The One Switch Vari-Just Troffer

Looking to upgrade the lighting in your commercial lighting, industrial lighting, retail lighting, warehouse lighting and classroom lighting applications or perhaps in a garage, utility room, or basement with dropped ceilings?

START Lighting’s two by four (2’ x 4’) and two by two (2’ x 2’) volumetric troffers are a perfect solution. And since they have START’s Vari-Just technology matching colors and/or wattages is a snap. All you need to do is flick a switch to control the color or change the wattage.

For contractors and property managers, this is the technology, and the product, that ensures your job is done right every time and that there is no error in selecting the right product for the install. We’ve designed our Vari-Just products to provide you the flexibility to make changes on the jobsite.

Last month we shared why we came up with Vari-Just. The basic reason? We wanted to make it a fixture that made field installation simple.

And the simple also extends to inventory and ordering. Now property managers, contractors and distributors only need to order, or stock, one item that can do the job of many.

Solving the CCT Lamp Challenge

Coming from the electrical distribution channel, we started to look for ways to make our products more customer friendly and reduce the number of sku’s a distributor needed to stock.

Early on, START Lighting worked on the wide band solution, allowing either 120v or 277v incoming voltage with a single lamp. We got that to work, and were off to the races. Now distributors, contractors, and end-users can focus on stocking / ordering from three different lamps instead of six (three color temperatures for 120v and three for 277v) since our lamps could handle 120v AND 277v.

START Lighting Vari-Just VolumetricTroffer

We introduced our first Vari-Just Troffer earlier this year. Our goal was to replicate the success of the Vari-Just LED Panel and put the technology into a troffer. Our goal was one wattage option and three separate CCT’s (3000OK, 4000OK, 5000OK).

Just light the Vari-Just LED Panel, we designed the Vari-Just Volumetric Troffer to handle the various wattages and CCT’s by flipping a switch to save you money (inventory investment for distributors, time for contractors and a product comparable priced to single function products that are in the market.)

This is how we are expanding our Vari-JustTM platform. One switch for color and one for wattage. All to make lighting installs simple for you.

Literally flip two switches on the fixture, and you have what you need! A fixture that can be adapted to address six variations.

One switch controls wattage. One controls color temperature.

The switches are located on the driver housing and are preset prior to installation (either at the factory or adjusted by the contractor on-site before install).

For both contractors and distributors, the commonality of the function on the panels and the troffers is a pre-fab time saver. Simply set the switches accordingly and connect them to the system.

As 3000OK and 3500OK are close together on the temperature spectrum, we have always manufactured in 3000OK, 4000OK, 5000OK, with the tuning capabilities. At customer requests, we’ve now added a 3500OK option.

START Lighting Vari-Just Volumetric Troffer’s versatility of the adjustments makes our panels and troffers great in offices, schools, government facilities, and healthcare applications.

For distributors this makes product selection easier and can reduce inventory skus, hence reducing inventory investment.

For contractors this means always having the right panels and troffers on the job site. A simple flick of the switch ensures you have what you need, when you need it making jobs easier and faster to install … saving you time and money.

And since quality and creativity is our standard. There is no additional cost for this advanced functionality, making START’s Volumetric Troffer your cost-effective (material and labor) troffer solution.

Call us and ask us about your application.

linear T8 lamps

Relamping Warehouse Saves Money, Improves Lighting

If you’ve followed our blog, LinkedIn, or our  Press Releases, you know that we just moved into our new facility! As part of our agreement with the Building Owners, we provided and installed our products in the non-warehouse areas. I designed the lighting system to incorporate not only fixtures, but also controls. My goal was to take full advantage of  the floor to ceiling windows and our 300+ days of sunshine.

The end result is tremendous, incorporating the controls to maximize daylight harvesting, and the uber efficient LED system provides a peaceful and productive environment.  As I mentioned earlier, this didn’t include the warehouse. I was more focused with maximizing space in the warehouse and put the lighting design on the back burner.

I had an OEM partner in for a meeting this week, and as I gave him the tour I zeroed in on the lighting in the warehouse. When transitioning from theSTART Lighting Warehouse Pre Lighting office to the warehouse, its like a time warp, an orange glow from before the time of identifying lighting color with the Kelvin scale. The warehouse lighting is laid out in row after row of 2 lamp 4′ strips end to end, fortunately these had been updated to the newest technology in the 1990’s…T-8’s! I decided we needed to address the warehouse lighting immediately.

We decided to evaluate one area of the warehouse that START Lighting - After Relampinghas 24 of the 2 lamp 4′ fixtures. We took foot candle readings in 4 areas, the average f/c was 15.5. The fixtures were using 32 watt lamps and instant start ballasts consuming 68 watts per fixture, totaling 48 lamps and 1,632 watts for the are

Relamping / Delamping Saves Watts, Costs and Improves Lighting Quality

We decided to delamp and install our 20 watt LED Linear’s. We eliminated 30 lamps and dropped to 360 watts for the area. More importantly we raised the f/c level to an average of 18.3.

End result:

  • 62.5% less lamps
  • 78% less watts
  • 16% increase in f/c.

Not bad for a test, and it saved us the cost of removal and install of new fixtures.

Understanding the Lifespan of LED Lamps

Transitioning from Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and incandescent lamps to LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) raises questions of perceived product superiority. Is one better than another? Essential questions include: how much energy and money is saved as well as how much less lumens depreciate. Comparing these lighting forms is useless if you don’t evaluate the right elements. Regardless of what motivation exists behind the desire to switch to LEDs, research shows that LEDs consistently have low life-cycle energy consumption compared to CFLs and incandescent lamps.

Switching, retrofitting or installing a new LED system may cause increased up-front costs, but merged with reliable lighting and consistent and predictable light costs may produce a more productive lighting solution.

Transitioning to LEDs

What should be compared when making the transition? Lumen output/depreciation, LED lifespan, reliability and degradation over time are all important factors to consider.

Lumen output

Typically, lamps are rated by their wattage. Incandescent lamps and LEDs both come in various watts. But these watt numbers are not comparable. Watts tell you how much energy the lamp uses. Lumens on the other hand tell you how bright the light will be. The more lumens a lamp has, the brighter the light will be, and vice versa. According to energy.gov, a 100-watt incandescent bulb provides approximately 1600 lumens. The comparable LED bulb “averages only 17 watts and offers the same amount of light”. That being said, having less watts means less energy is used by the lamp. And less energy used by the lamp means that the LED uses a greater percentage of that energy to make light and produces a brighter light, versus less light and more heat as is typical in an incandescent. When less light is lost in application, more specific lighting design can be achieved.

LED lifespan

Again lumens enter the discussion. LED lifespan must be looked at through lumen depreciation. How much loss of light is acceptable? The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommends determining the life as the point at which the LED is 30 percent lumen depreciated. If the lamp is still emitting light, and the amount of light is acceptable for its application, then the lamp’s lifespan has not yet ended, even though the light is diminished. General consensus is that LEDs last about 10 times the number of hours of an incandescent lamp. That relates to about 1,000 hours for incandescent and 10,000 hours for LED.

Degradation

All forms of lighting eventually fade in some manner. CFLs and incandescent lamps can simply shatter or illuminate less of an area over time. LEDs predominantly emit less and less light until their illumination is no longer valuable. That is why the comparison factors: lifetime versus reliability cannot be lumped together. Lifetime refers to specific parameters and specific conditions, under which the lamp will operate for such and such amount of time. Reliability, otherwise known as failure rate, refers to something specific or a lot of somethings going wrong and “end[ing] the life of a specific product or component.”1

Lumen depreciation

But how much lumen depreciation is tolerable, before replacement is needed or desired? The typical slow-dimming of LEDs may extend the lamp life. But the typical definition of the lifetime of a lamp is when it no longer gives off light. Traditional lighting failure provides us with the equation that when half the lamps have failed, the lamp is considered to be at the end of its life. LED degradation happens over time – so, “when there’s no longer enough light”1 for the intended application, it has reached its end of life. But also important to note is “that insufficient or no light output is not the only reason a product may no longer be acceptable.”1 Intermittent LED failure or changing light color or light distribution anomalies could be considered other reasons for failure.

Reasons for failure

But lumens are not the only thing to consider in LED lifespan and reliability. Certain aspects of the lamps should be compared for usage costs and reasons for replacement: power management, thermal management, optical management, and luminaire assembly integrity.

Power management concerns the ability of the LED to properly control and filter current. An LED that fails in this may flicker.

Thermal management concerns the LED’s ability to conduct heat and either help lumen illumination or contribute to its depreciation.

Optical Management refers to an LED that “is correctly and efficiently shaped and directed toward the desired surface.”1 This impact is unlikely to cause failure; but it could create undesirable lighting conditions.

Finally, assembly integrity refers to the level to which LED housings are protected from “dust, moisture, vibration, and other adverse environmental effects.”1 Such elements are unlikely to render the lamp useless, but they still impact lighting applications.

It is clear that “commercial customers understand the trade-offs among energy efficiency, maintenance costs, and first cost of an LED product,”1 but considering lumen output, LED lifespan, reliability and degradation over time can yield important considerations about LED lighting product life and overall effectiveness.

1Quoted from Energy.gov