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.

See Encentivizer Now

By Steve Bolibruck, Director of Technical Services


Don’t panic, just make sure you’re clear on this

If you didn’t take a 6-month vacation, odds are you’ve been developing projects that will be affected by DLC’s new requirements. So, how are the DLC QPL changes affecting them? And what can you do about it?

With 40% of the products delisted from the QPL as of April 1st (no this is not an April Fool’s joke), you might be wishing you had taken that 6-month vacation.

A big change, I know, but don’t panic!

As manufacturers continue to update their products and more are qualified under the V4.1 requirements, that 40% figure should drop over time. In the meantime, there’s some work to get done. Encentiv Energy has been and will continue to make enhancements to the Encentivizer™ Platform to do the heavy lifting for you and to make this a seamless transition.

As I mentioned, some of these might be re-added to the QPL, but with your reputation, customer satisfaction and utility rebate dollars at stake, it might not be worth the risk to leave your outstanding projects as they are.

Speaking of utility rebates, how are the utility companies handling these changes? What are they doing to make this transition easier?

Good question, let’s just say some are doing more than others, naturally.

Here’s what you can do to determine exactly how each of them is handling the change.

If you haven’t done so already or received any notifications, attended any webinars or utility sponsored conferences, contact your utility representatives and ensure you understand how they are handling this transition.

Are they drawing a hard line in the sand or being flexible and offering a grace period?

If they have a pre-approval option, what is the deadline to submit projects for pre-approval before they must meet the new V4.1 requirements?

If they do not offer pre-approvals, did the project need to be installed by April 1st to avoid falling under V4.1 or is there a 90-day grace period you can leverage to give your customers a sense of urgency to move forward with the project you’ve developed?

How are they communicating, if at all, these changes directly with the customers?

All perfectly reasonable and easily answered questions by each utility company representative. With an understanding of which products are affected and what your utility company’s stance is, you’ll know which projects need to be updated.

From there, the rest is easy.

The Encentivizer™ Platform has already incorporated the delisted products and V4.1 products. By utilizing the Product Awareness tool, you can find a new qualified product in seconds.

Or, if you’re an Encentivizer XL tool user, you can use the Product Selector feature to re-spec projects you’ve already developed in the tool.

There’s no need to panic, just make sure you’re clear on

  • what products have been delisted
  • your utility company’s transition plan

And leverage the power of the Encentivizer™ Platform to do the heavy lifting for you.

Schedule a Demo and see the magic for yourself


by Jeff Julia, Senior Account Manager

What You Need to Know about DLC Requirements V4.0

DesignLights Consortium™ is implementing the final step in the Technical Requirements Version 4.0. What does this mean for you?

Here are the two pertinent facts of the new requirements:

  1. A revision to the required efficacy levels for the “DLC Standard” classification and the “DLC Premium” classification.
  2. A transition timeline, which includes a new element of identifying products that meet the V4.0 Technical Requirements on the QPL ahead of the final de-listing, in addition to the traditional grace periods.

The implementation timeline will allow transition to the new requirements through the end of March 2017. On April 1, 2017 any product that does NOT meet the new requirements will be removed.

DLC will clearly identify products that meet the V4.0 requirements on the QPL starting early January 2017 through the end of March 2017. These products will remain on the QPL, even though they do not meet the V4.0 requirements, until April 1, 2017. As of April 1, 2017, products that do not meet the V4.0 requirements will be removed from the active QPL, and ONLY products that meet the new requirements will be considered qualified.

So, how are you going to manage all the products that are being removed from the QPL and know which ones still meet the requirements?

If you want real-time energy savings calculations, incentive estimates and program details for both custom and prescriptive measures with the click of a button – AND – access to all qualified products by type, category or SKU (INCLUDING THE NEW DLC V4.0 REQUIREMENTS) get in touch with us today. Let us show you what the Encentivizer™ platform can do for your business.

It’s also important to know these pending changes for the DLC QPL won’t impact the PJM EER program. Get more info on PJM Energy Efficiency as a Resource.

See all the features of Encentivizer