California Title 24 Requirements for Bathroom Lighting

CA Title 24 Bath Lighting Requirements

In California, Title 24 requires all luminaries in bathrooms to be high efficacy or shall be controlled by an occupancy sensor.

A luminaire is the lighting industry’s term for light fixture. A luminaire consists of the housing, power supply (ballast), lamp, reflector, and in some cases a lens. A lamp is the lighting industry’s term for a light bulb. Luminaires can be designed to be recessed into the ceiling, suspended by a rod or chain, or surface mounted on the wall or ceiling.

A high efficacy luminaire is one that contains only high efficacy lamps and must not contain a conventional (medium) screw-based socket. Typically, high efficacy luminaires contain, pin-based sockets, like compact or linear fluorescent lamp sockets, though other types such as screw sockets specifically rated for high intensity discharge lamps (like metal halide lamps) may also be eligible for exterior use. Luminaires with modular components that allow conversion between screw-based and pin-based sockets without changing the luminaire housing or wiring shall not be considered high efficacy luminaires. These requirements prevent low efficacy lamps being retrofitted in high efficacy luminaires. Also, compact fluorescent luminaires with permanently installed ballasts that are capable of operating a range of lamp wattages, the highest operating input wattage of the rated lamp/ballast combination must be use for determining the luminaire wattage.

There are two qualifying requirements for a high efficacy luminaire: that the lumens per watt for the lamp be above a specified threshold and that electronic ballasts be used in certain applications.

In bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, and utility rooms, manual-on / automatic- off occupant sensors are allowed as an alternate compliance option to high efficacy lighting. Manual-on / automatic-off occupant sensors automatically turn lights off if an occupant forgets to turn them off when a room is unoccupied. Additionally, these sensors should readily provide the occupant with the option of turning the lights off manually upon leaving the room. This option should be available without having to remove the switch plate or any other modifications to the sensor. The manual–off feature is critical because it provides the occupants with the flexibility to control the lighting environment to their satisfaction, and results in greater energy savings by allowing the occupants to turn off the lights when they are not needed.

Occupant sensors must be “manual-on”, i.e., the sensors must not have the ability to turn the lights on automatically and must not have a setting that can leave the lights in a permanent-on position. If a manual-on occupant sensor has an on/off switch to put the sensor into a temporary programming mode, the on/off programming switch must automatically switch off (for example, within 15 minutes) in the event the end user or installer leaves it in the programming mode.