Growing Horticultural Market Increasing the Need for Performance Based Certifications




DLC Is The New Standard For Running A Quality Operation


The popularity of indoor farming is on the rise, as a variety of spaces, including warehouses, shops and offices, are adapted for growing. Artificial lighting, specifically LEDs, has become a critical component in these environments, providing crops with the light needed to thrive.


The popularity of LEDs has resulted in an industry inundated with products. The global horticulture lighting market is projected to grow from 2.3 billion USD in 2020 to 6 billion USD by 2025. Several factors are creating this spike, including increased funding for vertical farms and greenhouses and the legalization of cannabis.


The increased interest has propelled the LED industry forward, with manufacturers continually evolving their offerings to address the needs of this expanding industry. However, the influx of lighting (and lighting companies) can make choosing the right light for your environment challenging.


Certifications provide growers with a compass that will help navigate the continually expanding list of options. Mandatory certifications ensure that the lights that you purchase meet the safety requirements in your region. However, these certifications do not verify that the claims that the manufacturer makes, with regards to intensity, wavelength, and specifications, are accurate.


DLC (Design Light Consortium) Certification was created to fill this gap, creating the first Horticultural Qualified product list for energy-efficient horticultural lighting. This optional certification has been called one of the most important certifications to look for when choosing horticultural lighting.


To put it simply, CE and cETLus certifications provide that reassurance that the LEDs are compliant, while, DLC Certifications makes the manufacturer accountable, by ensuring that the performance claims made are both tested and verified against industry standards.


Why DLC Certification is Quickly Becoming the Barometer for Horticultural Lighting


DLC certification validates performance claims, ensuring that the facility is equipped with the electrical and photometric properties promised by the manufacturer and holds them accountable with a minimum 5 year warranty. This includes verifying that the light meets the standard for distribution, colour, and longevity. The non-profit organization works with its members and industry experts to establish (and maintain) performance standards.

On September 1, 2021, the DLC revised its technical requirements for horticultural lighting. This update was done to relay how the industry has shifted from using traditional lighting measurements to horticultural-specific metrics.


The newest version of the DLC requirements reflect the evolving horticulture lighting industry by adding DC powered fixtures, externally supplied actively cooled horticultural fixtures, and LED replacement lamps to the DLC horticultural line up. The DLC also provides manufacturers with instructions on how to test and report these products.


Aelius’ Commitment to DLC Certification


DLC Certification is an investment, but we believe it is a critical component in advancing quality horticulture lighting. This is why Aelius has made the decision to submit each of our lights, through the DLC certification process. By obtaining this certification, we provide that additional reassurance that the performance and technical criteria listed have been both tested and verified.