High Efficacy LED Retrofit Kits For Linear and Troffer Fluorescent Luminaires

Building owners and facility mangers interested in updating their fluorescent lighting systems should carefully compare all viable LED Retrofit options. A general understanding of the technical, financial, operational, and safety risk factors related to LED technologies will help decision makers to mitigate risk and maximize returns on their clean energy investment.

  • LED lighting retrofits can provide immediate positive cash flow through the reduction of monthly electricity expense.
  • LED technology last considerably longer than incandescent and fluorescent lighting technology.
  • LED retrofits result in a reduction in maintenance costs since they have a longer operational life with up to 10-years warranty.
  • Utility companies, often offer significant financial incentives for businesses to reduce their consumption (kWh) and demand (kW) by retrofitting to LED lighting. (Note: Utility rebates change and are reduced without notice)
  • Remote cloud control and dimming/tuning control permit utility customers to participate in utility demand control programs to save even more money.
  • LED lights are free of toxic chemicals and minimize health risks associated with conventional fluorescent tubes that contain mercury.
  • LED lighting may improve security, health and life safety due to improved and more visually appealing lighting.

Terilite Tube Terminator

The Terilite Tube Terminator series is the perfect LED upgrade for any and all existing fluorescent luminaires. Whether you have troffers or linear fixtures, the Terilite Tube Terminator series retrofits most fluorescent lighting in as little as 2 minutes. Terilite products combine intelligent design with premium components to create products that are unrivaled in quality, efficacy, durability, and value.

  • Luminaire Configurations: Linear: 2, 4, 6 and 8-ft; Troffer: 1×4, 2×2, and 2×4
  • Wattage: 20w, 30w, 40w
  • Zero maintenance for the life of the product
  • Remote cloud control and Wisilica bluetooth mesh network dimming/tuning control with a range from 10% to 100% for individual or group control options
  • Warranty / Rated Hours: 5 years / 100,000
  • Superior color rendering index and super energy savings. CCT: 3500K, 4000K, 5000K, CRI: 86, Lumens: 2205 –
  • 5880, Efficacy: 141 lm/w with linear fixture. 130-136 lm/w through prismatic lens, PF (Power Factor): .96 to .99
  • Certifications: UL/CUL, DLC Premium, FCC, ROHS compliant
  • IP Rating / UL94 Class: IP20 / Damp location
  • Datasheet

California Lighting Technology Center, UC Davis

The California Lighting Technology Center was created in 2003 by the California Energy Commission in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Part of the Department of Design at the University of California, Davis, CLTC is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of energy-efficient lighting and daylighting technologies.  A lighting technology guide was prepared by the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

The following sections are derived from the CLTC report. The Terilite Tube Terminator can provide superior technological advantage and return when compared to Tubular LED and Dedicated LED luminaire retrofit projects.

Categories of LED Products

Three main categories of LED products are currently available for LED retrofit options for existing linear fluorescent fixtures. These LED replacement options require varying amounts of labor to install, entail different costs, and require different safety precautions. When updating existing troffers and linear fixtures, it is critical to make sure they can accommodate the retrofit kit selected, as not all retrofit kits are universally accepted. In addition, any retrofit option should preserve the safety rating of the existing luminaire.

LED Retrofit Kits

The Terilite Tube Terminator is an LED retrofit kit that provides the required electrical components, optical elements and light sources in a prepackaged kit. This replacement option provides a repeatable, efficient retrofit solution for the majority of troffers in today’s building stock.

Tubular LED Lamps

Replacing existing linear fluorescent lamps with similarly shaped LED lamps requires minimal new hardware, but this strategy also presents some unique challenges that should be understood thoroughly before purchase or installation. Depending on the specifications of the LED replacement lamp product being considered, this approach also typically requires changing the electrical wiring, replacing the ballast with an external driver, or altering the existing lamp holders (or “tombstones”) to accommodate the new lamp.

Dedicated LED Luminaires

Often, Dedicated LED luminaires can simply replace existing linear fluorescent luminaires. While typically higher in initial cost, this option often provides the LED luminaire in a well-designed package with a straightforward, but labor intensive installation.

Top Ten LED Retrofit Project Risk Factors

The proper application Terilite Tube Terminator, LED Retrofit kit can help decision makers to mitigate risk and maximize returns on their clean energy investment.

1. Dimming

  • The Terilite Tube Terminator comes optionally with remote cloud control and Wisilica Bluetooth Mesh Network dimming/tuning control with a range from 10% to 100%. Individual or Group control for such features as Dimming, Occupancy Sensors, and Daylight Harvesting permit utility customers to participate in demand control programs.
  • Tubular LED replacement lamps vary greatly in their ability to dim without perceivable flicker.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always select equipment that provides dimming and cloud control options!

2. Proper Application

  • The Terilite Tube Terminator is the perfect LED upgrade for any and all existing fluorescent luminaires. Whether you have troffers or linear fixtures.
  • LED products in the tubular replacement lamp category demonstrate a wide range of performance characteristics, making the replacement process more complicated than a simple exchange based on the stated manufacturer specifications.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always select a product that is aesthetically pleasing with superior performance, longevity and safety!

3. Light Distribution

  • The high quality Terilite Tube Terminator retrofit comes standard with diffusers to ensure even light distributon when used with parabolic or linear fixtures. This gives your facility the best possible lighting at a fraction of the cost of a new luminaire.
  • Tubular LED replacement lamps incorporate multiple, directional light sources into a linear form factor through varied optical design strategies. As a result, tubular LED and linear fluorescent lamps installed in the same troffer can produce different light distribution patterns.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always select the lighting fixture that best match your area light distribution pattern requirements!

4. Luminous Output

Lumens = Light Output. In simple terms, Lumens (denoted by lm) are a measure of the total amount of visible light (to the human eye) from a lamp or light source.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always select an LED technology with industry leading CCT and CRI that best meets your lighting requirements!

  • The Terilite Tube Terminator has an LED industry leading Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering Index (CRI). Datasheet

5. System Efficacy

The efficacy, or the amount of light produced per watt of power consumed, is not dramatically higher for tubular LED lamps than it is for linear fluorescent lamps. Recent studies show that LED retrofit kits are somewhat more efficacious. Efficacy indicates how much light is produced by a lamp or lighting system per unit of electrical power it consumes, measured in lumens per watt (lm/W).

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always make sure to install an LED Retrofit Kit or Dedicated LED Luminaire, if your need significant energy and dollar savings!

  • LED troffers are 44% more efficacious than fluorescent luminaires. The Terilite Tube Terminator delivers 141 lm/w from a 2, 4 or 8 ft. linear fixture and 130-136 lm/w through prismatic lens.
  • T8 LED lamps are nearly 10% more efficacious, on average, than the typical fluorescent T8 lamp. Additional tubular LED replacement lamps may be needed to deliver luminous output equivalent to that of the existing fluorescent lamps, which would decrease the potential energy savings of retrofitting.

6. Optics and Design

The Terilite Tube Terminator Retrofit kits and fixture replacements often provide better light distribution than tubular LED replacement lamps because they are able to better integrate the LED source(s) with the structure of the troffer and optical elements. The lensing for most current troffers consists of diffuser surfaces with linear details, frosted diffusers or parabolic louvers. Older, prismatic lenses may not pair well with tubular LED lamps and can produce distracting patterns.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always make sure to install LED retrofits that have enhanced light distribution and easily integrates with your current design, if superior lighting and cost-savings are of great importance!

7. Lifetime and Cost Comparison

Long product lifetime is an advantage of LED-based lighting technologies. An industry metric for specifying length of dependable service for LED lamps is “lumen maintenance” and addresses useful lamp life and incorporate system factors such as thermal management.

Traditional lamps are typically measured in hours to lamp failure, but because LEDs last longer than traditional light sources and depreciate more slowly, their useful life is measured in the hours they can maintain at least 70% of their initial lumen output. This is known as “L70.”

The DesignLights Consortium requirement for the useful life of tubular LEDs is 50,000 hours, or a practical lifespan of roughly 16 years. This is about twice the life of the average fluorescent tube, although some long-life fluorescent lamps now offer comparable lifetimes. A long lifespan is a critical factor when calculating the cost-effectiveness of LED replacement lamps.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always consider your first and lifetime cost for equipment, installation, operation installation and maintenance!

The Terilite Tube Terminator guarantees:

  • The Terilite Tube Terminator can maintain at least 80% of their initial lumen (L80output for 200,000 hours.
  • Warranty: Rated 5 years and 100,000 hours (with optional 10 year warranty)
  • Zero maintenance for the life of the product

8. Initial Equipment and Installation Cost

Current prices for linear LED replacement lamps vary considerably, from $30 to over $100 per lamp, while fluorescent tubes cost $2 to $10 per lamp. To offset their higher initial cost, LED replacement lamps must last longer than their fluorescent counterparts and be more energy efficient. Utility and manufacturer rebates can help buy-down any customer upfront costs.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always ask for a minimum 5-year warranty with a zero maintenance guarantee. Then consider your first and lifetime cost!

9. Installation Challenges

Fluorescent lamps are supplied electricity through a ballast that regulates electrical current to the lamps and supplies sufficient starting voltage for them. LED technology uses an electronic driver to provide the proper voltage and current for LED operation. For this reason, new electrical components and rewiring are often necessary to make the existing fixture compatible with the new lamps. The electrical incompatibilities between linear fluorescent and linear LED lamps constitute the most important safety issue facing tubular LED technology.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always change your old inefficient ballast that will consume your valuable savings and consider safety issues related to electrical incompatibilities when mixing new and old technologies!

  • The Terilite Tube Terminator can be installed in minutes. The LED Retrofit kit requires no electrical wiring modifications, and replaces the old inefficient ballast with a new efficient LED driver.
  • A majority of tubular LED replacement lamps with internal or integrated drivers require line voltage be supplied directly to the lamp holders, bypassing the fluorescent ballast and “Drop-in” tubular LED replacement lamps incorporate a driver into the lamp. This allows the tubular LED to utilize existing fluorescent ballasts and tombstone with no additional rewiring required. However, the old ballast remains, is inefficient and consumes valuable energy savings.

10. Thermal Management

An LED’s performance, similar to any other semiconductor device, is temperature sensitive. Thermal Management is the ability of an LED replacement lamp to manage how heat affects its performance, longevity and safety. To select a suitable LED retrofit for existing troffers, facility personnel should consider the lamps’ thermal performance with careful attention paid to how the lamp is built to manage heat. This is to ensure lamp life and safety requirements will not be compromised due to exposure to prolonged high temperatures.

LED Retrofit Golden Rule: Always select an LED Retrofit product that properly manages heat and minimizes electrical incompatibilities due to mixing old and new technologies!

  • The Terilite Tube Terminator and other LED retrofit kits utilize the optical reflector and mechanical elements as thermal conductors. Also, the use of external or remote drivers offer longer life since their drivers are connected to the existing troffer and not connected to the existing tombstone or lamp. The Terilite Tube Terminator kits use the existing fixture as a heat sink providing considerable energy-saving advantages.
  • “Drop-in” Tubular LED Lamps may incorporate a driver into the lamp. Higher temperatures causes degradation in life and light emittance of the LED. Although some tubular LED replacement lamp products successfully manage the heat generated by LEDs, the inherent differences in these mechanical architectures place the LED retrofit kit at an advantage when it comes to thermal management.