Getting More Creative With Acoustical Tile Ceilings

Post by on July 16, 2017 in Lighting Tips

A Common Ceiling Solution Doesn't Need Common Lighting

Acoustical Tile (ACT) Ceilings are common solutions in classrooms, office spaces, medical facilities and all kinds of other spaces. For decades the answer to lighting ceilings like these have been recessed troffers or downlights. Innovations in LED luminaires have led to solutions that get us away from simply putting troffers in the ceiling.

Here are three ways you can make ACT ceilings an exciting design feature.


JLC-Tech at the SDA Showcase


JLC-Tech shows their new wall washer at Lightfair. 

We’ve been talking about JLC-Tech for years as a solution for ACT ceilings. By replacing the frames of an acoustical tile ceiling with lighted LED bars you can create interesting patterns of usable light throughout a space. This allows for creative design choices, but it also reduces how much plenum space the lighting needs to function, since the drivers can be removed to the edges of the room.

With multiple lensing options, including lit signage and a very cool looking block diffuser lens, the JLC-Tech family of solutions is ready for whatever design scheme you are trying to create.

USAI Connect

USAI Connect is a completely new way to integrate beautiful architectural downlighting into Armstrong® ceilings. By moving the lighted apertures to intersections of the tiles, the marriage of light and tiles becomes one of clean visual harmony.

USAI Connect

USAI Connect creates beautifully clean downlighting and wall washing for any ceiling height.

I could go on writing superlatives about the system, but I think some graphics will really help explain what the system is and how it works.

First, take a look at the graphic below. It demonstrates how the fixture integrates into the tiles. The driver compartment mounts directly to the ceiling rail and the aperture integrates into the intersection creating a clean, trimless solution.

USAI Connect Explainer

The basic components of the USAI connect fixture.

Here are some basic spacing guidelines.

USAI Connect typical spacing guide

USAI Connect typical spacing guide

Wondering how it gets installed?

Cree Essentia Flat Panels

Let’s face it. There are a lot of flat panel products out there. I’m here to tell you, not all flat panels are created equal. Cree’s Essentia offers a truly specification grade flat panel troffer. There are lots of inexpensive things you an stick in the ceiling to make light, that’s how many manufacturers have treated the flat panel.

Cree took a different approach by offering a 100 lumen-per-watt, 90+CRI (!), damp rated flat panel with a five year warranty at a competitive price.

Ready to learn more?

Contact us to review samples, or learn more about how to specify any of these products. There’s no reason to settle for a boring ceiling with boring lighting. Let us help you marry the ceiling to the lighting for beautiful results.


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