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As the rules change or new procedures are developed, please note that these interpretation and/or guidance may not apply; you should always refer to the latest rules and guidance documents to determine what equipment authorization procedures should be followed. For the latest guidance on specific topics or you don't know where to start, please feel free to contact GTG experts.

GTG Provides DLC Certification Recognition Service
GTG can help you with DLC certification.
GTG provides professional, efficient and reliable DLC certificate recognition service.

The DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) is a non-profit organization that aims to promote energy-efficient lighting technologies. The organization was founded in 1998 and has since become a leading authority on LED lighting technologies. The consortium is made up of utility companies, energy efficiency program managers, and lighting manufacturers from across North America. DLC has become a leading resource for the lighting industry with a comprehensive set of technical requirements that show the way for high-quality, energy-efficient LED fixtures and controls.

DLC certification is a utility-based initiative. Numerous organisations in the United States and Canada base rebate programs on DLC standards for products including high bays, wall packs, roadway luminaires, retrofit kits, LED panels, and more.

The DLC is a voluntary certification initiative for LED technology. In order to certify, lighting products must comply with minimum performance standards in three critical areas, such as:

  • Distribution
  • Colour
  • Longevity / stress

Testing to DLC lighting requirements must be completed by an accredited laboratory. The results are submitted directly to the DLC by the manufacturer.

How does the DLC work?

The DLC works by developing technical requirements for energy-efficient lighting products. The organization has a team of experts that review and evaluate LED lighting products against these technical requirements. If a product meets the requirements, it is added to the DLC’s Qualified Products List (QPL). The QPL is a database of high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products that have been reviewed and approved by the DLC.

What are the benefits of using DLC-approved products?

There are several benefits to using DLC-approved products:

  • These products are high-quality and have been thoroughly tested to ensure they meet strict technical requirements.
  • They are energy-efficient, which means they can help reduce energy consumption and save money on utility bills.
  • Using DLC-approved products can help businesses meet energy codes and standards, which can lead to incentives and rebates from utility companies.

How can the DLC help improve energy efficiency in your business?

The DLC can help businesses improve energy efficiency by providing a database of energy-efficient lighting products that have been thoroughly tested and approved. By using DLC-approved products, businesses can save money on energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the DLC provides technical assistance and guidance on energy-efficient lighting solutions, helping businesses make informed decisions about their lighting needs.

What types of products does the DLC approve?

The DLC approves a wide range of products, including LED fixtures, retrofit kits, linear replacement lamps, and controls. These products are evaluated based on their energy efficiency, performance, and quality. The DLC also evaluates products based on their color quality and distribution, ensuring that they provide high-quality lighting that meets the needs of the end-user.

Must a product be DLC qualified in order to buy or sell it?

The lack of DLC certification on an LED product does not prevent it from being bought or sold, since manufacturers are not required to test for it. For instance, it can mean that the product has failed to meet DLC’s energy efficiency or quality standards. It can also mean that the manufacturer hasn’t applied for qualification or completed the application process.

In conclusion, a product does not necessarily need to be on the DLC list in order to be bought or sold. Nonetheless, a luminaire listed on the DLC website will ensure you of its overall performance. If you would like to know if the product you’re considering to purchase is DLC qualified, read the Product Qualification Criteria.

Note the distinction between DLC certification and others such as CSAUL or ETL: they are safety standards. DLC is not a safety standard but simply a resource that can be used to qualify the performance of an LED product. Unless you are seeking a utility rebate, DLC is not a mandatory fixture approval rating.

How can businesses find DLC-approved products?

Businesses can find DLC-approved products by searching the QPL database on the DLC’s website. The database allows users to search for products by category, manufacturer, and model number. The QPL also provides information on the product’s energy consumption, efficacy, and other technical details.

What is the DLC’s DLC Networked Lighting Controls (NLC) program?

The DLC’s NLC program is a technical requirements and qualification program for networked lighting control systems. The program provides a framework for evaluating the energy efficiency and performance of networked lighting control systems. By using DLC-approved NLC products, businesses can achieve greater energy savings and flexibility in their lighting systems.

What are the DLC’s technical requirements?

The DLC’s technical requirements are based on a variety of factors, including energy efficiency, performance, and quality. The requirements are regularly updated to reflect changes in LED technology and industry standards. The DLC’s technical requirements are considered to be some of the most comprehensive and rigorous in the industry, ensuring that only the highest-quality products make it onto the QPL.

What are the benefits of becoming a DLC member?

Becoming a DLC member provides several benefits, including access to technical resources, industry research and data, and networking opportunities. Members also have the opportunity to participate in the development of technical requirements and policies, helping shape the future of the lighting industry.

How can the DLC help businesses meet energy codes and standards?

The DLC’s technical requirements are often used as a basis for energy codes and standards. By using DLC-approved products, businesses can be confident that they are meeting these codes and standards and may be eligible for incentives and rebates from utility companies.

How has the DLC impacted the lighting industry?

The DLC has had a significant impact on the lighting industry, promoting the development and adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting technologies. The organization has helped drive innovation and quality in the industry, leading to greater energy savings and reduced carbon emissions.

How does DLC differ from ENERGY STAR?

DLC is a regional group that started out as a project of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP). It does not presently certify LED products. In order to establish product quality and performance, manufacturers must therefore seek out independent evaluations of their LED products. Although the qualifications for Energy Star and DLC are similar, DLC evaluations are in fact more comprehensive. DLC has consequently become a prevailing standard among LED lighting manufacturers.

One of the reasons DLC listing is increasingly popular is the growth of LED fixture rebates from utilities. Since the Energy Star label is not applicable to LED fixtures, most fixture-focused utility rebates require the DLC label for the product to qualify.

How can GTG assist you with DLC certification recognition

Working with a certified lighting expert will certainly help you navigate the tricky details of evaluating an LED product. GTG will help you make an appropriate choice for your specific application needs, regardless of a DLC certification.

Sources: Our guidance and/or articles are written in part based on publicly available information, and our own practical experience relating to product testing, compliance and certification. These are some of the primary sources we use:
  1. https://www.designlights.org/
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