DesignLights Consortium sets the standard for quality lighting

The market for LED commercial lighting is growing rapidly, and technology is constantly evolving. In this environment, it can be difficult to know which products will perform as advertised. One place you can go to get reliable information about high-performance lighting is the DesignLights Consortium® (DLC).

About the DLC

The DLC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the adoption of high-performance commercial lighting products. The consortium began in 1998 as a working group of energy efficiency program managers.

Over the years, the DLC has published lighting design guides and developed partnerships with lighting distributors to educate them on the benefits of high-performance lighting solutions. They continue to develop and update standards for commercial lighting products and address market barriers to the implementation of advanced lighting controls.

Today, the DLC has grown to include 85 energy efficiency program members from across the U.S. and Canada. Members use DLC resources to improve their efficiency programs and meet energy saving goals. They also contribute to DLC policy and lighting specification development.

In 2010, in response to the growing market for LED commercial lighting, the consortium developed the Solid State Lighting Qualified Products List, a searchable database of independently reviewed lighting products that meet a minimum set of technical requirements.

Why choose DLC-qualified products?

The DLC has more than 20 years of experience promoting high-performance commercial lighting. The consortium qualifies commercial LED luminaires (including horticultural lighting), retrofit kits and linear replacement lamps, as well as mogul screw-base and four pin-base replacement lamps.

The DLC identifies and verifies high-performance products following a rigorous set of guidelines:

  • Qualified products must meet a set of minimum technical requirements established by the consortium. Requirements include minimum light output, efficacy and color rendering index, as well as color temperature range.
  • Product performance is tested according to standards developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society, such as LM-79, LM-80 and TM-21.
  • To qualify, products must be independently certified by an accredited laboratory appropriate for the performance application being evaluated.

DLC Premium™ is a higher-performance classification only for luminaires and retrofit kits. Premium products must meet higher efficacy, lumen maintenance and color quality requirements.

Advancing lighting controls

The DLC also offers a set of tools, resources and case studies designed to enable the widespread adoption of networked lighting controls. “A DLC study showed that adding networked lighting controls to LED lighting projects can boost energy savings by nearly 50%”, said DLC Executive Director Christina Halfpenny. “Yet, much of these savings are untapped. By advancing our technical requirements, we aim to facilitate adoption of this transformative technology.”

DLC technical requirements for networked lighting controls has more than 20 required and optional categories, including occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, zoning, scheduling, energy monitoring, cybersecurity, building system integration and more.

Search the Qualified Products List for Networked Lighting Controls for qualified systems.

Overall, the goal of the DLC is to provide you with the information you need to save energy and improve lighting system performance.