Three months ago, changes to the lighting requirements under Title 24, Part 6 took effect. Here is a short list of the major updates and requirements affecting residential lighting codes and standards.

California Lighting Technology Center UC-Davis has prepared a document – What’s New in the Title 24 2013 Code? – that presents an overview of the updates to California’s new Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which was created to increase the energy efficiency of homes by 25 percent and non-residential buildings by 30 percent over the 2008 standards.

The 2013 residential code increases energy efficiency standards for skylights and windows, plus it updates and clarifies requirements for lighting in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, utility rooms, and other spaces.

As most lighting professionals expected, ballasts for fluorescent lamps rated ? 13W must be electronic and have an output frequency ? 20 kHz. 

What Is “High-Efficacy?”

To qualify as a “high-efficacy” fixture, luminaires must be certified to the California Energy Commission. With the exception of decorative, monochromatic LEDs, Joint Appendix JA8 requires that LED fixtures designed for indoor residential use have a minimum CRI of 90 and a CCT between 2700K and 4000K.

“To qualify as a “high-efficacy” fixture, luminaires must be certified to the California Energy Commission.”

 New in Switching & Controls

The following changes are mandatory: High-efficacy luminaires must be switched separately from low-efficacy luminaires; exhaust fans must be switched separately from lighting systems; and luminaires must be switched with readily accessible controls that permit manual on/off switching. In addition, no controls may bypass a dimmer or vacancy sensor function where that dimmer/vacancy sensor has been installed to comply with Section 150.0(k)

Changes for Kitchens & Bathrooms

A minimum of 50 percent of the total rated wattage of permanently installed lighting in kitchens must be high-efficacy lighting. Any lighting permanently installed inside cabinets may use a maximum of 20 watts per linear foot. Regardless of the number of shelves/doors per cabinet section, the length of an illuminated cabinet must be determined by either one horizontal or vertical length per illuminated cabinet and no more than one vertical length per every 40 horizontal inches.

Section 150.0(k) requires at least one high-efficacy luminaire in each bathroom. All other lighting must be high efficacy or controlled by vacancy sensors.

Guidelines for Garages, Laundry Utility Rooms

Lighting installed in attached and detached garages, laundry rooms, and utility rooms must be high-efficacy and controlled by a vacancy sensor. Night-lights permanently installed or integral to installed luminaires or exhaust fans must be rated to consume no more than 5 watts of power and may not be controlled by vacancy sensors.

Update in Outdoor Illumination

For single-family residential buildings, outdoor lighting permanently attached to a residential building or other buildings on the same lot must generally be high efficacy. Low-efficacy outdoor lighting must be controlled by all of the following: · A manual on/off switch that does not override to on; a motion sensor not having an override or bypass switch that disables the motion sensor; or a motion sensor with an override switch that temporarily bypasses the motion sensing function and automatically reactivates the motion sensor within 6 hours; a photo control, astronomical time clock, or energy management control system that does not have an override or bypass switch disabling the control and is programmed to automatically turn the outdoor lighting off during daylight hours.

LED Quality Requirements

Outdoor LED luminaires do not have to meet the CRI requirement in Joint Appendix JA8, but those permanently attached to residential buildings must have a CCT of between 2700K and 5000K in order to qualify as high efficacy. Decorative, monochromatic LEDs are the exception. LED landscape luminaires are also not required to be certified to the Commission for compliance with Joint Appendix JA8.

For more information about 26 (Part 6) please see our resource guide.