July 1, 2024   

DLC Updates Networked Lighting Controls Requirements

2024 07 DLC Updates Networked Lighting Controls Requirements .jpg

New guidelines focus on enhanced cybersecurity and use designation clarity


The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) continues its mission to advance energy efficiency and cybersecurity in lighting systems with the release of Networked Lighting Controls Technical Requirements Version NLC5.1. This latest version is an update to the current NLC5.0 version that was released in 2020. The overarching goal of the NLC initiative is to promote widespread adoption of networked lighting controls, which can significantly enhance energy savings and future-proof investments in LED upgrades.

The new version, NLC5.1, was released on June 28, 2024 and will be effective starting August 1, 2024. This update will not result in any delisting of existing NLC systems from the Qualified Products List (QPL). The revision focuses on cybersecurity improvements while maintaining alignment with industry standards. The DLC's annual NLC listing update, scheduled for August 2024, will incorporate several new requirements described below.


Cybersecurity Enhancements

The updated requirements expand the criteria for acceptable cybersecurity certifications, offering manufacturers more flexibility while maintaining rigorous standards. New additions include:

  • PSA Certified cybersecurity certification, with specific level requirements

  • CSA/ANSI T200 standard, previously listed as a service

  • Updated compliance pathways for existing standards

These changes aim to keep pace with evolving cybersecurity best practices in the rapidly advancing lighting controls industry.


Primary Use Designations

NLC5.1 introduces a new "Primary Use Designation" (PUD) system to help specifiers and end-users more easily identify appropriate control solutions. The PUDs include:

  • Room or Zone

  • Whole Building

  • Portfolio/Enterprise

  • Structured Parking

  • Area/Building Outdoor/Parking

  • Streetlight (Residential Streets)

  • Roadway (Highways)

Each listed NLC system will qualify for one or more PUDs based on its capabilities, providing clearer guidance on suitable applications.


Energy Monitoring Updates

While core energy monitoring requirements remain largely unchanged, the DLC has signaled future alignment with upcoming industry standards:

"After the ANSI C137.9 'American National Standard for Lighting Systems—Networked Lighting Control Systems Configuration Report' has been published, the DLC will update the recommendations to refer to ANSI C137.5 for the accuracy of data measurements, and to C137.9 for reports of configuration (static) data," the requirements state.


Terminology Alignment

To improve consistency across DLC programs, NLC5.1 adopts "indoor" and "outdoor" terminology in place of "interior" and "exterior" when referring to lighting environments.

The DLC emphasizes that no systems will be delisted from the Qualified Products List due to this update. However, manufacturers should review the new requirements to ensure continued compliance and take advantage of expanded certification options.


For lighting professionals, these changes represent an evolution in how networked controls are evaluated and categorized. The expanded cybersecurity options and clearer use designations should simplify the specification process while maintaining high standards for system security and functionality.


Download NLC5.1 Spec »