Selecting the best LED panels for office spaces

When it comes to designing, redesigning or updating your office space, lighting is one of the most important aspects to consider.

Recent studies have shown that the lighting installed within offices can directly influence the performance and efficiency of the staff who work in them. Working in a dimly lit office space is no longer appropriate and many offices are making the move from traditional fluorescent lighting to LED panels.

What impact can LED panels have in office spaces?

When replacing traditional fluorescent lighting, LED panels can have a huge impact on the productivity and well-being of employees.

Performance and well-being

Natural sunlight is the best lighting for office spaces but, many areas require additional lighting. LED panels are able to more closely replicate this than fluorescent lighting with a wider range of colour temperatures. This helps to improve the energy, mood and well-being of employees.

Flicker free lighting

One of the most common problems faced with fluorescent lighting in office spaces is the flickering that can occur when the bulb is wearing out or as a result of a malfunctioning ballast.

Flickering lighting can lead to eye strain, blurred vision and headaches for employees working in the office which can lead to dramatic drops in productivity. In contrast, LED panels do not have the same glowing filaments as fluorescent lights so no flickering occurs, making them a much better option for office lighting.

Lower heat output

LED panels have a much lower heat output than other types of lighting. Introducing LED panels can significantly reduce the risk of building fires or power outages.

Aside from the safety aspect of adding LED panels, they also provide the added benefit of office spaces being less subjectable to temperature rises as a result of hot bulbs. This helps to keep employees comfortable and saves on cooling bills.

Control options

Dimmable LED panels are available which allow for customised light output when needed by employees in the office and help to create a more comfortable working enviornment.

Emergency lighting

The key reason for emergency lighting in office spaces is in the event of a fire within the building. During a fire, the fire service cut off the power supply to the building and emergency LED panels use a battery as backup power in order to stay running for at least three hours and provide the occupants with enough light to leave the building safely.

How do LED panels compare with their fluorescent competitors?

LED panels offer a huge number of benefits over traditional fluorescent lighting.

Better light performance and quality

The light quality emitted by an LED panel is superior to fluorescent lighting.

Firstly, LED panels provide a much better light distribution. Fluorescent bulbs have a 360-degree beam angle which scatters light in every direction, resulting in a huge amount of wasted light and energy.

LED panels offer a direct light source which means the light is distributed in a particular way to prevent wasted light. This is especially important in enviornments where reading light and focus light is particularly important.

Not only does this distribution of light mean that less wattage is required to achieve the same lighting levels, fewer lights are needed to achieve the same levels and quality of light.

Integrated LED panels offer much higher lumens to watt ratios which provide reduced energy costs without compromising on light quality.

Environmentally friendly

LED panels are far more environmentally friendly than standard lighting. They have much lower CO2 emissions than standard lighting so have a lower risk of containing toxic or damaging materials such as mercury.


When compared to fluorescent lighting, LED panels are extremely long-lasting. LED panels have a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours compared to the 7,000 to 15,000 hours of a fluorescent tube.

LED panels do not require replacement as often as their fluorescent counterparts, helping businesses to save on maintenance costs.

Direct replacements for ceiling grids

Integrated LED panels can be retrofitted and can be used to directly replace fluorescent ceiling lighting, minimising the cost and disruption associated with upgrading office lighting.

LED panels are designed to fit the following ceiling grids:

  • 600mmx600mm
  • 1200mmx600mm
  • 1200mmx300mm

Once the old light fitting has been removed, new integrated LED panels can be dropped into their place within minutes.

For solid ceilings, surface mounted LED panels are also available to provide the same benefits without having to be integrated into the ceiling.

Instant light

LED lights instantly light up when you turn them on, meaning there is no warm up time as the lighting adjusts to its full power.

The key differences between LED panels and fluorescent tubes

Size Lumens
Lumen output 2700-3900 2800-3200 lumens
Colour temperature Colour temperatures range from 2200k to 6000k Colour temperatures range from 2700k to 6500k
Beam angle 180 degrees – light more focused 360 degrees – huge amount of light wasted pointing at the ceiling
Warranty 3-5 years 1-2 years
Average lifetime 30,000-50,000 hours 7,000-15,000 hours
Dimming Fully dimmable Can be dimmed
Heat emissions Very little heat produced Heat produced, making fluorescent tubes energy inefficient

The verdict

LED panels offer a longer term, more durable and more energy efficient lighting option than fluorescent tubes. They offer much more efficient lighting than fluorescent tubes without energy lost through heat or non-directional lighting.

In office spaces, costs savings and maintenance reductions are essential, making LED panels the best option when replacing lighting or designing an office space.

LED panels vs LED tubes

Compared to LED tubes, LED panels can offer a number of benefits including:

  • A more modern and clean design for office spaces
  • Support for occupancy sensors, colour temperature tuning and dimming options
  • Designed to fit traditional grid ceilings
  • Easily replace fluorescent fittings
  • Fluorescent fittings require more than one tube, LED panels replace the full structure with one light, providing a more cost-effective option

LED panels vs LED downlights

Whilst LED downlights provide a number of advantages, when compared to LED panels for use in the office the following factors should be considered:

  • Downlights provide a narrower beam of light, making them less effective at lighting larger areas
  • LED panels spread light clearly and evenly
  • High ceilings require higher powered LED downlights to ensure lighting is adequate
  • Replacing LED downlights can cause damage to the ceiling as they are recessed

Top picks: Our best-selling LED panels


Product Size Lumens Colour Temp Warranty
Bright Source 40w LED panel 600mmx600mm 3600lm 4000k 3 years Buy Now
Dimmable Bright Source 72w LED panel 1200mmx600mm 6600lm 3000k
? Buy Now
Bright Source 40w LED panel 1200mmx300mm 3600lm 3000k
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Osram Ledvance 36w LED panel 600mmx600mm 3600lm 6500k 3 years Buy Now
Bright Source Emergency 40w LED panel 600mmx600mm 3600lm 4000k 3 years Buy Now
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