When looking for energy rebates on lighting products, you’ll often find they are qualified by ENERGY STAR, DLC, or CEE. These independent programs promote energy efficiency in lighting, but not all of them mean the same thing. Why do they exist? And what does each program check before placing a product on their list?

Energy Star

ENERGY STAR was established in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program’s goal is to help businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency. Today, it has become an international standard for quality energy efficient consumer products. Energy Star certified products must be tested by a third-party in EPA-recognized laboratories in addition to being subject to annual “off-the-shelf” verification testing. Besides being energy efficient, qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by customers. For guidelines on how a product earns the label, visit the ENERGY STAR website.


DesignLights Consortium (DLC) Qualified Products List “supports only high-quality, high-performing, commercial LED products.” Founded in 1996, the DLC is a project of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) whose mission is to help property owners implement improved design practices in all areas of the commercial lighting market. Unlike ENERGY STAR, DLC solely focuses on quality, performance and energy efficiency in commercial LED products. The DLC website recommends that customers first look at the ENERGY STAR web site to determine if a product is covered by an ENERGY STAR specification before checking DLC. For example, Access Fixtures’ 77 watt LED wall pack is DLC qualified.


The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) was formed by energy efficiency program administrators from the United States and Canada. As a nonprofit organization, their mission is to accelerate the development and availability of energy efficient products and services, encourage market update, and attain lasting public benefit. In addition to several other qualifying product lists, CEE has a specific commercial lighting list. Manufacturers are able to submit product data that they assert meet CEE specifications. CEE does not test or verify manufacturer claims of efficiency, so it should not be implied that they actual check the efficiency of the product. For example, Access Fixtures’ T5 linear fluorescent fixtures are CEE qualified.

Although all programs help consumers understand the efficiency of a product, ENERGY STAR products are constantly tested for their quality and should be the primary trusted qualifier. Contact Access Fixtures to learn more about qualified products and energy rebates.