If you’re in the lighting industry in any capacity, you may be confused about the new DLC rules that started July 1, 2022, for all lighting manufacturers. If you are planning on buying any new lighting products, they may be subject to these changes, so you need to understand them thoroughly.
So what exactly is DLC lighting and why did these updates come about? Let’s take a look at the meaning behind DLC and how the recent changes will affect your future lighting purchases.
What is DLC?
DLC, or DesignLights Consortium, is a standards organization that works to improve the efficiency of commercial and industrial lighting. The DLC is a non-profit organization that is responsible for setting the standards for lighting products that are eligible for listing on the DLC Qualified Products List (QPL).
Similar to UL Listings, the QPL is a list of lighting products verified to meet certain performance criteria. To be listed on the QPL, a product must undergo rigorous testing by an accredited laboratory.
The SSL Standards program came into effect to encourage the development of more energy-efficient lighting products. By setting base efficacy rules, the DLC can ensure that only the most efficient products are manufactured.
DLC Version 5.1
The DLC Qualified Products List (QPL) helps customers to identify products that meet certain energy-saving standards. To list on the QPL, a product must undergo third-party testing to ensure that it meets specific performance criteria.
The revised DLC rules that went into effect in July 2022 further improve the efficiency of lighting products and encourage the development of new technologies. Some categories monitored by DCL:
- Model number
- Luminaire efficacy
- Integral controls information
- Power factor
- Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
- Color Rendering Index (CRI)
- Manufacturer and brand
- Light output
- Dimming information
The changes impact both existing products and any new products that come on the market after the deadline. For example, fixtures that do not have controls such as occupancy sensors or dimmers will no longer be eligible for DLC listing on the QPL.
This means that if you are planning on purchasing any new lighting products after July 2022, it is important to check whether they meet the revised DLC rules. By doing so, you can be sure that your purchase will help to improve the efficiency of your lighting system and save you money on your energy bill. Some of the changes implemented include:
- Glare control
- Luminaire efficacy (increased base standards)
- Wattage categorization
- Dimming functionality (added as a required feature for some product categories)
- Integral controls (occupancy sensors and dimmers must be included as a standard feature)
DLC 5.0 VS 5.1
The big change in DLC 5.1 is the addition of a base efficacy requirement for all products. This means that all products must meet a certain level of energy efficiency to list on the QPL.
The base efficacy rules vary depending on the type of product and its intended use. For example, traditional linear fluorescent fixtures must have an efficacy of at least 50 lumens per watt (LPW) to go on the list. This is a significant increase from the current requirement of 40 LPW, and it will result in the development of more efficient fluorescent fixtures.
Besides the base efficacy requirement, several other changes take effect under DLC 5.1. These include new base rules for color rendering and flicker, as well as changes to the product categories that are eligible for listing on the QPL.
While these changes may seem minor, they will further improve the efficiency of lighting products and encourage the development of new technologies.
Grace Period for Updating
Time ran out for manufacturers of SSL products who did not upgrade their products by following Version 5.1 of the DLC’s SSL Technical requirements. By April 15, 2022, all products were to be upgraded to avoid delisting from the QPL, which over 200 energy efficiency incentive programs across Canada and the US use.
On July 1, 2021, The SSL v5.1 technical requirements came into effect, but manufacturers got a grace period of one year to achieve compliance and keep their listing intact.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you are planning on purchasing any new lighting products after July 2022, it is important to check whether they meet the revised DLC rules. By doing so, you can be sure that your lighting system is of the latest standards and should save money on your energy bill.
The changes under DLC 5.1 resulted in the development of more efficient lighting products. This means that you have more options to choose from when it comes to energy-saving fixtures.
So if you are looking to upgrade your lighting system, be sure to keep an eye out for new products that meet the revised DLC rules.
Why Choose DLC-Certified Lights?
There are many reasons to choose DLC-certified lights. DLC certification ensures that a product meets strict efficiency standards. This means that you can be confident that what you buy will help to save money on your energy bill.
The DLC’s QPL is used by over 200 energy efficiency incentive programs across the US and Canada. This can help you to save even more money on your lighting purchase.
Finally, by choosing DLC-certified lights, you are supporting the development of new technologies that will help to create a more sustainable future.
Use DLC Lighting
This new version of the DLC lighting standards tightens up some of the loopholes that allowed products to sell as DLC-qualified when they didn’t meet the rigorous standards. Look for DLC certification on lighting products to ensure you’re getting quality, energy-efficient lighting that will save you money in the long run.
As a wholesale distributor of lighting and electrical products, Lighting and Supplies is proud to offer DLC-certified LED lights. We offer a variety of fixtures that meet the new 5.1 standards, including linear tubes, A-lamps, high bays, and wall packs.
If you’re looking for energy-saving lighting solutions, shop our wide range of DLC-certified products at Lightingandsupplies.com!