Here at LumaStream, we’ve been carefully studying new energy efficiency regulations around the country to ensure that our low-voltage lighting systems meet the most stringent requirements.  We are pleased to report that we meet, or exceed the criteria for lighting in each of the categories we have encountered so far.

Lighting Control Standards

One of the most broad reaching lighting code updates has recently taken effect in California.  CA Title 24 became law in July of 2014. Among the most potentially vexing requirements for builders and architects, is the addition of lighting control requirements. The new code includes stricter requirements for testing lighting controls, as well.

Overview of CA Title 24 lighting regulations include:

  • Control devices have been split into two categories: “devices” and “systems”
  • Multi-level control (dimmable) now required in nonresidential areas over 100 ft2
  • “Partial on/off” occupancy sensors required in corridors, stairwells, and warehouse aisles
  •  Security and egress lighting must have auto shut off control
  • Photocontrols now required in much smaller spaces (changed from >2500 ft2 to include rooms in which the combined total installed general lighting power is less than 120W)
  • Demand response now mandatory in all buildings >10,000 ft2
  • Lighting Power Density (LPD) reductions in office and retail spaces (see some outlined below)
  • Lighting retrofit projects must meet the same standards as new construction for controls and LPD, with the exception of buildings replacing less than 40 ballasts – or in cases where less than 10% of lighting will be replaced.

Major changes have also been specified in outdoor lighting, which we won’t get into here, but in brief include reduced LPD, mandatory photocontrol and time scheduling, among other items.

Efficiency Standards

In addition to new control requirements, LPD thresholds have also been lowered.  In some cases these reductions are slight, but noticeable. And there are questions about how these standards will be measured, and how strictly the standards will be enforced.  The answers to those questions remain to be seen.  But the code does outline several methods of measuring new LPD standards; Complete Building method, Area Category method (most common), Tailored method (most common in retail lighting), and Performance method (allows for trade-offs in over performing categories).

Let’s look at the Tailored method, which is most commonly used in retail environments. Reductions to the code here are minor, but the broader enforcment of the code may force some into compliance who had not previously been held to sthe standard.



Below we’ve shared a sales training slideshow with more information about the new standards.  You can find the official California code online at

Lighting Design | Efficiency Engineering 

In light of these new standards, lighting design and efficiency engineering are becoming a crucial in creating compliant commercial spaces.  Perhaps the greatest benefit of working with LumaStream is that a part of our service to engineer the most efficient lighting solutions for our clients. Our design team has extensive experience integrating controls, like daylight harvesting, and others specified in new legislation.

We offer our engineering experience  assist architects and builders to ensure their designs meet new standards, and provide electrical contractors or LV installers everything needed for a successful installation.

Our system is easier to install than high-voltage lighting systems, reducing lead times and sometimes reducing up front costs. Our driverless fixtures and low-voltage distribution system also improve LED performance and longevity, helping LED live up to it’s true potential. Read more about potential cost savings with low-voltage lighting and performance benefits of our system.

Lighting Partnership

At LumaStream, we don’t just sell you our lighting system.  We are your partners in design, installation, completion, and compliance.  You will not get this level of service from another lighting company.

One benefit of choosing a LumaStream Trinity DMX system is that it is designed to work with common lighting control systems like Crestron, Lutron and AMX (see all compatible control systems). Maximum controllability is a part of our design, and those making policy have recognized that lighting control is a key component in meeting green building initiatives. The LumaStream Trinity DMX low-voltage power distribution system has already been effectively integrated in restaurants, hotels, banks, and other commercial spaces around the country. Our system was created with control as a key element, with maximizing the potential of LED performance and efficiency as our goal.

Sharing Our Research

Why all these tough new standards? Mandatory lighting controls in new and retrofitted lighting systems have been added to help California meet its goal of net-zero building standards by 2020. These aggressive energy efficiency standards and their implementation will likely be closely watched, and if successful, will likely set standards for other green initiatives around the country.

As we were preparing to ensure our lighting systems were compliant, we prepared some research for our sales team about these new standards. We thought we’d share that research with you.


Additional Resources: 

California’s New Title 24 Makes Smart Lighting Standard –
Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards – California Lighting Technology Center (UC Davis)
What’s New in the Title 24 2013 Code? – California Lighting Technology Center (UC Davis)
Building Energy Efficiency Program – Official Website
California Building Codes –


* This is an overview and is not intended as an official representation of the new standards. Please refer to the official Califironia state website for all new Title 24 guidelines.