Lighting Controls FAQs
Q: What is the Networked Lighting Controls Qualified Products List?
The Networked Lighting Controls QPL is a list of networked lighting control systems that meet annually-updated performance and efficiency specifications. The list is designed to facilitate the widespread adoption of the technology by equipping utilities to optimize energy savings and integrate control systems into their incentive programs. The QPL is also a tool for architects, specifiers, engineers and contractors to evaluate and compare control systems for their projects and programs. Download the full QPL here.
Q: As a manufacturer, why should I submit my system for qualification on the QPL?
There are many advantages to listing your control system on the QPL.
Product differentiation: Qualified systems are independently reviewed to meet a minimum performance level and will gain a clear advantage over systems that do not meet the Technical Requirements.
Incentive eligibility: Starting in 2016 and growing in 2017, QPL-listed systems will pre-qualify for incentives and rebates from utilities across North America and gain access to the multi-billion dollar energy efficiency program market.
Visibility: The QPL serves as a system comparison tool for architects, specifiers, engineers, and contractors – your brand will receive excellent visibility as lighting controls penetrate the market.
In addition, qualifying your system with the DLC will help build traction for lighting controls in the market. The DLC has aggressive goals for promoting widespread adoption of control systems in the coming years. The more products qualified on the QPL, the better utilities can build robust incentive programs to promote adoption of the technology.
Listing Fees and Technical Requirements Revisions
Q: How much does it cost to list a system on the QPL?
The DLC requires an annual qualification and listing fee for each system to be qualified and listed on the QPL. Systems must be submitted for review and requalification each year and the fee must be paid annually for the system to remain on the QPL.
Because all listings expire in June, fees for new system applications are prorated based on the time of year that the system is submitted.
See the Revision Schedule and Fee Structure for full information about listing fees.
Q: Is the listing fee a one-time cost, or an annual payment?
The listing fee is an annual payment and coincides with the annual release of the revised Specification on June 1 of every year.
See the Revision Schedule and Fee Structure for full information about listing fees.
Q: My control system can be integrated with luminaires or other components (such as sensors, switches, or interfaces) from other companies. Is there an additional fee for each variation of the system?
The application fee is only paid once for the control system. The Specification does not include requirements for luminaires or drivers within luminaires and therefore which luminaires the control system works with is not relevant from a qualification or qualification fee standpoint. However, the Specification does include requirements and reporting parameters for sensors and interfaces. Therefore, information on system options for sensors and interfaces from other companies should be provided with the application, as known and available.
Q: How was the listing fee developed? What does the money go toward?
The annual listing fee was developed based on the estimated number of eligible control systems on the market and the budget required by the DLC to implement system testing and achieve the objectives of the Networked Lighting Control Specification program. Collected fees will be leveraged with grant funding and additional funding provided by DLC Member utilities and energy efficiency programs to continually drive energy efficiency through the QPL and achieve widespread adoption of lighting control systems in the market.
Backed by financial incentives of DLC Member utilities, qualification on the QPL creates new opportunities for product differentiation and delivery of customer value. The DLC aims to support market expansion and to provide a single point of entry for manufacturers to participate in energy efficiency programs.
Please see the Revision Schedule and Fee Structure for full information about qualification fees.
Q: How often is the Specification updated?
The DLC revises the Specification annually with final revisions completed and released on June 1 of each year. Manufacturers must requalify and relist their systems each year inline with the annual Specification revision schedule in order for their systems to remain qualified on the QPL.
A one year listing grace period will be provided for systems qualified under a previous version of the Specification but do not meet the most recent revision. This will allow manufacturers a period of one year to revise their current system or offer a new system that qualifies according to the most current Specification.
Q: If my system is on the QPL and still meets the new Specification when a revision takes place, do I need to take action or will the system automatically be requalified?
Upon the annual release of the revised Specification, qualified systems will not automatically remain on the QPL, even if the system meets the new requirements. Manufacturers will need to submit a new application according to the revised requirements to requalify the system. There are likely to be new questions and updated requested information about the system on the revised application form.
Please see the Revision Schedule and Fee Structure for full information about annual system requalification.
Q: How can I be a part of the annual Specification revision process?
Each Specification revision will be distributed through the DLC stakeholder input process and comments will be considered for each revision. This process will begin in February of each year to allow sufficient time for stakeholder input for each proposed revision.
Stay up to date with progress on the current Specification revision here.
Q: Who should submit a system application, The LED luminaire manufacturer or the lighting control manufacturer?
In the case where the control system manufacturer is different from the luminaire manufacturer, either company can apply to have a particular control system name qualified. However, it may be advantageous for the control system company to submit the application so that any third-party manufacturer that does not rename or rebrand the system can use it as an already-qualified system.
Q: What is the definition of a "multi-vendor" system? Does this mean that the luminaire and additional controls peripherals need to be marketed by a single vendor?
The DLC recognizes that some manufacturers and/or vendors may combine different systems or components from multiple manufacturers. If such a combination is marketed under a new system name as a system solution, it must be qualified separately under that system’s name. In this case, the system should be qualified by a “Prime” applicant that has named the system. Multi-vendor systems must be sold together and have literature to support the integration to be qualified in the above manner.
If a multi-vendor solution is not marketed under a new system name as a system solution and the combination of products is only implemented in the field on a project-by-project basis, it is not eligible to be listed on the QPL. These types of systems will be eligible for DLC Member utility rebates at the sole discretion of the individual utility.
Q: Can a manufacturer outside North America apply to have their system listed?
Yes. Ther are no geographic requirements for where a manufacturer or applicant must be located.
Q: Are there any UL or safety certification requirements to submit a system?
No. The Specification does not currently include specific UL or safety certification requirements.
Q: Are there any lab testing requirements to submit an application?
The Specification does not currently require any laboratory tests.
System Eligibility and Technical Requirements
Q: Are systems that are sold as separate components eligible for qualification?
The Specification is system-level, not component-level. Only systems that are packaged, marketed, and sold as a system solution are eligible to be listed.
Q: Are exterior control systems eligible for qualification?
Yes, exterior control systems are eligible for qualification under the Networked Lighting Controls Specification V2.0. For a single system to be qualified for both an Interior AND an Exterior listing, two applications must be submitted, one for the Interior listing, and one for the Exterior listing. A reduced fee is offered for the second listing.
Q: Is a covered parking garage considered interior or exterior?
Covered parking garage systems are considered interior systems under the Specification.
Q: What is the minimum number of fixtures/devices connected together to meet the Networked Lighting Control System definition?
There is no minimum number of fixtures/devices connected together to meet the Networked Lighting Control System definition as long as the Specification is met.
Q: Can I submit an application for a system planned for release in 3-4 months?
No, systems must be commercially available to be reviewed and qualified. A rough definition for “commercially available” is that orders are being accepted with an estimated delivery lead time of fewer than two months.
Q: Are manual switches (e.g. wireless switches) required for system qualification?
No. However, the DLC does require manufacturers to report whether their occupancy sensing capability is available with a vacancy or manual-on functionality.
Q: For continuous dimming, do you require the ability to set the transition time or simply that it needs to dim in more than 100 steps?
There is no requirement for transition time. The Specification requires only that the system has the capability to dim in more than 100 steps for at least one mode of operation.
Q: Is the ability to disaggregate energy saving feature usage time a requirement for energy monitoring? (e.g. dimming feature was used for x hours, daylight harvesting for x hours, etc.)
No, not specifically. However, the application form does request the following:
- What data is collected by the energy monitoring?
- What is the format of the data output?
- Does this data follow an industry standard for file format and/or contents? If so, what standard(s)?
If a system does have the ability to track data on energy savings feature usage time, then please provide that information to DLC when completing the application form.
Q: Daylight harvesting is a required capability. Does this mean every single luminaire in the system must have daylight harvesting, or does daylight harvesting only need to be an option with the system?
The latter. The system must have the capability. In the field, daylight harvesting does not need to be implemented on every luminaire.
Q: Why is zoning required in cases where each fixture has an occupancy sensor?
In some situations, such as a small conference room with a few luminaires, or a small group of cubicles within a large open space, it is important to be able to group luminaires for occupancy even when each luminaire has an occupancy sensor.
Q: Why am I required to report so much additional data beyond my system meeting the Specification?
The DLC Member utilities and energy efficiency programs require this additional detail and understanding of systems to be able to provide rebates or incentives for them. The utility program customers, vendors, and partners also value this additional information to better understand and evaluate the systems they are considering for use on their projects. Finally, the DLC will use this more detailed information to inform future Specification revisions.
Q: Why do I need to provide a system overview presentation to the DLC?
The purpose of the system overview presentation is to give DLC additional information about the manufacturer and systems that are being qualified beyond what could be ascertained from product literature. While the information provided in this system overview presentation will not be used to determine whether or not a system qualifies, it will be used in aggregate by the DLC and Member utilities and energy efficiency programs to understand the manufacturers that are applying to have their systems eligible for rebates, the markets and applications they are targeting, and to provide insight on key technical issues that may not be ascertained by product technical literature.
Utility Incentives for Control Systems
Q: Will the DLC define the interface between the lighting control system and utility company?
Not currently. The DLC may work with utilities to define the reporting of energy monitoring data in the future.
Q: How will rebates be handled on projects installed before the system is on the QPL?
That will be determined by the individual energy efficiency program that administers the rebates.
Q: Have you explored the option of different levels of qualification for different levels of rebates or incentives?
DLC Member utilities and energy efficiency programs are open to offer different incentive levels for systems that meet certain reported capabilities at their discretion. For example, some utilities may offer a bonus for Luminaire-Level Control or Energy Monitoring.