check out this Video showing a recent store conversion using the CR24

Fixture Quality:

Over the years I have installed 2x4 fixtures from every major manufacturer in north America. The one thing I have noticed is that over the years the fixture construction seems to be getting thinner and thinner.

Imagine my surprise when I was able to get my hands on a demo fixture and see the quality. Made from sturdy 20 guage steel, this fixture just "felt" like a high quality piece of lighting. It's constructed to last and is backed with a 5 year factory warranty!

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Topics: Energy Efficent Lighting, LED Lighting, fluorescent lighting