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NLC(5.0) specific details

Nov. 11, 2020

NLC(5.0) specific details

What is DLC

DLC certification is Design Lights Consort, DLC is a joint organization composed of utility companies and regional performance efficiency agencies and is in a leading position in the certification of high energy efficiency lighting products.The DLC certified product catalog is used by public utility companies to promote high-performance solid-state lighting fixtures that have not been covered by the "ENERGY STAR" standard throughout the United States. In North America, as long as the lamps sold are registered on the DLC official website, all Can enjoy government subsidies in North America. With DLC certification, products can be sold at a good price in the United States, so that your products can have a good prospect and competitiveness in the US market



What is NLC


With the development of science, technology and society, people have an increasing demand for intelligent control of lamps. In response to this phenomenon, DLC has issued the "Network Lighting Control System Technical Requirements (NLC)", which has been updated to the latest version 5.0. Obtain NLC certification, you can get government subsidies from the local power company. Therefore, the promulgation of this policy will allow more and more people to choose intelligently controlled lamps for installation, saving energy, and at the same time to obtain government project subsidies.


NLC specific requirements

First of all, we must clarify the specific requirements of NLC for interior systems.

NLC has 23 necessary items for the indoor intelligent control system, and each item has a specific explanation. which are as follows:

1.Networking of Luminaires and Devices:

The capability of individual luminaires/lamps and control devices to exchange digital data with other luminaires/lamps and control devices on the system.  This capability is required at the room, space, or area level, but not at the whole building level or beyond (e.g. non-lighting systems, or the internet).

2. Occupancy Sensing:

The capability to affect the operation of lighting equipment based upon detecting the presence or absence of people in a space or exterior environment. Exterior systems must include either occupancy sensing or traffic sensing. They may include both, but that is not required.

3. Traffic Sensing:

The capability to affect the operation of lighting or other equipment based upon detecting the presence or absence of moving vehicles in an area. Systems may satisfy this requirement through external systems integration as described below in lieu of in-system sensors if another source of data is used for presence or absence detection. Exterior systems must include either occupancy sensing or traffic sensing. They may include both, but that is not required.

4. Daylight Harvesting / Photocell Control:

The capability to automatically affect the operation of lighting or other equipment based on the amount of daylight and/or ambient light that is present in a space, area, or exterior environment.  This capability is typically called daylight harvesting for interior systems, and photocell control for exterior systems.

5. High-End Trim:

The capability to set the maximum light output to a less-than-maximum state of an individual or group of luminaires/lamps at the time of installation or commissioning. High-end trim must be field reconfigurable. This capability is distinct from automatic compensation for lumen depreciation, which automatically increases output as a system operates over time.

*While the DLC specifically requires “High-end trim”, some manufacturers refer to this capability as “task tuning” or “tuning” within their system interfaces. Refer to NEMA LSD 64-2014 for definitions of lighting controls terminology.


6. Zoning:

The capability to group luminaires/lamps and form unique lighting control zones for a control strategy via software-defined means, and not via physical configuration of mechanical or electrical installation details (e.g. wiring).

Interior:  Zoning is required for occupancy sensing, high-end trim, and daylight harvesting control strategies except for systems that feature luminaire level lighting control (LLLC) capabilities as defined in these requirements under “Reported Capabilities”, in which case zoning is only required for occupancy sensing and high-end trim control strategies. Exterior: Zoning is required for high-end trim.


7. Individual Addressability:

The ability to uniquely identify and/or address each individual luminaire/lamp, sensor, controller, and user interface device in the lighting system, allowing for configuration and re-configuration of devices and control zones independent of electrical circuiting.


8. Continuous Dimming:

The capability of a control system to provide control with sufficient resolution in output (100+ steps) to support light level changes perceived as smooth (as opposed to step dimming with a small number of discrete light levels).


9. Control Persistence:

The capability of a networked lighting control system’s lowest-level (“edge device”) luminaire/lamp controllers to execute three energy saving strategies (occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and high-end trim) at a room-level, or finer, resolution in the absence of  communications with the next higher networked element in the system’s topology.


10. Scheduling:

The capability to automatically affect the operation of lighting equipment based on time of day. Scheduling capability is reported for interior systems and required for exterior systems. Exterior systems are required to have time-based scheduling, and "astronomical" scheduling functionality for sunrise and sunset programming, based on geographical location and time of year.


11. Energy Monitoring:

The capability of a system to report the energy consumption of a luminaire/lamp and/or a group of luminaires/lamps.

·         Individual luminaire/lamp monitoring as well as energy monitoring on dedicated lighting circuits is acceptable.

·         The method by which the system implements this capability must be clearly described, including whether the system provides automated energy measurement or relies on numerical manual input during system setup for accurate measurement (such as inputting the wattage of each luminaire/lamp in a project). 

·         Reference consists of one or both of:

o    Sample .CSV file with documentation

o    API documentation

·         The basic, “required” capability of energy monitoring is aligned with ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Section 8.4.3. as follows:

o    Energy use by interior lighting (if applicable), exterior lighting (if applicable) and receptacle circuits (if monitored by the NLC) can be monitored independently. 

o    For buildings with tenants, the data for each tenant space can be reported to each tenant. 

o    The lighting system energy use can be recorded at least once every 15 minutes and reported at least hourly, daily, monthly, and annually, or recorded and reported upon state change. 

o    Energy use data can be transmitted to a building control system (if present) and graphically displayed. 

o    System shall be able to store data for at least 24 months.

·         Energy monitoring is “reported” for room-based systems, but not “required”.  In order for room-based systems to claim the optional energy monitoring capability:

o    Energy data can be retrieved by a user in the room when required - hourly, daily, monthly or yearly; or on demand.

o    Energy data can be retrieved in the form of a CSV file and/or API.

In order for a system to qualify for the room-based exemption, the DLC review process will confirm that the product claims only “Room or Zone” for interior scope as listed on the DLC QPL.


12. Device Monitoring / Remote Diagnostics:

The capability to monitor, diagnose, and report operational performance including system and/or component failures. 


13.Type of User Interface:

The type of interface provided by the control system for users to read and adjust control system settings during system start-up, commissioning, and/or ongoing operation.


14.Luminaire Level Lighting Control (LLLC, integrated):

The capability to have a networked occupancy sensor and ambient light sensor installed for each luminaire or kit, and directly integrated or embedded into the form factor during the luminaire or kit manufacturing process. 

In addition to these required integrated components, LLLC systems must have control persistence capability as described in this document. 

To demonstrate commercial availability of the integrated component options, at least one family, luminaire or kit with integrated control must be verified by the DLC. Manufacturers may choose whether or not to list this information publicly on the QPL.

15. Personal Control:

The capability for individual users to adjust to their personal preferences, via networked means, the illuminated environment of a light fixture or group on of light fixtures in a specific task area. The publicly available information must clearly describe a control interface for use by a single individual who does not have access to system-wide settings.

A wireless dimmer switch may only be considered a personal control interface if product documentation:

·         shows that the physical configuration is suitable for workstation use (i.e. a small, self-contained unit without any external wiring, suitable for use as a handheld remote control), and

·         describes configuration for personal control within a larger area.

A software-based interface may only be considered personal control if product documentation:

·         shows it provides a specific interface intended for personal control by an individual user within a subsection of a larger space, and that

the interface only allows access to personal control functions for the light fixtures in the specific areas being controlled (i.e. each occupant can control their own area, but not their neighbors' areas). 

16. Load Shedding / Demand Response:

The capability to reduce the energy consumption of a lighting system, in a pre-defined way, on a temporary basis, in response to a demand response signal without manual intervention. The method by which the system implements this capability (managed by NLC and/or BMS) must be clearly described in the publicly available reference(s). The method for pre-defining the system behavior for temporary load reduction must be accessible through a user interface. The data the NLC can receive and interpret from other networked systems must include at least a signal that can be used for purposes such as LS/DR.


17. Plug Load Control:

The capability to control the power delivered to receptacles through scheduling or occupancy sensing. The method by which the system implements this capability must be clearly described in the publicly available reference(s).


18.External Systems Integration (e.g. BMS, EMS, HVAC, Lighting, API, Cloud) :

The capability to exchange data with other networked systems such as building or energy management systems (BMS/EMS), heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, or other lighting and building systems via BACnet, Modbus, Lon Works or other open protocols, application program interface (API) or other methods. In order to claim this “Reported” capability, the data available from the NLC for exchange with other networked systems must include occupancy status at the zone, space, or area level and energy data at the zone-, circuit- or system-level. The data the NLC can receive and interpret from other networked systems must be digital, that can be used for purposes such as scene control, zones, groups, areas, regions, and/or presets. The method, including formats and languages, by which the system implements this capability must be clearly described in the publicly available reference(s).

19. Emergency Lighting:

Publicly available documentation illustrating how a system’s luminaires connect with an emergency power source.

The QPL will provide the URL(s) for online documentation provided by manufacturers for system designers to refer to. This documentation will identify wiring diagrams, required components, and/or application guides needed to understand design considerations for integrating the system into an emergency lighting system.

20. Cybersecurity:

A cybersecurity certification that meets the DLC criteria.  The current standards are shown in Table CS-1 and listed here:

·         ANSI/UL 2900-1

·         IEC 62443

·         SOC 2

·         ISO 27001

·         ISO 27017 (with 27001)

·         FedRAMP

·         CSA STAR

·         ioXt

The current services are shown in Table CS-2 and listed here:

·         UL IoT Security Rating (UL 1376)

·         CSA Cybersecurity Verification Program (CVP) (CSA T200)

·         Intertek Cyber Assured

Documentation requirements to demonstrate certification are shown in Tables CS-2 and CS-3.


21. Color Changing / Tuning:

The capability to alter the output and color of tunable white and/or variable color output luminaires via a dedicated control interface(s). To demonstrate compliance with this capability, the interface(s) must be clearly described in the product literature and allow for at least two CCT settings. These settings may be described in terms of CCT, such as 3000K or 5000K, or simple descriptive terms for the desired setting such as 'Night' or 'Day'. The product literature must also specify installation and configuration requirements to implement this functionality.


22. Ease of Implementation:

The QPL will identify the most typical responsible party and their required level of training to start-up and configure the system to the extent that all required capabilities are functioning.  Documentation is not required.


23. Scenes:

The capability of a system to provide two or more pre-programmed light level settings for a group or multiple groups of luminaires to suit multiple activities in a space and allow for recall of these settings via a switch, control device, or signal from a BMS or API.


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