Four Title 24 Standards You Should Implement, Even If You Are Not In California

a guest post by Lisa J. Reed, Lighting Designer

Title 24 Standards outside of California

Should we design lighting systems to Title 24 requirements even if we aren’t designing in California? What’s the worst that can happen? You might find out that it actually IS easy being green. The California Energy Commission estimates that the 2013 standard will result in 372 GWh/year in electricity savings. That’s for non-residential buildings in California alone!

What is Title 24?

Title 24 is a California energy code for buildings. Because electricity is expensive in California, incentives to reduce consumption are common. In this case, though, it’s the law.

Some of the requirements of Title 24 include:

  1. Use occupancy sensors in aisles in warehouses. Seriously, we’ve been talking about this since the 1990’s. And that was when we were still using HID sources with long restrike times. Use occupancy sensors in any kind of aisle – warehouse, library stack, or hallway. It just makes sense.
  2. When daylight is present, turn off the lights. Personally, I do this even when I’m working in a room with only manual controls. Title 24 now requires photocontrols for any space using 120 watts or more. California isn’t the only state with sunshine. When there’s plenty of “free” light, use it.
  3. Turn off the lights in unoccupied spaces. Radical? Revolutionary? Of course not. Title 24 allows 24-hour low-level egress lighting for offices only. Otherwise, turn those lights off when no one is home! If there is a safety or security concern, use a motion sensor.
  4. Outdoor lighting is required to have a device that turns it off during the daytime. Why would you want your parking lot lights to be on during the daytime, anyway? You can use photocontrols or an astronomical time clock. A time clock can also be used to schedule those lights off at a reasonable hour if the business is closed.

Why Should I Implement These?

Besides the fact that it can save you and your client money, the truth is that as California goes, so goes the rest of our country. Eventually, these will be standard practices, so you might as well stay ahead of the curve.

Implementing Title 24 provisions keeps you at the leading edge without putting you into uncharted territory. California is a big state. If everyone there is doing it, you can bet you’ll have lots of company when you implement these strategies.

Lisa J Reed photo - Lighting Blog

Lisa J. Reed has been attracted to lighting (like a moth to a flame) for 20+ years. She is the Founding Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC in St. Louis, where she designs, teaches, and writes about architectural lighting.


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