DLC Stakeholder Meeting 2018: Change Was in the Air

From evolution to revolution, “change” was the common thread running through the DLC’s three-day annual Stakeholder Meeting last in July – a conference that drew over 250 participants from 30 states, Canada, and China to Boston, Massachusetts.

With a nod to the changing climate adding urgency to pursuit of energy savings, DLC Executive Director Christina Halfpenny opened the first general session with an image of receding Arctic ice. Also welcoming attendees was Brad Swing, the City of Boston’s Director of Energy Policy and Programs, who echoed her reference to the environment, noting that each of Boston’s energy initiatives is aimed at advancing the City’s carbon neutral by 2050 goal.

Pointing to adoption of clean energy technologies such as LED lighting over the past decade, Halfpenny commented that “there are a lot of things changing around us,” but added that the embrace of LEDs alone “is not quite the revolution we need now.” There’s still much work needed, she said, to capture not only abundant energy savings still on the table, but also opportunities to advance lighting controls as a gateway to connected, “smart” buildings and to improve lighting quality to support the wellbeing of people and wildlife – a new area of emphasis for the DLC.

With those guiding principles, conference participants dove in to a series of panel presentations and discussions on changes already underway or on the horizon in the field of commercial solid-state lighting. Topics discussed included:

  • Giving more weight to the performance of luminaires and quality of light;
  • Designing efficiency programs strategically to take advantage of significant gaps in LED adoption in the commercial lighting sector – in particular, indoor lighting;
  • Honing in on networked lighting controls to dramatically increase lighting efficiency, while optimizing overall building performance and connectivity;
  • Setting the right parameters for efficiency and performance, as the legalization of cannabis cultivation in an increasing number of states and advances in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) to feed a growing world population are creating new markets for LEDs.

Reflecting these considerations, the Version 5.0 Technical Requirements for the DLC’s SSL Qualified Product List is expected out for comment in January of 2019, with a target effective date of January 1, 2020.

Quoting Helen Keller (“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”), Halfpenny invited conference attendees to join a lighting “revolution” that has the potential to significantly impact the US energy load. Eversource Vice President for Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian, a conference panelist, agreed: “Let’s go change the world together.”

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