The standards by which lighting manufacturers have been designing their luminaires has changed once more. DLC, otherwise known as the DesignLights Consortium, has created the the DLC Premium Rating, an even higher classification than the standard DLC we have come to know over the last several years. This new classification is sure to attract the attention of lighting manufacturers as they continue striving to meet the highest standards in energy efficiency, for customer satisfaction as well as ensuring their products are eligible for maximum rebates from energy companies.
DLC Premium is a higher-performance classification for LED luminaires and retrofits. It is a multi-faceted classification that calls for even higher efficacy and lumen maintenance standards, as well as providing a driver ISTMT and integral controls. This is in conjunction with already meeting the minimum base requirements as outlined by the existing DLC standards. If a lighting manufacturer seeks qualification of it’s products to the DLC Premium status, it will have to supply stringent testing information to demonstrate that their products meet this higher classification’s added requirements.
In addition to the L70 requirement of 50,000 hours that DLC already calls for, products developed for DLC Premium classification will need to meet an L90 status of >36,000 hours. Just as with the L70 requirements, TM-21 projects will be used to evaluate the L90.
Manufacturers will continue to verify that safety certification has been obtained for all products submitted for listing on the DLC QPL. DLC Premium qualification will also be contingent upon whether the product can be ordered with integral controls such as photo sensors or occupancy sensors. LED Luminaires that have a primary use designated as “Specialty” will not be eligible for DLC Premium classification.
Regarding the Driver ISTMT requirements, manufacturers will have to provide a test report from a lab that shows that the product in question meets the DLC’s Laboratory Requirements for In-Situ Temperature Measurement Testing (ISTMT). Documentation from the driver manufacturer will have to indicate the maximum case temperature for which the driver is designed to last >50,000 hours, as well as the TMP location it designates for thermal testing.
The luminaire passes the driver ISTMT requirements only if the measured temperature at the TMP is less than or equal to the allowable operating temperature specified by the power supply manufacturer. If an application contains more than one driver in a family, then a driver ISTMT will be required for each driver submitted.
Updating DLC Qualified Products to DLC Premium
In order to update existing products on the DLC QPL to the DLC Premium classification, manufacturers will need to submit all requirements mentioned above; driver ISTMT, controls information, L90 analysis and safety certification.