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What is DLC Premium and Why Does it Matter to My Rebate Check?

Posted on July 10, 2017

In today’s competitive economy, every cent counts. With whisker-thin margins, many companies turn their attention to cutting waste within their facilities. Low-flow water fixtures, smart electrical sensors, and DLC Premium lighting can all help cut waste, but DLC Premium rated lighting can also help get you money back on your commercial utility bills.

The Down Low On DLC

The Design Light Consortium (DLC) rates lighting products according to their efficacy, use, and efficiency. These standards have undergone recent changes, and the products that meet the most stringent requirements of DLC 4.0, the latest standard, are given a DLC Premium designation. Products meeting this high standard are compiled into a master Qualified Product List (QPL). The products appearing on the QPL provide you some of the best energy savings on the market.

One primary qualification of QPL listed products is a high efficacy rating, usually expressed as the lumens emitted divided by the wattage required. Higher ratings mean you will get more light output for less energy input. Retrofitting older, less efficient fixtures with DLC Premium lighting can make a huge difference in your bill, often paying for the upgrades themselves in a matter of months.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for DLC Premium

Not every replacement lamp, luminaire and retrofit kit currently qualifies for DLC Premium. In order for lights to qualify, manufactures must meet the following requirements:

  • L90 of > 36,000 hours & L70 of ≥ 50,000 Hours
    This means that after 36,000 hours, the light must maintain 90% of its intensity; at 50,000 hours, the light must maintain 70% of its intensity, as determined through TM-21 projections.
  • Integral Controls Reporting
    The manufacturers must indicate whether or not the product includes occupancy sensors or photo sensors. These features can automatically turn a light on or off when a person enters or leaves a room, thus saving energy.
  • Driver ISTMT Information
    In-Situ Temperature Measurement Testing, or ISTMT, must be conducted and a report included from the manufacturer indicating crucial energy-saving information, including measured temperature from the TMPps and the maximum acceptable temperature for the driver at 50,000 hours.

Show Me The Money

Aside from the direct energy savings from using efficient DLC Premium designated lighting solutions, many utility companies offer rebates to commercial businesses that take proactive measures to cut their usage through QPL listed lighting. Commercial facilities consume a tremendous amount of energy. In areas where the infrastructure is barely sufficient or during seasonal spikes in consumer usage, conservation can mean the difference between consistent service and brownouts. These incentives are designed to help the electrical providers better handle the demand load on their grid, but you get to reap real savings from compliance.

Since the DLC Premium rollout, many utility providers have offered a tiered rebate system that rewards early adopters. As of April 1st, however, lighting that has not been designated to meet DLC 4.0 standards has been delisted from the QPL. Expect to see more electrical companies both offering deeper incentives to upgrade as well as verifying the status of your current fixtures.

What Can I Do?

Moving forward, ensure that your facility is using DLC Premium lighting only. This will guarantee you are getting the most energy savings and the largest rebate possible from your electrical provider. One of the easiest ways to ensure you are purchasing QPL listed lighting solutions is to work with a supplier who not only understands the guidelines as they exist now but keeps up with the industry standards to help you prepare for the evolution of standards as they happen.

For over 30 years, Atlanta Light Bulbs has been the world’s choice for energy saving lights, fixtures, and bulbs. We don’t just meet the industry standards, we help set the standard for excellence. Whether it’s a new build or a retrofit, shop for  DLC premium fixtures today.

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