Due to the release of SSL Technical Requirements V4.3 a new SSL application form will be required for Single Product, Family Grouping, Private Label, and Product Update applications beginning at 9:00am on March 26, 2018. Please use the current V4.2 application forms until March 26 at 9:00am, and the updated V4.3 application forms after 9:00am on March 26. Visit the Submit a Product pages to download the appropriate Application Forms. Learn more.

Technical Requirements V4.2

Technical Requirements V4.2   

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Please review the FAQs page for additional policy clarifications.

Jump to requirements for:

Luminaires   Retrofit Kits    Lamps   Light Output & Zonal Lumen Distribution 

Power Factor & Total Harmonic Distortion   Tolerances   Allowances   

Lumen Maintenance   Multiple LEDs   Driver ISTMT (Premium Only)   

Safety Certification   TM-30   Guidance for Specialty Products

Dimming & Integral Controls   Non-Cutoff & Semi-Cutoff Wall-Mounted Area Luminaires   

Flood & Spot Luminaires   Wall-Wash Luminaires   Stairwell & Passageway Lighting 


Table 1: Luminaire Requirements

Technical Requirements Table V4.2 - Luminaires

*Under the next revision to the efficacy requirements (V5.0), DLC intends to split the “very high” outdoor lumen bin from the “high” lumen bin, and set unique efficacy requirements for each bin.

**Products seeking qualification in the DLC Premium classification will be required to pass an L90 >36,000 hours, as evaluated using TM-21. This requirement is in addition to the L70 requirements of the DLC Standard classification.

***Luminaires may not qualify for DLC Premium using “Specialty: ______” as the Primary Use designation.

Table 2: Retrofit Kit Requirements

Please click here for testing requirements specific to retrofit kits.

Technical Requirements Table V4.2 - Retrofit Kits

*Under the next revision to the efficacy requirements (V5.0), DLC intends to split the “very high” outdoor lumen bin from the “high” lumen bin, and set unique efficacy requirements for each bin.

**Retrofit Kits and Replacement Lamps must be tested inside luminaires, per the policies for those products. See Testing and Reporting Requirements for Retrofit KitsLinear Replacement LampsScrew-base Replacement Lampsand Four Pin-Base Replacement Lamps for CFLs for details.

***Products seeking qualification in the DLC Premium classification will be required to pass an L90 >36,000 hours, as evaluated using TM-21. This requirement is in addition to the L70 requirements of the DLC Standard classification.

****Retrofit Kits applications must designate one of the Primary Use designations listed.

Table 3: Lamp Requirements

Please click here for testing requirements specific to linear replacement lamps.
Please click here for testing requirements specific to screw-base replacements for HID lamps.
Please click here for testing requirements specific to four pin-base replacement lamps for CFLs.

Technical Requirements Table V4.2 - Lamps

*Under the next revision to the efficacy requirements (V5.0), DLC intends to split the “very high” outdoor lumen bin from the “high” lumen bin, and set unique efficacy requirements for each bin.

**Retrofit Kits and Replacement Lamps must be tested inside luminaires, per the policies for those products. See Testing and Reporting Requirements for Retrofit KitsLinear Replacement LampsScrew-base Replacement Lamps, and Four Pin-Base Replacement Lamps for CFLs for details.

***Replacement Lamps are not eligible for the DLC Premium classification at this time.


Light Output and Zonal Lumens Distribution (Table 4)

DLC Technical Requirements V4.2 - Light Output and Zonal Lumens Distribution

*** Lumen output and efficacy are evaluated considering the light output in the 0-90? zone only. See non-cutoff wall-mounted area luminaires details below.

† Bilateral, symmetric light distribution on two hemispheres

‡‡ One-sided, single hemisphere light distribution

‡ Bilateral for surface-mounted units, single hemisphere for corner-mounted units

†† For Type C linear replacement lamps, light output requirements out of the luminaire are dependent on the number of lamps in the kit. See Linear Replacement Lamps Policy for more details.


Power Factor and Total Harmonic Distortion Requirements

In addition to the specific requirements above, all DLC-qualified luminaires must have a power factor of ≥0.9, and a THDi of ≤20%. This applies to every category listed in Table V4.1. Qualified products must meet the requirements in their worst case loading conditions.

Tolerances (Table 5)

Table 5 presents tolerances that are applicable to all categories listed above in Table V4.1. These tolerances are referenced in the ENERGY STAR Manufacturer’s Guide. For zonal lumen tolerances specific to each Primary Use designation, please refer to Table 4 above.

Performance Metric Tolerance
Light Output

-10% (for min light output)

+10% (for max light output)

Luminaire Efficacy -3%
Allowable CCT Defined by ANSI C78.377-2015†
CRI -2 points
Power Factor -3%
Total Harmonic Distortion +5%

† ANSI C78.377-2015 also referred to for Duv and (x,y) chromaticity coordinates tolerances for indoor categories.

FAQ: How are tolerances applied to the requirements?


Allowances (Table 6)

Table 6 presents allowances that apply to efficacy requirements for products with specific features. Additional information will be incorporated in this section as allowances are defined. To participate in the discussion around the development of these allowances, please contact info@designlights.org.

Feature or Performance Metric Allowances to Efficacy
CCT: ≤3000K, >2700K -3%
CCT: ≤2700K -5%
CRI*: Ra≥ 90
(*must also conduct TM-30 testing and report results; see below for TM-30 guidance)

Allowances within Table 6 are not cumulative. For example, a 2700K, 90 CRI product will only be granted a 5% allowance total, not 10%.

See the full Allowances Policy here.


Lumen Maintenance Requirements

The DLC has two options for demonstrating lumen maintenance compliance.

  • Lumen Maintenance Option 1
    Using component-level performance through the TM-21 protocols, which leverage the LM-80 performance and in-situ temperature of the LED device.
  • Lumen Maintenance Option 2
    Using luminaire-level performance through TM-28 protocols, which leverage the LM-84 test performance. More information is available in the Application Instructions.

For products where the DLC required lifetime is longer than the TM-21 projection method allows, the necessary lumen maintenance minimums at the end of the allowable projection period, which result from solving an exponential decay function for 50,000 hours, are presented in Table 7. Table 7 should be referenced for LM-80 reports that contain less than ~8,500 hours of testing for a sample size of ≥20, or LM-80 reports that contain less than ~9,500 hours of testing for a sample size of ≤19. DLC refers to ENERGY STAR Program Guidance Regarding LED Package, LED Array and LED Module Lumen Maintenance Performance Data Supporting Qualification of Lighting Products when determining applicability of LM-80 data for submitted products.

Table 7: Option 1 TM-21 Projected Lumen Maintenance Requirements 
Projection End Point Required Lumen Maintenance for 50,000 Hour Products
33,000 ≥79.03%
36,000 ≥77.35%
38,500 ≥75.98%
42,000 ≥74.11%
44,000 ≥73.06%
48,000 ≥71.01%
49,500 ≥70.25%
50,000 ≥70.00%


Option 2 is to conduct luminaire-level testing according to the LM-84-14 test standard and apply the TM-28-14 projection methodology. For Option 2, the DLC uses a pass/fail threshold for lumen maintenance compliance as detailed in the DLC Manufacturer's Guide, section IV.B.4.b. The projection from TM-28 must project to at least 6,000 hours and the lumen maintenance projection at the projection end point must be consistent with an L70 of 50,000 hours. The DLC uses the ENERGY STAR TM-28 calculator to determine compliance with the lumen maintenance requirements if choosing Option 2. To ensure documentation and testing is completed correctly, please contact the DLC at applications@designlights.org prior to submitting an application using Option 2.

When applying the lumen maintenance in accordance with these protocols, DLC applies a tolerance of 5% to drive currents tested under LM-80.

Requirements for Multiple LEDs

Products employing multiple types of LEDs are eligible under the following conditions: 1) the types and quantities of the LED packages/modules/arrays are known, and 2) the LEDs are not dynamically controlled, other than for dimming purposes. That is, products where variable numbers of LEDs are dynamically chosen and therefore the precise construction of any give product is not defined are not eligible; nor are products that are designed to be color-tunable. Policy development for appropriate evaluation of each of these situations is under consideration.

For products using multiple LED types, an LM-80, ISTMT, and TM-21 projection will be needed for each type of LED present in the product. As per normal thermal testing rules, ISTMTs must be conducted on the hottest LED of each type. Each LED must demonstrate the necessary L70 of the category the product is seeking qualification

Driver ISTMT Requirements (Premium Only)

As part of the DLC Premium application process, manufacturers need to provide the following:

  1. Test report from a lab that meets DLC’s Laboratory Requirements for ISTMTs. The report must include the measured temperature from the TMPps.
  2. A picture of the TMPps location with an arrow indicating the thermocouple attachment point.
  3. Documentation from the driver manufacturer that indicates 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.
    • Custom and integrated drivers must provide equivalent documentation as drivers from third-party vendors. Manufacturers must supply documentation indicating the maximum acceptable temperature for the driver for 50,000 hour life, as well as the TMP to be used during thermal testing and evaluation.

The luminaire passes the driver ISTMT requirements if the measured temperature at the TMPps is less than or equal to the allowable operating temperature specified by the power supply manufacturer. Drivers shall be tested in-situ under steady-state operating conditions, with case temperature measured at the designated TMP.

One or more additional thermocouples are attached to the power supply/driver at the TMPps. For off-the-shelf remote power supplies, manufacturers typically provide a measurement location (case temperature designated by a “dot” adjacent to a (tc) symbol) for warranty purposes. In situations where the TMPps is not designated by the manufacturer, or where power supplies are integrated with the LED package(s), array, or module(s), fixture manufacturers should identify the TMPps to be used for warranty purposes. Note that this includes situations where the driver/power supply is not purchased from an outside vendor, and where the driver/power supply is integrated into the luminaire or lamp.

The thermocouple tolerance shall conform to ASTM E230 Table 1 “Special Limits” (≤1.1°C or 0.4%, whichever is greater).

Safety Certification

All products are required to submit evidence that safety certification has been obtained. DLC will not interpret proof of safety testing as proof of certification. Documentation of safety certification provided by the applicant must clearly identify the products seeking listing on the DLC QPL.

TM-30 (Optional)

IES TM-30-15 is a document approved by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) that describes a method for evaluating light source color rendition. The method encompasses several individual measures and graphics that complement one another and provide a comprehensive characterization of how the light will affect the color appearance of objects. The three highest-level components of the system are the Fidelity Index (Rf), Gamut Index (Rg), and the Color Vector Graphic.

Starting with the V4.0 Technical Requirements, DLC will allow reporting of Rf and Rg for products on the QPL. At this time, these are optional metrics, and are not required for listing. To list these metrics for products on the QPL, using the official Excel version of the TM-30 calculation tool offered with the IES standard is required. Either basic or advanced versions of the Excel tool will be accepted. Click here for more information on IES TM-30-15.

Additional Guidance for Products Seeking Qualification under the "Specialty" Primary Use Designation

This designation has been developed as an additional tool for DLC and its member programs to employ in seeking to identify high-quality, energy-saving LED luminaires in commercial and industrial applications for certain niche applications for which DLC has not yet developed a specific Primary Use designation.

To prevent the "Specialty" designation from being a loophole to get around requirements in other categories, DLC will employ a number of principles in evaluating products submitted with this classification, including the following:

  1. Products with a Specialty designation must meet the intention of the broader category and general application group under which they are designated. For example, products seeking qualification with a classification of Outdoor-Low Output-Specialty: _____ must be intended for use in outdoor applications.
  2. Products with a Specialty designation must meet the minimum performance specifications of the broader category under which they are designated. This includes minimum light output, efficacy, CCT, CRI, L70, THD, and PF requirements.
  3. Products with a Specialty designation must specify the end-use for which they are intended. For example, products that are intended to be used for stadium lighting that seek qualification under the specialty designation must indicate on the application form that their intended use is "Specialty: Stadium Lighting". DLC staff will monitor terminology and may make minor modifications to descriptor terms to ensure consistency (for example "Specialty: Stadium Lighting vs. "Specialty: Stadium Luminaire"). Changes in descriptor terms will be made in consultation with the applicant.
  4. DLC retains the right to deny access to the Specialty designation for any product it does not believe meets the intention of the designation. Judgment on eligibility will be at the sole discretion of the DLC program staff.

Seeking qualification of a product using this Primary Use designation is an acknowledgement of the rules of the program and a confirmation that the applicant agrees to abide by the decisions of the program.

Products with a Specialty designation are not eligible for DLC Premium classification.

Products seeking qualification on the QPL that would like to identify themselves as suitable for Hazardous Locations using the Specialty designations must provide documentation to demonstrate the appropriateness of their products for Hazardous Locations. Refer to the DLC Hazardous Location Lighting policy for additional details.


Reporting Dimming and Integral Controls Information

In addition to designating a Primary Use and meeting Zonal Lumen Density requirements, manufacturers submitting to DLC need to indicate whether their products are capable of dimming. Refer to the DLC Dimming policy for additional details.

Manufacturers submitting products to DLC Premium will also need to indicate whether the product can be ordered with integral controls (occupancy sensors or photo sensors). The DLC will evaluate a manufacturer’s claims of integral controls capability by ensuring that these features are clearly identified on the product specification sheet. DLC reviewers may check web listings and other marketing materials and reserve the right to request additional information to demonstrate integral controls capability if product specification sheets are not sufficient.


Requirements for Non-Cutoff and Semi-Cutoff Wall-Mounted Area Luminaires

In Technical Requirements Table V4.2, non-cutoff and semi-cutoff wallpacks are eligible under this Primary Use designation, distinct from full-cutoff wallpacks. For non-cutoff and semi-cutoff wallpacks, light output, efficacy, and zonal lumen distribution requirements are evaluated based on the lumens in the 0-90° zone only, rather than total lumens produced by the luminaire. This means: the lumen output for these products must be ≥300 lm in the 0-90° zone; the “efficacy” calculations will include only lumens in the 0-90° zone and divide those by the total wattage; and the zonal lumen requirement of ≤10% light output in the 80-90° glare zone will be calculated by dividing the lumens in that zone by the lumen total in the 0-90° zone.

Requirements for Flood and Spot Luminaires

For Architectural and Landscape/Accent Flood and Spot Luminaires products, manufacturers must declare the NEMA Beam Classification (see chart below) of their luminaire in the 0-180° and 90-270° planes. DLC will verify these claims against the IES files provided.

Table 8: NEMA Beam Classification
NEMA Beam Classification Beam Spread Range
1 10-18°
2 18-29°
3 29-46°
4 46-70°
5 70-100°
6 100-130°
7 ≥130°

Requirements for Wall-Wash Luminaires

The zonal lumen criteria for this Primary Use is that ≥60% of the lumens must be produced in the “forward” hemisphere, towards the wall.

Requirements for Stairwell and Passageway Lighting

DLC requires that products in the Stairwell and Passageway Lighting Primary Use designation meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Luminaires that include integral controls for occupancy sensing and bi-level dimming.
  2. Luminaires that operate off remote occupancy sensors, including wireless options, where a remote sensor(s) is sold packaged together with a luminaire(s) under a single model number or ordering code.
  3. Luminaires that operate off remote occupancy sensors, including wireless options, where the luminaire and sensor are sold separately, but the luminaire has features enabling communication with a remote sensor(s).

Documentation must be provided to demonstrate compliance with one of the options above, including clear documentation of at least bi-level dimming functionality (required), and communications ability (if applicable). Features must be designated clearly in the model number. Manufacturers must also declare whether the unit is intended to be surface-mounted or corner-mounted. All performance requirements in Technical Requirements Table V4.2 refer to the full power operating mode.