Important Changes to the Qualified Product List
The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) is a voluntary certification program that enables manufacturers of LED lighting technology to standardize products for the utility sector in the United States and Canada. Products must be tested by an accredited laboratory and the results submitted to the DLC for approval. The majority of utility companies in this region require LED products to comply with DLC standards in four primary areas:
- Longevity/application stresses
- Color rendering
Utilities throughout the country use the results of these tests to qualify for rebates in the following areas:
- Linear tubes (e.g. LED T8 retrofits, refrigerated case luminaires, troffers, etc.)
- Retrofit kits
- Decorative luminaires
- High bay lighting
- Wall packs
- Roadway luminaires
- Parking garage lighting
- Spot/flood lighting
- Fueling station canopy lighting
Why the DLC?
The DesignLights Consortium is sponsored by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partners (NEEP), a
regional non-profit founded in 1996 to advance energy efficiency. The DLC is a body of federal, regional, state and provincial energy efficiency and utility entities in the United States and Canada. The DLC defines and promotes high quality, energy efficient commercial LED lighting solutions in an effort to promote safer and more sustainable environments. DLC members provide rebates and other financial incentives to commercial customers when they use products listed in the organization's Qualified Products List (QPL).
Lighting products are considered for the Consortium’s QPL based on product category requirements and specifications under the Standard Classification Tier. The DLC QPL steering committee specifies each product category for inclusion in the Qualified Product List. New product category specifications are created based on market demand and a product’s proven potential for sustainable energy savings.
The DLC steering committee also monitors the development of new ENERGY STAR® specifications for commercial lighting. When necessary, the steering committee will phase out its own specification in favor of a suitable ENERGY STAR specification.
Introducing a Premium Classification Tier
The Design Lights Consortium has updated their performance requirements from V2.1 to V3.1 and introduced several changes. Luminaire classifications have been rearranged and there are changes in how linear LEDs and retrofits are categorized. Perhaps the most dramatic change is the addition of a new tier of Premium Products.
Many products will not need to be re-evaluated and will be transferred automatically to new categories. However, additional information must be submitted for LED tubes and troffer retrofit kits. Products that qualify for the new premier tier will also have to be re-evaluated.
Note: After August 28, 2015, all new applications must meet Version 3.1 requirements. In order to remain on the QPL, existing products must meet version 3.1 requirements by March 25, 2016.
What Products Have Had Requirements Change?
You'll note changes in two categories: changes in requirements and changes to the classification of linear LED luminaires, troffer retrofit kits, and outdoor product categories. These include:
- Decorative Pole Luminaires now require 65 lumens/watt instead of 60 and the higher lumen outdoor products now require 75 lumens instead of 70 lumens/watt
- High and Low Bay products are now grouped together and require an L70lumen maintenance of 50,000 hours.
- Outdoor product categories are now distinguished by minimum light output. There are three classifications -- low, mid and high output.
- Linear Luminaires and retrofit kits for troffers must be re-evaluated. Additional information must be provided by February 19, 2016 for these products to remain certified. The reclassification is based on how the lamp operates, does it bypass ballast, use the existing ballast or is the ballast replaced by an LED driver?
Basic Requirements of the new Premium Classification Tier
The Premium designation applies to complete luminaires and retrofits. The primary distinction between this and other categories is the significantly increased efficacy requirement and the need to provide an L90 projection. The projection is based on the same TM-21 calculations but adjusted to determine when the LED will have degraded by 10%. This requires no extra testing but it does require extra calculation and re-evaluation.
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Look for our next blog: The DLC Premium Classification Tier + V3.1 Requirements