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Transition to SSL V5.1 in 2022

LDS 22 CS DLC 400

June 7, 2022

The DLC’s Solid State Lighting Technical Requirements Version 5.1 (SSL V5.1) aims to boost the lighting quality of products on the DLC’s Qualified Products List (QPL). Performance data on attributes such as color and discomfort glare based on light distribution are reported and available for QPL users to better distinguish characteristics needed for various installations. The policy also requires disclosure of integrated controls and ensures that QPL products are capable of being dimmed, a critical component for capturing additional savings and potentially integrating lighting with other building systems. With more companies looking to meet carbon reduction goals and utilities seeking ways to manage energy loads, this controllability is essential.

Since LEDs installed now may run for a decade or more, strengthening controllability requirements such as integrated controls and dimming at the time of installation locks in compatibility and potential energy and cost savings for years to come – and not doing so can strand these savings. (For more on the benefits of dimming, see our previous blog post here. Introducing rigorous, attainable criteria for quality of light characteristics aligns with the DLC’s overarching goal to keep pace with technological advances to create solutions for a better future through better lighting.

Simultaneous with SSL V5.0, which increased the efficacy of products on the DLC’s SSL QPL by an average of 11.7 percent, the DLC announced V5.1 in February 2020. Effective July 1, 2021, V5.1 maximizes energy savings and user benefits of commercial LEDs by requiring listed products to include advances in lighting quality and control functionality.

With the end of 2021 in sight, the DLC is reminding manufacturers of pending deadlines for updating products to the newest version of SSL V5.1. As part the transition to the new technical requirements, the DLC has announced timelines for delisting non-compliant products (the DLC adjusted delisting dates during the past year to accommodate disruptions in operations due to COVID-19). Pertinent timelines are below:

  • April 15, 2022: Applications must be submitted by manufacturers to update products from V5.0 to V5.1.
  • June 30, 2022: The grace period for updating products to V5.1 will end and the DLC will delist from the SSL QPL any products that are not qualified as V5.1.
  • Product update applications that are submitted after the April 15 deadline will still be eligible for updating and qualification but may be delisted in the interim and then added back to the QPL when the application review is successfully completed. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit early to ensure that there is no disruption in listing of their product(s).

Once fully implemented, utilities may require V5.1 for rebate eligibility and additional incentives for networked lighting controls (NLC) and luminaire level lighting controls (LLLC) in conjunction with controllable SSL products. In preparation, now is a good time for distributors to evaluate their stock to ensure their products will be eligible for rebates available for V5.1-compliant lighting and controls.

Full industry guidance and other resources related to the V5.1 transition are available here. For questions, please email applications@designlights.org or call 781-538-6425 and select Option 1 to reach the DLC applications team.

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