When you are looking for a new LED product to purchase for your business, one of the most important things to look for is whether or not it has been approved by the DLC. The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) is a nonprofit organization that aims to increase the adoption of high-quality energy-efficient lighting products. In order for a product to receive DLC approval, it must meet certain requirements in terms of performance and quality. In this blog post, we will discuss what those requirements are and how commercial LED products get approved by the DLC.




The Design Lights Consortium (DLC) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2004 with the mission of accelerating the widespread adoption of high-performing energy-efficient lighting products. The DLC achieves this goal by working with utilities, manufacturers, distributors, Lighting designers, and other stakeholders to develop quality standards for LED products.




In order for a product to be eligible for DLC listing, it must meet certain minimum performance requirements. These requirements are divided into three categories: light output, power consumption, and efficacy.


In order to be approved, a product must also undergo rigorous testing by an independent third-party laboratory. Once the product has passed all of the tests, the manufacturer can then submit an application to the DLC.


Manufacturers must go through the following process to get their product DLC listed:

  1. Submit an application which includes laboratory tests from an accredited laboratory that can ascertain appropriate testing conditions, testing equipment, and staff competencies necessary for accurate measurements.
  2. Initial review from DLC to ensure all the proper documentation is provided.
  3. Comprehensive review from DLC to ensure the product meets the Product Eligibility and Technical Requirements for the specific product categories to receive the desired accreditation.
  4. Listing on the DLC QPL (Qualified Product List).



The DLC periodically updates the requirements for listing. Two sets of DLC lighting requirements were introduced in 2020. DLC V5.0 contains new requirements for efficacy. V5.1 adds quality of light requirements, including spectral quality and glare, and controllability:

  • Spectral Quality. The requirements now introduce Color Maintenance for qualification, improved Correlated Color Temperature consistency for a Premium designation, and set new efficacy allowances for great color, among other updates.
  • Light Distribution and Glare. The requirements address beam angle and add a Unified Glare Rating (UGR).
  • Dimmability is redefined as containing a dimmable driver. Or, as a light that can be dimmed by external control signal and is specified as dimmable.

You can review the full V5.1 Standards on the DLC site.



The DLC maintains a searchable online database of all products that have been approved for listing. This is a great resource for finding energy-efficient lighting products that meet your needs.


When you are looking for a new LED product to purchase for your business, be sure to check the DLC website to see if it has been approved. This will ensure that you are getting a high-quality and efficient product.