California Association of Building Energy Consultants

2016 Energy Code Lighting Requirements, Effective January 1, 2017

(Taken from the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards)

6.1 Overview

For residential buildings and spaces, all of the lighting requirements are mandatory measures. There are no tradeoffs between lighting and other building features and lighting is not part of any component package under the prescriptive method.

The residential lighting Energy Standards apply only to permanently installed luminaires, including luminaires with easily interchangeable lamps, but do not apply to portable luminaires such as table lamps or freestanding floor lamps.

All section (§) and Table references in this Chapter refer to Sections and Tables contained in Title 24 California Code of Regulations, Part 6, also known as the Energy Standards or California Energy Code.

6.1.1 Significant Changes in the 2016 Energy Standards

The 2016 Energy Standards have simplified the residential lighting requirements through the following important changes:

  1. All luminaires installed in residential construction must qualify as "high efficacy luminaires." This eliminates varying requirements by room and type of controls. This also eliminates the need to calculate the wattage of low versus high efficacy luminaires in the kitchen.
  2. The definition of "high efficacy luminaires" has been expanded. It includes the light sources identified as efficient in 2013 (linear fluorescent, pin based compact fluorescent, GU-24 base CFL, HID, and induction lighting), and now also includes any luminaire that contains a JA8 compliant lamp or other light source that is appropriately marked. JA8 contains requirements that ensure that light sources, including lamps and luminaires, provide sufficient color quality, life, and energy efficiency. Table 150.0-A of §150.0 contains the definition.
  3. All permanently installed luminaires with interchangeable lamps must contain lamps that comply with the requirements of Joint Appendix 8 (JA8) and be appropriately marked to be considered "high efficacy luminaires."
  4. The marking "JA8-2016" is required for compliance and shall only be used on lamps that meet the requirements of Joint Appendix 8 and are listed in the Energy Commission JA8 database.
  5. The marking "JA8-2016-E" indicates that in addition to the requirements above for a JA8-2016 light source, the light source has been tested to provide long life at elevated temperatures. Light sources must be marked "JA 8-2016-E" if they are to be used in enclosed or recessed luminaires.
  6. Recessed downlight luminaires and enclosed luminaires are required to contain a JA8 compliant lamp that meets the elevated temperature requirement. Recessed downlight luminaires with screw based sockets are no longer permitted to be installed.
  7. The builder must provide the new homeowner with a luminaire schedule (as required in Title 24 California Code of Regulations, Part 1, §10-103(b)) that includes a list of lamps installed in the luminaries so that the homeowner knows what light sources they are entitled to when they take possession of the new home.
  8. Inspections for lighting are more straightforward as all luminaires have a high efficacy light source and there is a completed luminaire schedule for the inspector to review. In addition to these changes, the 2016 Energy Standards include minor modifications to the lighting controls requirements.

For more information see the California Energy Commission's CEC-400-2015-032 document, Chapter 6 (last modified 08-Apr-2016), [PDF, 834K].

For Design Ideas visit the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center.

See also:


As always, I am available to discuss the process of meeting the California Energy Code for any building project. Contact me …