Some Changes to SSL Technical Requirements V5.0 In Light of COVID-19

It’s difficult – maybe impossible – to overstate how much has changed since we released the final version of the DLC’s new performance standards for solid-state (SSL) lighting on February 14. In just over two months, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed personal and professional lives across the globe. We are all dealing with continuous disruptions to daily operations, including delays and cancellations of business processes, projects, and events. In a recent LEDs Magazine poll, over 40 percent of lighting industry respondents indicated that their level of business “has decreased significantly” since measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus took effect in March.

Here at the DLC, we’ve been hearing from the solid-state lighting community as well. We are a Consortium, our success is collective, and we are dedicated to work with our stakeholders to balance future needs with current realities. In response to feedback from manufacturers and others over the past several weeks, we are making some changes to the V5.0 SSL Technical Requirements, both in terms of timelines and the policy itself.

As announced in February, the new Technical Requirements continue to increase efficacy for luminaires and retrofit kits listed on the SSL Qualified Products List, while putting new emphasis on capturing and promoting quality of light characteristics such as color performance, glare, light distribution, and controllability. The policy is being implemented in two phases to ensure that movement of the LED market in this important new direction occurs in a manner that is both expeditious and realistic.

Since COVID-19’s impact on business has presented unforeseen challenges, the DLC has decided to alter the requirements in V5.0 and extend deadlines for compliance with the policy. V5.0, which took effect February 14, still increases efficacy of QPL-eligible products at an average of 12 percent beyond what was required by the V4.4 version of our SSL Technical Requirements. However, it no longer includes the previously announced dimming requirements. These dimming requirements for all product categories will instead become effective with V5.1 in 2021.

The DLC is also extending the deadline for manufacturers to submit V5.0 new product applications from October 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021. In addition, the deadline for submitting applications for product updates from V4.4 Technical Requirements to V5.0 or V5.1 is now November 30, 2020 – extended from October 31.

Updated timeline reflecting new V5.0 deadlines

The DLC has provided a pre-recorded webinar describing these policy changes in detail. We understand that the current situation is still rapidly changing with varying impacts on businesses. We will consider the industry’s assessment of COVID-19 impacts as they relate to the V5.1 timeline again in June. We are continuing to gather information and manufacturer and market needs to inform this assessment. As always, we are open to insight and better understanding of how your business has been or will be affected. Please email us at

The DLC remains dedicated to our mission to enable energy optimization through quality and connected solutions for people and the environment and we will work with the EE community and the lighting and building industry to continue to deliver resources that support high quality, energy efficient lighting. In the meantime, the DLC staff hopes these amendments to V5.0 and V5.1 provide the industry with some relief in navigating this unprecedented time.

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