LED flat panels continue to gain in popularity as a versatile lighting fixture for many commercial indoor applications. They offer a low-glare, low-profile ambient lighting solution that is both economical and visually pleasing for new construction and renovations. But not all flat panels are created equal. Here are some criteria to consider when specifying LED flat panels for your next project.
Inferior Manufacturing: LED panels should be assembled in a cleanroom environment. Uncontrolled manufacturing processes often result in inconsistent illumination across the panel, hot spots and visual defects. End of the line testing is key as well to detect contamination that can cause poor visual appearance. Look for these potential defects in any of the LED panels you are evaluating.
Yellow Panels: Panels fabricated from inferior materials can become yellowed over a short period of time, resulting in inconsistent and unsatisfactory luminance. Check specifications for material used and the testing of those materials.
Poor Lumen Maintenance: Output from “cheap” LEDs typically degrade rapidly over the fixture life, resulting in progressively decreased lighting output in the space. Again, verify or get documented the quality of the LEDs and related light engine.
Color Shift: The human eye can visually detect color variation of 5 or more Macadam ellipses in LED binning. Many off-brand panels allow a 7-step Macadam ellipse variation, resulting in visually apparent color inconsistency within individual flat panels and from panel to panel.
Potential Warranty & Support Issues: Determine if the manufacturer will be readily available to honor the warranty if needed and take care of issues on the job site and other post-sales problems that may arise.
A final consideration (call it a “sixth” criteria) is checking for lighting controls compatibility. How readily can the panel work with simple sensors or fully integrate with a wired or wireless lighting control system to promote additional energy savings. For more specification information, please visit us at LED Panels.