This week on the Bright Ideas series presented by Acuity Brands®, Catherine Bruce is joined by Vice President of Government and Industry Relations, Tanya Hernandez. Tanya is well-versed in some of the recent changes launched by the Design Lights Consortium, or DLC.
The DLC is a non-profit organization with the mission to achieve energy optimization with lighting by promoting efficient technologies and lighting controllability, with a focus on quality, people, and the environment. Manufacturers submit lighting products to be certified as “standard” or “premium” by the DLC, at which point the products will qualify for various rebates across the country.
WHAT ARE THE MOST RECENT CHANGES?
In 2020, the Design Lights Consortium introduced two new updates to their solid-state lighting technical requirements. These two policies are referred to as updates 5.0, and 5.1.
5.0 includes a modest efficacy increase of 10%. 5.1, on the other hand, is more comprehensive with dimming and color requirements.
5.1 has expanded inclusivity for some fixtures: now, any products with a color temperature (CCT) of 6,500 Kelvin are able to qualify. However, color rendering requirements are now more stringent, so indoor products must now have an R9 greater than zero to qualify. The DLC has also added a new color maintenance metric to their standards which ensures that the consistency of a light over time will remain the same.
Lastly, one of the biggest changes in 5.1 is that all products that qualify for DLC are required to be dimmable. Outdoor products are allowed to use either step dimming or continuous dimming, but indoor products have to be continuously dimmable.
HOW IS THE DLC ADDRESSING QUALITY OF LIGHT?
The DLC has introduced two new requirements for glare. For some outdoor products, their Backlight, Uplight, and Glare (BUG) ratings now have to be reported and displayed on the qualified products list.
In addition, for certain indoor products to qualify for premium, the DLC added Unified Glare Rating (UGR) requirements. UGR isn’t needed for standard DLC products, but fixtures cannot qualify for premium without them.
ARE THERE ANY DLC REQUIREMENTS THAT HAVE NOT CHANGED?
Product lifetime requirements for DLC products remain the same: 50,000 hours or greater. A power factor of 0.9 and total harmonic distortion values of less than 20% still are required. Additionally, warranty requirements of five years or more are still in place; and safety certification requirements remain unchanged.
WHEN ARE THE NEW CHANGES EFFECTIVE?
Technically, the new requirements from DLC are already going into effect. As of February 28, 2021, all products not meeting the 5.0 requirement will fall off the qualified products index.
Then, by December 31, 2021, all products that do not meet the more comprehensive 5.1 requirements will be “delisted” as well.
It’s important for customers to stay on top of all these changes – but that’s a very difficult task to do by just keeping a spreadsheet to manually track qualifications. Documents like that can quickly become outdated because they don’t track new changes to qualifications in real time.
Instead, assets like the DLC website actually include listed and delisted products; and the Encentivizer tool on the Acuity Brands website can help users to easily find qualified Acuity Brands products.
Visit acuitybrands.com/rebates to learn more about opportunities to save money on lighting investments with products qualified by the DLC. Next week, our newest guest will discuss some efficiency and facilities changes taking place within Acuity Brands, which aim to increase benefits not only to users but also to the rest of the planet.
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