Cree breaks $100 barrier with 90-CRI LED troffer luminaire

Jan. 28, 2014
The AR Series joins Cree's TrueWhite branded products that deliver CRI of 90 or better, includes dimming as a standard feature, and offers a two-year payback.

Cree has announced the ZR Series of LED-based troffer fixtures for recessed ceiling applications that have been dominated for years by fluorescent troffers. Some configurations of the new fixtures are priced at $99 with all family members offering the company's TrueWhite technology and a CRI of 90 or more.

The new product family is what Cree refers to as contractor-grade product whereas the previously announced CR, AR, and LR Series are more expensive and targeted at architectural specification. Still, the new products include the high CRI, 0-10V dimming support, and the company's 10-yr warranty.

The products are projected for 75,000 hours of life, dismissing any thought of compromise in the product design. "The ZR Series LED troffer is a winning alternative, offering uncompromised performance and an industry-leading, 10-year limited warranty at a remarkably low price," said Norbert Hiller, Cree executive vice president, lighting. "It takes more than incremental improvements in performance to achieve widespread adoption of LED lighting. Cree innovation starts with a clean slate, designing a new troffer with an attractive appearance that provides superior light quality, high efficiency, and also enables fast installation."

The new design is low in profile relative to other troffers measuring 3.9-in. high. Cree said the thin design enables the product to be installed in tight plenum space including in retrofit projects. The target application segments include healthcare, education, and commercial office spaces.

Cree will offer the new ZR family in 1×4-, 2×2-, and 2×4-ft configurations. The company said that standard payback will take two years based on 12 hours of usage per day and the national average $0.11/kWh energy cost.

200 lm/W efficacy in lab

Separately, Cree announced that it had developed a prototype linear luminaire for fluorescent replacement that hit 200 lm/W in efficacy. The latest US Department of Energy (DOE) projections pegged 2020 as a timetable for a luminaire with that level of efficacy.

The laboratory product is far from ready for sale. But Cree has regularly delivered LED and lighting products one to two years after such a demo. "Demonstrating the industry's first 200-lm/W luminaire once again illustrates Cree's leadership in LED lighting," said Hiller. "The innovation required to achieve this record performance will usher in a new era of increased performance, quality, and affordability for our LED lighting customers."