A light goes out and you are stuck heading to the store. As you peruse the aisles looking for a new bulb, you see label after label of Energy Star or DLC rated lights. But what does that actually mean? What does a product have to do to become rated? We’ve got your answers!
How does a light become Energy Star rated?
First and foremost, it is important to know the Energy Star label is a government-backed symbol for energy efficiency to help consumers consciously buy cost-effective products that help the environment. The only way for a product to gain the Energy Star label is to meet the Energy Star guidelines. The EPA establishes these specifications based on the following principles:
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
It is important to note that these guidelines and specifications can change. Factors that may change the Energy Star rating include a change in the Federal minimum efficiency standards, technological changes with advances in energy efficiency which allow a revised Energy Star specification to capture additional savings, product availability, significant issues with consumers realizing expected energy savings, performance or quality issues, or issues with test procedures.
How does a light become DLC rated?
Becoming DLC rated is a similar process to becoming Energy Star rated, with a slight twist. DLC got its start under NEEP in 1998. NEEP realized that many energy-efficient lighting products cast poor light. DLC created the “knowhow series,” a set of lighting design guidelines for commercial spaces such as retail and office buildings. DLC was, and still is, passionate about bringing business the most energy-efficient lighting with the best light output. In 2010, NEEP established the DesignLights Consortium™ Qualified Products List of commercial grade LED lights. By late 2012, this list contained 18,000 products from over 250 manufacturers and continues to grow.
Here is where the twist comes into play. To have a product deemed DLC rated, a company must pay to have a DLC-approved, third-party test and approve their product before being awarded the label.
How are Energy Star and DLC different?
The most obvious difference is Energy Star promotes energy efficiency across a wide range of products, including kitchen and laundry appliances, whereas DLC focuses only on lighting. Also, it is important to know that Energy Star rates consumer products, while DLC rates commercial products. This means you won’t find a lightbulb with both an Energy Star and DLC label.
Why are these ratings important?
Whether you are searching for an Energy Star or DLC rated light, these labels make it easier for consumers and businesses to get ahold of products that increase their energy efficiency, help the environment and save money while giving off bright, clear light.
Find DLC and Energy Star listed lighting at Sitler’s!
At Sitler’s we only sell products that are Energy Star or DLC listed. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free walk-through!
Posted in LED Lighting Basics, Lighting Comparisons