The U.S. Department of Energy’s CALiPER program has released a new Snapshot report on linear LED lamps, commonly known as TLEDs. Among the key findings of the new Snapshot, which is based on DOE’s LED Lighting Facts database:
- TLEDs now comprise more than 50 percent of all listed lamps, and more than 10 percent of all listed products.
- TLEDs offer the highest mean efficacy of any lamp type, and also offer the listed product with the highest efficacy (190 lumens per watt).
- In aggregate, TLED efficacy decreases by 3 lm/W for every 1000K decrease in CCT.
- While the raw efficacy of TLEDs exceeds that of dedicated LED troffers, the reverse is true if TLED efficacy is adjusted to account for luminaire efficiency. In other words, dedicated LED troffers tend to exceed the efficacy of troffers fitted with TLEDs.
At first glance, TLEDs may appear superior to retrofit kits or dedicated LED fixtures for replacing a fluorescent lighting system, with higher efficacy and likely lower product and installation costs. But accounting for factors such as luminaire efficiency may tip the balance against TLEDs in some scenarios. Nevertheless, viable TLED options are increasingly available, and as they push the efficacy limits for LED products, they can be compelling replacements for fluorescent tubes, as long as other trade offs are appropriately accounted for.