What Are DLC Lights, and Why Should You Choose DLC Listed Lighting?

Posted by Gabriel C on 4/21/2017 to LED Wall Pack Lights
What Are DLC Lights, and Why Should You Choose DLC Listed Lighting?

DLC Lights and Why They are Important

Have you heard of DLC lights and don’t know what is means? We are here to tell you more about DLC lights and why you should choose it.   Let’s take a closer look at DLC lights.

What are DLC Lights?

The Design Lights Consortium (DLC) is a regional group that focuses on quality and energy efficient lighting, especially for the commercial industry. In simple words, DLC is a rating system that identifies, through testing and manufacturer data which lighting items are acceptable for their intended uses.   They are an independent agency to certify led lights and LED light bulbs.

DLC is much like the Energy Star program, which more people are familiar with. Energy Star ratings are for lamps, whereas DLC is for fixtures. The objective of the DLC is to accelerate the use of energy efficient lighting in the construction sector. The method to achieve their objective is through influencing public policy, spreading education and, and teaching strategies. 

DLC maintains a list of product that has greater quality, efficiency, and high standards. The list is called Quality Products List (QPL). DLC has strict testing requirements to make sure the LED Lights Fixture provides great performance. So DLC listed lights are the ones that are certified and tested by DLC. 

Why Should you Choose a DLC Light 

The DLC lights are a better choice because you know that the products have passed a series of tests. The tests are proof that the lights are efficient and high-quality, but most importantly they meet their claims of lumen output and light quality. DLC listed lights are individually tested at their lab and the results are published online. This is an assurance that you are getting the specified amount of lumens, CRI and THD. 

Why was the DLC Started? 

It was started in 1998 as a regional certification for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Their aim was to solve the disparity between the energy efficient lighting products and high-quality products. Another reason was to make sure that available rebate money was going to light fixtures. This was to show they were not misrepresenting their light output. 

Who Owns the DLC? 

The DLC is operated by a collaboration of utility companies and regional efficient organizations. This group is committed to create public awareness about energy efficient lighting. The DLC is managed by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP). 

What is the Energy Rebate Program? 

The Energy Rebate Program is an incentive program that offers a cash rebate to users who change their high-pressure sodium or other bulbs for LED retrofit lights, LED Corn Bulbs or other LED Fixtures. When you change these bulbs, the energy company pays you a rebate for the shift. 

The funding for this is usually in utility bills.   So collectively we all pay for the rebates to help reduce our collective demand, thus providing price and environmental benefits.

Who decides the rebate amount and availability?

Every utility sets their own rates under state laws.  In most states, all the programs are similar, but you need to check.   There is a set amount of funds and when exhausted they stop approving rebates.   Most states have extended rebate programs well into the future.  

The most common rebate program is .30 for every watt reduced.   So if you take out 10x 400watt Metal Halide bulbs at 18,000 lumens and replace them with 10x 150 watt UFO high bay lights, you save 250watts each or 2500 total.  Typically if they are DLC Listed High Bay Lights then you qualify for a $750 rebate, or about 40% of the cost from LEDLightExpert.com

What is DLC 4.1? 

DLC 4.1 is a technical requirement that concentrates in the product’s efficiency.  As LEDs got better, DLC raised the bar to push LED Lights to be even better.  It is expected to become required for rebates around 2017-2018 and generally requires a higher lumen to watt ratio than was normally in the market.

What is DLC premium? 

DLC premium is a higher-performance classification for lights.  The biggest issue is lumen maintenance.  All lights loose light over time.  DLC Premium ones are certified to lose very little over their expected 20 year life.  LED Light Expert is already carrying some LED wall packs and other fixtures that meet the DLC Premium requirement.  Short answer; The items that are submitted to the DLC Premium classification is required to meet the higher efficiency and lumen maintenance requirements.  

What kind of lights are rated? 

All types of lights are rated; they include:
E39 light bulbs / refrotfit kits
LED wall Packs
Parking lot lights

Note that E26 standard socket bulbs are not included.  Even if you are replacing a jumbo incandescent it just is not eligible.

Due to the hard work of DLC and others, the energy efficiency and quality of LEDs is vastly improved.   Without DLC we would be much farther behind and there would be a higher rate or poor quality LEDs in the market. 


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