Linear LEDs Now Available for UC Facilities

Doing Lighting Right

Million LED Challenge Linear LED lights

LED light sources dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and energy use, which is why UC launched the Million LED Challenge (MLC) program in 2018. This program makes LEDs easy and cost-effective to purchase and encourages widespread adoption of high-quality LED light sources in California public universities and college campuses, government buildings, and among public institution staff, students, faculty, and alumni.

This year, the MLC program expanded available LED options to include high-quality linear LED lamps, retrofit kits and luminaires (as replacements for linear fluorescents) in addition to the consumer-oriented A-lamps, PAR-lamps and downlights previously available in the program.

How to Choose the Right Lights

Recent technology developments and California's leading regulatory environment have contributed to the development of high-quality LED linear light sources to replace linear fluorescents. These LED products have improved performance with excellent color characteristics, high efficiency, dimmability and at least 50,000 hours of rated life.

Though most LEDs are superior in performance compared to fluorescents, choosing LED light sources can be challenging due to variances in color characteristics, controllability and longevity. To help users navigate these options, the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) developed a Quality Specification for Linear LED Retrofit Solutions based on recently completed research.

“Our goal was to take the guess-work and confusion out of the process and ensure that everyone gets a great light at a great price,” said Michael Siminovitch, Director of the CLTC.

How to Purchase

The MLC program selected vendors through a rigorous public Request for Proposal and price negotiation process to ensure competitive prices for LED light sources. These vendors, contract information and purchasing contacts are available on this UC Procurement LED Lighting systemwide contract information webpage or from the Million LED Challenge website.

Please contact the MLC program vendors directly for product specifications and/or quotations to purchase new lighting for your facility. Deeper savings are available for bulk purchases.

MLC in Action

The University of California (UC) and its partners in the MLC program — the California State University (CSU) system, the California Community College (CCC) system, and the California Department of General Services (DGS) — are collaborating with facility managers throughout their organizations to encourage widespread adoption of high-quality LED light sources. The MLC program is also expanding to benefit other groups nationwide, such as the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

For more information on the MLC program visit: The MLC program website features a number of educational resources to help users understand their light source options and support lighting purchases. Users will also be able to see the total number of MLC-approved lamps purchased.