Commercial Lighting


Artificial lighting accounts for a substantial portion of energy use in homes and commercial buildings. 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 but not serving a useful purpose and by turning lights on automatically when and where they are needed.


High performance lighting with optional controls is a key element for a more comfortable and energy efficient building. There are several technologies available today that could have the same transformative effect on energy efficiency. LED lighting systems are currently being developed that could reduce 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.

Commercial Policy Options

  • Recessed luminaries installed in the building thermal envelope shall be sealed to limit air leakage between conditioned and unconditioned space. All recessed luminaries shall be IC-rated and labeled as having an air leakage rate of no more than 2.0 cfm when tested in accordance with ASTM E 283 at a 1.57 psf (75Pc) pressure differential
  • Lighting within dwelling units where 50-75 percent or more of permanently installed interior light fixtures are fitted with high-efficacy lamps or a minimum of 75 percent of the permanently installed lighting fixtures shall contain only high efficacy lamps.


View DOE’s resources on commercial lighting requirements of the 2009 IECC, the 2012 IECC, and the 2015 IECC.

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