A variety of optical applications rely on the absorption and reemission of light. The quantum yield of this process often plays an essential role. When the quantum yield deviates from unity by significantly less than 1%, applications such as luminescent concentrators and optical refrigerators become possible. To evaluate such high performance, we develop a measurement technique for luminescence efficiency with sufficient accuracy below one part per thousand. Photothermal threshold quantum yield is based on the quantization of light to minimize overall measurement uncertainty. This technique is used to guide a procedure capable of making ensembles of near-unity emitting cadmium selenide/cadmium sulfide (CdSe/CdS) core-shell quantum dots. We obtain a photothermal threshold quantum yield luminescence efficiency of 99.6 ± 0.2%, indicating nearly complete suppression of nonradiative decay channels.