Exclusive Features

Contractor’s Corner: Do Rebate Providers Know Best?

By Stan Walercyzk

Do you feel that some organizations are ‘Ivory Tower’ or ‘Orwellian Big Brother’ when they come over knowing better than you, which products should qualify for rebates or other things? If you do, you are not alone.

For example, DesignLights Consortium (DLC) approves commercial grade LED products. Utilities and other rebate providers usually will only rebate commercial LED products if they are DLC approved.

Following is the condensation of my recent ‘Should The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) Change Three Requirements?’ white paper.

Minimum Lumens
The first example is 2×4 LED troffers and troffer kits. Currently, the DLC mandates at least 3000 out of fixture photopic lumens out of these. In many applications, including offices with good task lights, halls, restrooms and closets, 1500 – 2000 out of fixture photopic lumens are more optimal. Often, less light is better than more light, because less light often translates to lower glare. Plus, computer screens are self-illuminated. Fluorescent options that provide less – and even considerably less – than 3000 out of fixture photopic lumens can provide very good lighting and qualify for rebates. But similar light output LED solutions that consume even less watts are not DLC approved, so they usually will not get rebates. Is the DLC pushing people away from LED and toward high performance fluorescent and other high performance incumbent technology?

Maximum Kelvin
DLC will not easily allow anything over 5000K, even if it can be adjusted well below 5000K. Daylight is usually well over 5000K, sometimes as high as 14,000K. I do not know of any good neuroscience that would recommend that, because well above 5000K can be good to improve circadian rhythms. Also why cannot you and your customers select any color tone?

Not Approved If No Category
DLC only has so many categories and no products are approved if they do not fit into any existing category. Some examples are round suspended indirect/direct fixtures, wallpacks with uplight, jelly jar fixtures with uplight and greenhouse lights. Let’s look at wallpacks. Yes, DLC has a category for LED wallpacks, but there can be no uplight, which is good in most exterior applications. But uplight from wallpacks can be important in many interior industrial applications and car washes.

On the other hand DLC does approve some LED T8s, even with all of their safety concerns.

My complete white paper is available on my website. www.lightingwizards.com

If any contractors and distributors think that any or all of these requirements should be changed or kept the way they are, you can contact the DLC and also your utility and/or rebate providers. www.designlights.org

The DLC will hold its Stakeholders’ Conference this July in San Diego. Contractors, distributors and manufacturers are able to attend.

These types of problems may also arise with non-lighting products, such as energy efficient motors, high performance HVAC systems, etc.

For lighting and non-lighting products and systems, local independent contractors may not have enough influence to get organizations to change their requirements and policies. But distributors, especially large national ones, may have more influence. Small and large contractors could work together with distributors, and manufacturers that distributors carry.

As mentioned at the end of all of my columns, contractors, please send me feedback and input for new columns. My email is stan@lightingwizards.com.

We would love to hear specific stories from contractors, including non-lighting related ones. Please email me at stan@lightingwizards.com.

Stan Walerczyk, LC, CLEP, HCLC

Tagged with , , ,

Comment on the story

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *