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Case Study: LightSense LED Ceiling Panel

Case StudyLightSense’s LED panel light is, as the name suggests, an LED-based replacement for a traditional fluorescent ceiling panel luminaire. These are used mostly for commercial applications, such as in office spaces and canteens.

Fluorescent ceiling panel luminaires are, of course, very well-established and making an LED-based replacement can be a very tough nut to crack. The approach to making an LED ceiling luminaire is very simple – one that I’ve seen used by many different manufacturers. Basically, the manufacturer creates a thin, flat metal panel and mounts white LEDs in series around the edges. The panel is then covered with a white diffuser to spread the light out and the driver for the LEDs is mounted externally, so it can be hidden in the ceiling space when the fi xture is installed. Sounds easy enough, but this approach presents problems. If you want to pack in lots of LEDs to increase the lumen output, the LED junction temperature will rise and the efficacy, colour and lifetime of the luminaire will be negatively affected.

The LightSense LED ceiling panel, however, exploits edge-lit LED technology to deliver a high quality of light without sacrificing performance in the process. We measured its light output as 2,726 lumens after thermal stabilisation and determined that it has a luminous efficacy of 85.2 lm/W. This is surprisingly good – about 1.5 times that of a comparable T5-based luminaire. It’s also impressive considering that the colour of the LEDs is 4,142K. Some manufacturers will try to increase the efficacy by using cool white LEDs – the fact that there is less phosphor on such LEDs means the efficacy is higher – but the trade-off is that the light emitted is very blue, hence people find it uncomfortable to work with. This luminaire achieves a high efficacy with a neutral white LED and, added to this, the colour rendering index of 81 will give adequate colour rendering for most office applications.

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