DLC Qualified Product List – Defining the Standards of a Surging Market

The DesignLights™ Consortium (DLC) Qualified Product List (QPL) (www.designlights.org) provides a central place for manufacturers to submit products for qualification and for utilities and energy efficiency program administrators to distinguish high performing products for use in their incentive programs.  Due to the rapid technological advances in the Solid State  Lighting (SSL) industry, the DLC continues to update and improve its specification criteria and product categories. The DLC last updated its specifications in July 2011, adding specifications for eight additional product categories at the same time. The specification change resulted in 1300 products being dropped from the QPL in April 2012for not meeting the new specs. However, the QPL recovered the number of products in less than a month, bringing the list back to registering over 10,000 products by the end of May 2012. The DLC team is currently rolling out the next set of updates to existing specifications. As per DLC policy, all companies with products already on the list have 270 days to prove those products meet the new specs in order to continue being listed. In addition, we are developing specifications for new product categories for the QPL, which aims for high energy efficiency standards and addresses those of product quality and reliability. The new categories will include flood/spot lights, stair well lights, several retro fit kit categories including troffers, garage lights, fuel pump canapy lights, high bay, and wall packs. In adjusting the QPL specifications to keep up with advances in technology, the DLC has realized that specifications and categories must allow for creative solutions in many applications in order to ensure LED luminaires are successful and reliable products. Limiting product updates to energy efficiency efforts would thus be insufficient when soliciting manufacturers to produce better products. In other words, many of the QPL specs are focused on light output and light quality in order to ensure products listed on the QPL  outweigh competitors not only by amount of energy saved but by customer satisfaction. Recognizing the importance of meeting customers’ needs for quality products, the DLC is engaging its members (utility program manager, manufacturers of lighting equipment, the lighting design community, and testing labs for their input. Starting conversations about the rigorous processes of the DLC, changes in specs, new product categories, as well as talking about their own and their customers’ expectations and preferences when it comes to the QPL, is an important step in assuring quality in SSL lighting. Thus, the DLC continues to work to assure product quality and energy efficiency that will go hand in hand to result in market transformation. Keeping these goals in mind, the DLC is moving forward in further developing the QPL that has already established itself as an industry-wide recognized standard for affordable, energy-conscious products.

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