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What is DLC?

When purchasing energy-efficient lamps and lighting fixtures, you may come across some that are DLC listed. However, you may be unclear what exactly that means.


Let's take a look at who the DLC is, what it means to be DLC listed, and the benefits of purchasing DLC listed lighting products.


Who is the DLC?

The DLC stands for the DesignLights Consortium™ -- a partnership of energy efficiency stakeholders throughout the US and Canada that "promotes quality, performance, and energy efficient commercial sector lighting solutions."


There are currently 78 DLC members that include regional, state, utility and energy efficiency programs. Some of DLC's members include Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Georgia Power, Alliant Energy, Hawaii Energy, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Efficiency Nova Scotia, and Electric Utility Marketing Managers of Texas. Additionally, DLC works with lighting manufacturers, designers, and other involved in the industry.


The DLC is actually a project of the Northeast Energy Efficient Partnership (NEEP) that was founded back in 1996. The nonprofit works to increase energy efficiency in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas of the US by reducing energy use in buildings, increasing the visibility of energy efficiency, and advancing knowledge and best practices.


What is a DLC Listing?

Although the DLC was first used to educate lighting distributors about high performance T8 fluorescent lamps, today the DLC has turned its attentions to LED lighting as it became more available and increased its marketshare.


In 2010, DLC launched its Qualified Products List (QPL) which, according to the global independent safety company UL, features LED and solid state lighting (SSL) products that have been tested at a DLC-approved lab and comply with "specific performance and energy efficiency criteria."


DLC has specific technical requirements that lamps and fixtures must meet in order to be included on the QPL, such as minimum efficacies and warranties, minimum light outputs, and minimum life rating.


If a product meets DLC's criteria, it can be added to the QLP, which can be accessed and searched online. Products can be searched by keyword, manufacturer, or measured criteria such as efficacy, wattage, CCT, CRI, category, dimming criteria, and much more.


As of September 2015, there are 140,249 products on the QPL, including outdoor and indoor luminaires, retrofit kits, and linear replacement lamps.


In July 2015, the DLC reportedly delisted 1,220 products due to misrepresentation, according to their DLC Industry Update newsletter. These products were reportedly employing screw bases, which under current DLC requirements are specifically excluded from qualification. Delisted products can also be searched for on the QPL.


DLC Benefits

So what are the benefits to purchasing products listed on the DLC QLP?


First off, you can purchase LED lamps and fixtures listed on the QLP knowing they are being held to a high set of standards. This can give you a great peace of mind knowing these products have undergone and passed rigorous testing.


Plus selecting a DLC QPL listed product may also mean you are eligible for money-saving rebate from member utility companies! Contact your local utility company to see what type of rebates they offer for DLC compliant lamps and fixtures.


If you need assistance figuring out which DLC listed lamp or lighting fixture is best for you, we're here to help! Please give us a call or send us an email at [email protected], and one of our lighting experts will be happy to help you.


And for more information on all lighting topics, make sure to visit our Lighting Learning Center.

Categories: Lighting Basics
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