Residential Code Builder > Residential Lighting

Issue

Artificial lighting accounts for a substantial portion of energy use in homes. Use of innovative lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50 to 75 percent. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on without serving a useful purpose and by turning lights on automatically as needed.

Overview

High efficiency lighting continues to be one of the most efficient ways to conserve energy. Moreover, efficient lighting usually has a payback in savings measured in months, not years, making it an excellent investment for homeowners.

High performance lighting with optional controls is a key element for a more comfortable and energy efficient home. There are several technologies available today that could have the same transformative effect on energy efficiency. LED, or light emitting diode, lighting systems are currently being developed that could reduce the energy use dramatically. While a 60-watt incandescent bulb produces about 1,000 lumens, currently available compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) produce the same amount of light using only 18 watts, and LEDs now being tested produce the same amount of light using only 4.5 watts of power.

Requirements

2015 IECC: R404.1 Lighting equipment (Mandatory)
Not less than 75 percent of the lamps in permanently installed lighting fixtures shall be high-efficacy lamps or not less than 75 percent of the permanently installed lighting fixtures shall contain only high-efficacy lamps. The 2009 IECC energy efficiency requirements for lighting are new. Prior to this edition, there were no lighting requirements.

Building code officials must be aware of the requirements covered in the IECC and need to ensure that:

  • All lighting is installed to the IECC specifications
  • All lighting, including compact fluorescent lamps, is installed prior to turning the home over to the buyer
  • Spec sheet or schedule shows lighting specs
  • Specified fixtures have CFLs or other high efficacy lighting

Previous Codes

The 2009 IECC Section 404.1 requires half of the hard-wired or permanent lighting fixtures to be fitted with high-efficacy lamps. Builders can meet these requirements by putting compact fluorescent lamps in hard-wired fixtures or installing fixtures with pin-type bases compatible with high efficiency lamps.

Residential Policy Recommendations

A minimum of 75% of lamps in permanently installed lighting fixtures shall be high efficacy lamps.

Resources

Policies And Programs For Increasing The Adoption Of High-Efficiency Lighting In Homes In The Southwest

Article: New Energy Code Prompts Demand for Energy-Efficient Lighting September 19, 2011

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This page was last modified on: August 11, 2016