An Inside Look at the DesignLights Consortium 2017 Stakeholder Meeting

I attended the sixth annual DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) Stakeholder Meeting in Portland, Oregon in mid-July. I discovered that Portland is a great city with interesting people, participated in sessions about a variety of topics that affect the lighting industry, and the DLC is making one very exciting improvement in the near future.

DLC Stakeholder Meeting July 2017

For starters, here’s an intro…the DLC Annual Stakeholder Meeting is a collaborative and interactive forum. The DLC presents their plans and solicits feedback from the stakeholders; it also gives stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions in an open environment among industry professionals and their peers. Attendees range from utilities to technical experts and other thought leaders that come together to share ideas and perspectives on commercial LED lighting technologies and advanced controls. Encentiv Energy is a stakeholder and since the majority of utility rebate programs require lighting fixtures to be on the DesignLights Consortium Qualified Product Listing (QPL), we have an interest and want to stay informed about where they are headed in the future.

I was able to attend the breakout session: Col-LAB-oration with Labs. I wanted to learn more about the experience that manufacturers have with the labs that do testing on their fixtures and the process. Also, the common issues they encounter within lab test reports – which was quite eye-opening. If a lab makes a mistake on a test result or makes a mistake in recording the information that is sent to DLC, it is up to the manufacturer to resolve this issue which may require them to submit for testing again and pay the cost of doing so.

I also attended two other breakout sessions: Common SSL Application Questions and V4.2 Category Nuances and Allowances. Common SSL Application Question session went into more detail about the policy for color tuning and horticultural products. The long-term goal for the DLC and horticultural products is that they are going to address it, and will start by deciding how to determine product performance and quality as well as developing technical requirements for horticultural lighting . There is a lot of growth and emergence around horticultural lighting and there are different metrics when it comes to evaluating it. The DLC has a research plan to start looking into it.

As for V4.2 and category nuances, DLC facilitated  a discussion around the recent changes and provided a background on why the changes were made. Linear replacement LEDs testing protocols were developed around T8 lamps and they’ve expanded to address T5 lamp types individually. Allowances with additional metrics around low CCT or high CRI (specific performance requirements) allow for a 3-5% allowance to efficacy.

A very exciting improvement is that the DLC announced they are creating a DLC technical roadmap that will be published on their website to walk through the process they go through to make decisions. They will give stakeholders time to review and comment on all future changes to the technical requirements and QPL.

All in all it was a great conference. I even met someone that climbed and skied down Mt. Hood(!), got to go for a run in a new city which allowed me to see the beautiful scenery of Portland and learn about the future of the DesignLights Consortium.

Key takeaways:

If a manufacturer submits fixtures for testing and the lab makes a mistake in the results or on the paperwork it is up to the manufacturer to resolve this which may be that they submit for testing again and pay for the costs

Horticultural lighting is an emerging and rapidly growing industry and the DLC has plans to start looking into the different metrics when it comes to evaluating it

V4.2 is discussing the recent changes that were made and making some updates

DLC announced they will be publishing a technical roadmap on their website that will allow stakeholders to stay informed and to review and comment on all future changes to the technical requirements and QPL

The Encentivizer™ Platform incorporates all the changes by the DesignLights Consortium. You can find qualified products with rebate intelligence in seconds.

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By Steve Bolibruck, Director of Technical Services