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Before we describe the issues with fluorescent troffer lighting, we should first define what it is. The term troffer refers to indoor lighting fixtures that are mounted within a ceiling or ceiling grid. Troffer lights are usually installed in the following types of locations: commercial lighting, industrial lighting, retail lighting, warehouse lighting, office lighting, and classroom lighting applications. Fluorescent light problems can cost you more money in maintenance, repairs, and replacements.

Below we will explore three common problems with troffer lighting, including high energy costs, high maintenance costs, and poor lighting performance.

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Energy Costs

For any large facility, energy costs are a huge driver of the monthly operational budget. If we look at a typical four foot fluorescent lamp, we see that it consumes between 28 watts and 40 watts per lamp.

Additionally, most 2x4 troffers utilize multiple fluorescent lamps per fixture. For example, a four lamp fixture can consume up to 160 watts per light fixture. To put this in tangible numbers, a single 2x4 troffer can cost up to $84 per fixture, per year, in electricity costs alone. Depending on the size of your facility these costs can really add up over time.

Maintenance Costs

In addition to the unnecessarily high energy costs, frequent maintenance costs can also plague facilities utilizing fluorescent troffer lighting. The amount of maintenance for a fluorescent troffer fixture is very dependent on the operational usage of the lamps within the fixture. For instance, when operated in cold temperatures or in environments where the fixtures are subject to constant on/off operations, the useful life of the fluorescent lights deteriorates rapidly. Every time a fluorescent lamp is turned on, it degrades the cathodes within the tubes.

This results in a shorter lamp life and the need to frequently replace lamps. Fluorescent light lifetimes range from 10,000 to 30,000 hours. For a standard classroom or office space with multiple troffer fixtures, it can easily cost $2,952 over the course of  three years in lamp and labor costs to maintain fluorescent recessed troffer lighting.

Lighting Performance

The performance of fluorescent tubes within troffer lighting applications will vary based on the type of existing fluorescent lamp. T12 and T8 fluorescent tubes are the most common types of lamps used in 2x4 and 2x2 troffer fixtures. Lamp performance varies drastically between T8 bulbs and T12 bulbs, and the manufacturer of these lamps can be indicative of the quality.

From a lighting performance perspective, the fact that recessed troffers utilize multiple tubes per fixture is the primary cause of performance issues. As individual lamps fail within a fixture, the performance and aesthetics of the fixture are reduced. In addition, most fluorescent lighting applications are not dimmable, so a user is unable to adapt if performance requirements change within a given space.


There are three primary issues with utilizing fluorescent troffer lighting in your facilities - energy costs, maintenance costs, and lighting performance. In additional there are many other beneficial reasons to switch to LEDs. Don't let problems with fluorescent lighting slow your growing business!

Mitigate these issues with led troffer lighting. Contact Stouch Lighting today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to working with you.