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What you need to know: DesignLights Consortium® V5 Technical Requirements

Updated May 18, 2021 to reflect revisions

The DesignLights Consortium® released the final version of SSL Technical Requirements Version 5 on February 14, 2020. This version includes two policies - V5.0 and V5.1 - which have different effective dates. V4.4 listed products must be updated to V5.0 by January 31, 2021 (extended due to COVID-19), or they will be delisted on February 28, 2021. V5.0 listed products must be updated to V5.1 by April 15, 2022, or they will be delisted on June 30, 2022.


Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 3.09.22 PMIMAGE SOURCE ©DesignLights Consortium®

What is the purpose of V5.0?

According to the DLC®, “the purpose is to continue to accelerate broad scale energy savings by improving the quality of light and controllability of DLC listed products.”

The basis of V5.0 is efficacy, increase quality of light, and controllability. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.



By increasing efficacy more energy savings can be captured in utility programs. Which in turn provides more value to customers. The long term goal for efficacy is to continue to increase it so there will be positive impacts on quality and cost. The V5 efficacy increase represents a smaller increase as did previous versions, but over time the small increases will have a big impact.



  • The efficacy increases intend to balance energy savings, product cost, and quality of light
  • DLC Standard minimum efficacy requirements increase an average of 12% over V4.4
  • DLC Premium under V5.0 is a flat 15 lumen per watt increase over Standard
Screen Shot 2020-02-28 at 2.50.34 PMTABLE SOURCE: DLC® SSL TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS V5.0 & 5.1 WEBINAR


Quality of Light

Improving the quality of light provides more comfort and satisfaction to customers. Quality of light is a characteristic that enables differentiation of products with better quality performance.


There are no changes for V5.0 they were moved to V5.1.



With improved controllability more energy savings can be captured in utility programs - which brings more value to customers. It’s also an important aspect of quality of light and the backbone for networked lighting controls and IoT.

  • Continuous dimming capability for all products (required capability) indoor luminaires // for DLC Premium All Premium products must be capable of continuous dimming (indoor & outdoor)
  • Builds upon existing V4.4 controllability requirements
  • New requirements focused on Indoor Luminaires and Retrofit Kits
  • Integral controls reporting is required for DLC Premium (no change from V4.4)
  • Dimming requirements for V5.0 Standard products have been postponed to V5.1


Goals of V5.0

  • The efficacy of listed products increases with the pace of technology, without compromising quality of light
  • Virtually all listed products are dimmable, providing increased energy savings and more user satisfaction
  • V5.0 color quality requirements help provide people the lighting they want with more color consistency over time
  • Lighting decision makers can use DLC Premium classification to have better confidence in the glare performance of listed products


Most Important Points

  • April 15, 2022: Deadline to update V5.0 listed products to V5.1.
  • June 30, 2022: Delisting date for V5.0 listed products that have not been updated.


    • On March 30, 2020 products that meet V5.0 will be automatically updated
    • For products that do NOT meet V5.0, manufacturers will have until April 15, 2022 to update their products to meet V5.0
    • Applications will need to be submitted by October 31, 2020 so there is time for the DLC to review them before the January 2021 deadline
    • Existing products could be delisted by the end of June 2022 if you do not update them
    • New product applications could be rejected at some point in 2020 if you’re not paying attention

There may be some leeway until May 31, 2020 on applications in process, but we would encourage you to review everything that you’re trying to get approved for DLC listing.


Understanding the difference between DLC Standard and Premium is very important. It is not just efficacy. Premium is a higher-performance classification for luminaires and retrofit kits. Products submitted to the DLC Premium classification must meet higher efficacy and lumen maintenance requirements and must also provide a driver ISTMT and information about integral controls, in addition to meeting all of the base requirements. If a manufacturer seeks qualification of its products to the DLC Premium classification, it must provide all the necessary testing to demonstrate the products meet the higher classification’s additional requirements. DLC Standard minimum efficacy requirements increase an average of 12% over V4.4 and Premium is increasing a flat 15 lumens per watt increase over Standard. All Premium products must be capable of continuous dimming.

Due to the amount of feedback for Flicker and since there is no standard on measuring it yet, this topic will be discussed in 2021 and will not be in V5 or V5.1.


Summary of Changes in V5.0

TOPIC V4.4 to V5.0 Changes V5.0 to V5.1 Changes
Efficacy Efficacy is increased New general application and update PUD
Color None Changes to chromaticity and color rendition requirements
New color maintenance requirements
Light Distribution None Additional distribution requirements
Controllability New dimming requirements Comprehensive dimming requirements and controls reporting
Allowances None New allowances and higher maximum
DLC® Premium New efficacy, dimming, and controls reporting requirements New color and discomfort glare requirements
Tolerances None New and updated tolerances
Lumen Maintenance None TM-21 Addendum B compliance and uneven intervals
Reference Housings None Removed for some lamps; replaced with beam angle
Power Factor & THD None None
Warranty None None
Safety Certification None None


We’ll cover V5.1 in more detail later this year, but here are some things to keep in mind about it:

  • You may need to budget for 2021 registration fees because they are increasing
  • There is an increase of testing requirements
  • V5.1 contains quality of light requirements - including spectral quality and glare - and the remaining controllability requirements


Co-Authored by: Mike Cham, CTO and Steve Bolibruck, Director of Utility Solutions
Mike Cham
Mike Cham
CTO, Encentiv Energy

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