Orange County

Residential & Commercial Title 24 reports for Orange County.


The Orange County Design Group assists with all of your Title 24 & energy calculation requirements in the Orange County areas.


Whether its a brand new Custom Home, Remodel, Addition, Garage Conversion, Casita, In Law Quarters or a Commercial Building, we can help you with all your Title 24 needs in greater Orange County area. Not only can we assist you with your Title 24, but we also offer complete Design & Drafting services for those of you who might need a Lighting plan which could require a reflected ceiling plan.


The Orange County Design Group offers Title 24 assistance as a complimentary service to our professional Building Design services. We offer Title 24 (Energy Calculations) to the Greater Orange County area & throughout Southern California for both Residential & Commercial clients. Our Title 24 energy consultant professionals offer energy calculation assistance for the following projects:

RESIDENTIAL: Custom Homes, Remodels, Additions, 2nd story Additions, Casitas, In Law quarters, Pool Houses, Kitchen Additions & Remodels, Garage Conversion.

COMMERCIAL: Tenant Improvements, Franchise Build Outs, Restaurants, Church Construction, Medical Facilities, Dental Complex, Surgery Centers, Hospital Construction, Night Clubs, Hospitality, Motels, Hotels, Retail Construction, Strip Malls, Office Complexes.


We perform Title 24 energy reports for the entire Orange County region to include the following cities:

Aliso Viejo La Habra Anaheim La Palma Balboa Lake Forest Brea Los Alamitos Buena Park Mission Viejo Costa Mesa Monarch Beach Corona Del Mar Newport Beach Coto de Caza Newport Coast Cypress Orange Dana Point Placentia Dove Canyon Portola Hills Foothill Ranch Rancho Santa Margarita Fountain Valley San Clemente Fullerton San Juan Capistrano Garden Grove Santa Ana Huntington Beach Seal Beach Irvine Stanton Ladera Ranch Talega Laguna Beach Trabuco Canyon Laguna Hills Tustin Laguna Niguel Villa Park Laguna Woods Westminster Yorba Linda El Toro Mission Viejo .


PLEASE CALL ORANGE COUNTY DESIGN GROUP FOR TITLE 24 REPORTS & ENERGY CALCULATION ASSISTANCE (949) 610-7444 All our Title 24 reports work is guaranteed thru plancheck!


A new law for California Residents known as Title 24 has been heavily enforced since 2006. If you are not a California Resident, you may still be interested in using the air-tight series of housings and trims to make your home more energy efficient which saves you money and helps decrease the depletion of our planet's resources.

The Energy Commission adopted the 2005 changes to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards for a number of compelling reasons:

To respond to California's energy crisis to reduce energy bills, increase energy delivery system reliability, and contribute to an improved economic condition for the state; To emphasize energy efficiency measures that save energy at peak periods and seasons, improve the quality of installation of energy efficiency measures, incorporate recent publicly funded building science research, and collaborate with California utilities to incorporate results of appropriate market incentives programs for specific technologies.

If you are a California resident, you must be aware of the California Energy Commission's Codes for the state of California (known as Title 24). This code primarily applies to projects that will need lighting that are going to be permitted - specifically newly constructed projects, remodels and additions. Again, this applies to projects whether new or remodel that are going to be permitted. You can click this link for full details of the California Title 24 code's lighting section. Below, we have included a brief summary but please keep in mind that we are not responsible for any misinterpretation of our summary. This is why we have provided you with the link above which we highly suggest you review the California Energy Commissions's full details.


California Title 24 Resources

California Title 24 Lighting Code California's Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Non-Residential Buildings - Effective October 1, 2005
California Energy Commission - http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/


346 page Residential Compliance Manual http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2005standards
24 pages of Residential Lighting http://www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications
38 pages of Residential Compliance Forms


Non-Residential & Commercial

715 page Non-Residential
Compliance Manual
108 pages Non-Residential Indoor Lighting http://www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications
72 pages Outdoor Lighting & Signs http://www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications
Outdoor Lighting Zones http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2005standards
Nonresidential Compliance forms are now available in AutoCAD format for the 2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2005standards
Title 24 Reference Standard - IESNA Lighting Handbook
IESNA Recommended Practice, 9th Edition IESNA Bookstore - Search "Lighting Handbook"

Title 24 Articles and Presentations

Gary Flamm - Short Version IES Mission 10-11-05 Powerpoint Presentation - 97 slides
Gary Flamm - Long Version  
Charles Knuffke, Watt Stopper,with permission from author Code Highlights & Controls - 76 slides
What Showrooms Should Know about Title 24, Home Lighting & Accessories, July 2005 Page 1, Page 2
Blueprint Issues Newsletter - Q & A to the new code http://www.energy.ca.gov/efficiency

2008 Draft - Title 24 California Energy Code http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24


California's New Title 24 Energy Code: Lighting Review & Commentary

By Craig DiLouie, Lighting Controls Association
Published June 2005

California has what many consider the strictest energy code in the countryThe Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, Title 24, Part 6, of the California Code of Regulations. The state recently updated Title 24 with a new 2005 version designed to respond to legislation and the recent energy crunch. The 2005 code changes will take effect October 1, 2005 and supersede the 2001 standards. Covered projects that apply for a building permit must comply with the 2005 standards.

However, Title 24, arguably, has not been significantly updated since 1992, making the 2005 Title 24 the biggest change to the code in 13 years. The first standard was enacted in 1978, followed by a second in 1985, which resulted in the Whole Building Method and the Tailored Method; in 1992, the second standard was updated by adding the Area Category Method. Minor updates and changes occurred in 1998 and 2001.

California uses 265,000 GWh of energy each year, with peak demand growing annually at about 2.4%, roughly the equivalent of three new 500MW power plants. California estimates that its efficiency standards have saved more than $36 billion in energy costs since 1978, and will save another $43 billion by 2013. Stricter efficiency standards, achievable through commercially available technology, also help avoid rolling blackouts, reduce peak demand, and avoid the need to build new generating capacity.

Below are highlights of key lighting provisions in the 2005 Title 24, focusing most heavily on changes impacting lighting controls, and in turn those sections that received the most significant revisions.

Note that for each section discussed, there may be limitations, restrictions and exceptions that may apply. This white paper is for information purposes only and while it contains verbatim quotes from the Code in some sections, is not intended to replace the Code. Consult the 2005 Title 24 for complete information and exact interpretation.

Things to Look For: Charles Knuffke, Western Technical Manager, The Watt Stopper, points to significant changes in the 2005 Title 24 compared to previous versions:

  • Deletes unconditioned space exemption
  • Adds control certifications
  • New skylight and daylighting requirements
  • Further reductions in lighting power
  • Revises tailored approach for retail spaces
  • Adds outdoor lighting zones, energy calculations and controls
  • Adds sign control
  • Adds residential mandates
There are quite a few changes in Title 24 from the previous version to the 2005 version; in fact, Id say that this is the most significant upgrade ever to the Lighting Section of the Title 24 code, says Knuffke. In some cases, the wording changes are small, but with great impactfor example, in the past, any non-conditioned space was exempt from many of the lighting control requirements. But this exemption has been stricken entirely by just adding a single word to the Code.

For more commentary by Knuffke, click here or read on to the end of this report.

Building Types: The Code applies to:

[130-149] Nonresidential, high-residential, motel/hotel and outdoor lighting
[150] High-rise residential and hotel/motel guest rooms, with exception
[150] Low-rise residential
[100] 2005 Title 24 also applies to unconditioned buildings and outdoor lighting systems, including indoor and outdoor signs

Exceptions include some temporary and qualified historic buildings.


Administrative Rules: Title 24s administrative regulations are covered in the California Code of Regulations Title 24, Part 1. Sections of interest include:

[10-103] Acceptance Documentation
[10-114] Lighting Zones
[100] Applicability
[101] Definitions

Lighting Sections: The lighting sections in the 2005 Title 24 include:

All building types
[119] Mandatory Requirements for Lighting Control Devices

Non-residential, high-rise residential and hotel/motel occupancies
[130] Lighting Controls and Equipment  General
[131] Indoor Lighting Controls That Shall Be Installed
[132] Outdoor Lighting
[146] Prescriptive Requirements for Indoor Lighting
[147] Requirements for Outdoor Lighting

Low-rise residential buildings
[150] Mandatory Features and Devices


Lighting system designers can choose from one of two methods described in Section 140.

Performance approach.

Calculate the energy budget according to Section 141, then ensure that the building uses no more time-dependent valuation energy than the calculated budget. Time-dependent valuation of energy is a significant change for the Code, replacing the term source energy throughout this section.

Traditional valuation of energy as a basis for energy standards centers on a flat energy value. With a flat energy value, a kW saved is valued the same for every hour of the day. Time-dependent valuation of energy takes into account the life-cycle value of energy as it varies by time of day, day of week, time of year, climate zone and other factors. This results in an hour-by-hour factor that is applied to energy savings to account for a more realistic value. For example, this method values on-peak energy savings higher than off-peak energy savings. The use of time-dependent valuation as a basis of efficiency standards will encourage building design and equipment that use less on-peak energy.

Prescriptive approach.

The prescriptive approach is largely the same as a process. Follow all applicable requirements in Sections 142-146. Prescriptive requirements for indoor lighting are covered in Section 146. Additionally, outdoor lighting is covered in Section 147, and signage is covered in a new Section 148, which are entirely new Code sections. Lighting system designers can calculate allowed indoor lighting power density using one of three methods, listed below in order of flexibility, from least to most:

The Complete Building Method, which can only be used for projects/permits involving entire buildings with one type of use occupancy or mixed occupancy buildings where one type of occupancy makes up 90% of the entire building. A single lighting power value governs the entire building. Hotels/Motels cannot use this method. Retail buildings can under specified conditions.
The Area Category Method, in which the total allowed lighting power for the building is the sum of all allowed lighting powers for all areas in the building. Lighting power values are assigned to each of the buildings major function areas.
The Tailored Method, in which allowed lighting power is calculated according to primary function type. Lighting power values are determined room by room and task by task for areas. The Tailored Method part of the Code has been entirely rewritten. The Tailored Method generally can be applied to up to 30% of the building that is otherwise using the Area Category Method (with no trade-offs between them), and all of the building area of retail sales and museum buildings.
A number of restrictions and exceptions apply; consult the Code for more information. Notably, there is no longer an exemption for unconditioned spaces. Prior to 2005, Title 24 did not regulate lighting of unconditioned buildings. The new standards have requirements for efficient electric lighting and controls that apply to unconditioned buildings such as warehouses and parking garages. Conditioned and unconditioned spaces must be calculated separately, with no trade-offs between them.

Mandatory Requirements for Lighting Control Devices [119]:

This section includes several new devices and requirements. The language defines the performance criteria and physical product constraints requirements for lighting control devices; lighting system designers must select products that meet these requirements. Requirements for occupancy sensors and time clocks received few changes. Daylighting and outdoor controls underwent a major revision. New devices were added (see below, asterisked).

Lighting controls are also subject to certification requirements for manufactured devices [100(h)].

[119(a)] All Devices: Instructions for Installation and Calibration
[119(b)] All Devices: Status Signal
[119(c)] Automatic Time Switch Control Devices
[119(d)] Occupant Sensors and Motion Sensors
[119(e)] Automatic Daylighting Control Devices
[119(f)] Interior Photosensors
[119(g)] Installation in Accordance with Manufacturers Instructions
[119(h)] Multi-level Astronomical Time-switch Controls*
[119(i)] Automatic Multi-Level Daylighting Controls*
[119(j)] Outdoor Astronomical Time-switch Controls*

Below, we will focus on sections that received significant changes and new sections.

Occupant Sensors and Motion Sensors [119(d)]:

Part 3, which outlined requirements for sensors used to qualify for the Power Adjustment Factor in small office spaces greater than 250 sq.ft., has been deleted.
Automatic Daylighting Control Devices [119(e)]: This part received significant changes. Daylighting controllers must reduce general lighting uniformly by 50% or more based on availability of daylight. In addition, they must have these performance features:

All controllers

The capability for the time delay (if it has one) to be temporarily overridden for the purpose of setup and calibration, then automatically restore its normal time delay settings after no more than 60 minutes. Setpoint control that easily distinguishes settings to within 10% of full-scale adjustment. Linear 5% accuracy over sensors range.

Stepped systems

Time-delay circuits to prevent cycling of light level changes of less than three minutes, and have sufficient separation between ON and OFF points (deadband) for each control step to prevent cycling. An indicator that shows the status of lights in the controlled zone. Indicators are not required for controllers that are part of a networked system with a central display of each control zone status.

Dimming systems

Electrical outputs must be provided to lamps for reduced-flicker operation through the dimming range and without causing premature lamp failure. The light level measured by the light sensor must be displayed on the controller if the controlled lamps are not visible from where the setpoint adjustments are made. Indicators are not required for controllers that are part of a networked system with a central display of each control zone status. Multi-Level Astronomical Time Switch Controls [119(h)]: New section. Multi-level astronomical time switch controls used to control daylit zones must have these features:

Contain at least two separately programmable steps (relays) per zone.
Separate offset control for each step of 1-240 minutes.
Sunrise and sunset prediction accuracy within +/15 minutes.
Timekeeping accuracy within 5 minutes per year.
Store time zone, sunrise and sunset, and switching times for each step.
Automatic daylight savings time adjustment.
Automatic time switch capabilities specified in 119(c). These include 1) capability of programming different schedules for weekdays and weekends, and 2) program backup capabilities that prevent the loss of the devices program and time setting for at least 10 hours if power is interrupted.
Automatic Multi-Level Daylighting Controls [119(i)]: New section. Automatic multi-level daylighting controllers used to control lighting in daylit zones must have a light sensor that is physically separated from where setpoint adjustments are made, and controls that are easily accessible to authorized personnel for calibration adjustments.

The controller must meet the requirements of Section 119(e),Automatic Daylighting Control Devices (see above), and meet the multi-level and uniformity requirements of Section 131(b), Multi-Level Lighting Controls (see below).

Outdoor Astronomical Time Switch [119(j)]:

Outdoor astronomical time switch controls used to control outdoor lighting, as specified in Section 132(c), must meet these features:

At least two separately programmable channels per function area.
Ability to independently offset the ON and OFF times for each channel by 0-99 minutes before or after sunrise or sunset
Sunrise and sunset prediction accuracy within +/- 15 minutes.
Timekeeping accuracy within 5 minutes per year.
Store time zone, longitude and latitude in non-volatile memory.
Display date/time, sunrise and sunset.
Automatic daylight savings time adjustment.
Automatic time switch capabilities specified in Section 119(c). These include 1) capability of programming different schedules for weekdays and weekends, and 2) program
backup capabilities that prevent the loss of the devices program and time setting for at least 10 hours if power is interrupted.
Indoor Lighting [130]. This section specifies lower mandatory power limits to encourage adoption of new energy-efficient technologies.

Indoor Lighting Controls That Shall Be Installed [131]:

This section contains requirements for the below areas. Asterisked items indicate areas that underwent biggest changes in 2005 Code.

[131(a)] Area Controls
[131(b)] Multi-level Lighting Controls*
[131(c)] Daylit Areas*
[131(d)] Shut-off Controls
[131(d)] Display Lighting
[131(f)] Lighting Control Acceptance*

Daylighting [131, 143]:

A new prescriptive provision requires skylights in big box buildings, specifically skylights with controls to shut off the lights when daylight is available. The provision applies to low-rise buildings >25,000 sq.ft. under roof with >15 ft. ceilings, and with general lighting power density of >0.5W/sq.ft. For these spaces, at least one-half of the floor area must be daylit using skylights. The skylights must have a glazing material or diffuser that effectively diffuses the skylight. Exceptions include theatres, museums, refrigerated warehouses and Climate Zones 1 and 16.

Area Controls [131(a)]:

This section received minimal changes. Each area enclosed by a ceiling-height partition must have a control device that is readily accessible, manually operated or automatically controlled by an occupant sensor, and located so that a person using the device can see the lights or area controlled by the switch (or pilot lit).

Other devices can be installed in conjunction with the switch or control device if they permit the device to override the action of all other devices in each area enclosed by the ceiling-height partition, and reset the mode of any automatic system to normal operation.

Exceptions include security or emergency areas and areas controlled by switches accessible only to authorized personnel.

Multi-Level Lighting Controls [131(b)]:

This section underwent significant changes. Spaces > 100 sq.ft., with a lighting power density > 8 W/sq.ft., and with more than one light fixture, must have multi-level lighting controls. These controls reduce lighting power by either continuous dimming, stepped dimming or stepped switching while maintaining a reasonably uniform light level in the controlled area.

The multi-level dimming control must provide a minimum of two levels of lighting control: 1) between 50-70% of full power, and 2) less than 35% of full power (this control step should be completely off, creating a bi-level control). The controls can dim all lamps or light fixtures in the space, or switch alternate lamps, fixtures or rows.

Corridor lights are an exception.

Daylighting Controls [131(c)]:

This section has been largely rewritten.For daylit areas larger than 250 sq.ft., at least one control is required to either control 50% of the power, control fixtures in vertically daylit areas separately from horizontally daylit areas, or maintain uniform levels by means of dimming or alternating lamp/fixture switching.

For daylit areas over 2,500 sq.ft., general lighting has to be controlled separately with either automatic multi-level daylighting control or multi-level astronomical time switch, both having to meet requirements of applicable sections.

Exceptions include daylit areas with obstructing structures that render daylighting unfeasible, and areas where the effective skylight aperture is too low.

hut-off Controls [131(d)]:

Every floor must have a method of turning off all interior lighting systems, either by using an occupancy sensor, automatic time switch control or other device. There are a number of exceptions.

If an automatic time switch control is used, it will incorporate an overriding switch that is readily accessible, pilot lit or within eyesight of controlled lamps, and manually operated. The switch will control an area enclosed by ceiling-height partitions not exceeding 5,000 sq.ft. (20,000 sq.ft. in some spaces). The override will allow the lighting to remain on for no more than two hours after it is activated. With some exceptions, most sites require automatic holiday shutoff.

Display Lighting [131(e)]:

Display lighting shall be separately switched on circuits that are 20A or less.

Lighting Control Acceptance [131(f)]:

This is an entirely new section mandating certification of lighting controls before an occupancy permit is granted. The certifier must be a licensed professional. A Certificate of Acceptance will be submitted to the building department that certifies plans, specifications, installation certificates, and operating and maintenance information meet the requirements of Part 6, and certifies that the following controls meet performance requirements:

automatic daylighting controls [119(e)  (g)], lighting controls [131(a)  (c), (e), (f) and 146(a) 4D], automatic lighting controls [119(c) and 131(d)], and occupancy sensors [119(d) and 131(d)].

Permit, Certificate, Information and Enforcement Requirements for Designers, Installers, Builders, Manufacturers and Suppliers [Section 10-103]: This is a new inspection requirement. Plans and specifications submitted with building permit applications must provide acceptance requirements for code compliance of each feature, material, component or manufactured device. Within 90 days after a final occupancy permit is issued, record drawings must be provided to the building owner.

Outdoor Lighting Controls and Equipment [132, 147].

Prescriptive and mandatory provisions cover parking lots and similar parking areas; pedestrian areas such as walkways and plazas; building entrances; outdoor sales lots; vehicle service stations; sales and non-sales areas under canopies; and ornamental lighting.

The new Section 147 establishes four lighting zones and sets power limits per zone according to how much light is needed. Lighting Zone 1 (parks, recreation areas, wildlife preserves) are designated as dark; Lighting Zone 2 (rural areas) is designated for low ambient illumination; Lighting Zone 3 (urban areas) is designated for medium ambient illumination; and Lighting Zone 4 is designed for high ambient illumination.

Title 24s (Energy calculations) outdoor lighting provisions also require cutoff shielding for hardscape (e.g., parking lots) fixtures (>175W lamps) to reduce glare. Fixtures do not need to be full cutoff. A number of exceptions apply, such as building fagade lighting.

Fixtures with lamps >100W must be high efficacy ( >60 lumens per watt) or controlled by a motion sensor, as stipulated in Section 132(a). A number of exceptions apply, such as swimming pools, LED lighting and lighting for film or live performances.

Compliance is required for alterations to existing outdoor lighting if replacement amounts to more than 50% of existing lighting. There are no other requirements for existing lighting.

Controls for Outdoor Lighting [132(c)]:

This section lists several requirements for control of outdoor lighting systems: Permanently installed outdoor lighting must be able to be automatically shut off when daylight is available via a photocontrol or astronomical time switch, with several exceptions, such as lighting in parking garages and tunnels to meet the new Title 24 code in California.

Lighting for some areas such as building facades where two or more fixtures are used require an automatic time switch that turns lights off when theyre not needed and reduces power by 50-80%. There are several exceptions, such as motion sensor- and photocell-controlled lights and temporary lighting installations. The control must meet the requirements of Section 119(c), including 1) it must be capable of programming different schedules for weekdays and weekends, and 2) it must have program backup capabilities that prevent loss of the controllers program and time setting for at least 10 hours if power is interrupted.

Requirements for Signs [148]. This section sets power limits or requires efficient light sources for internally and externally illuminated indoor and outdoor signs. Efficient light sources include pulse-start and ceramic metal halide lamps, high pressure sodium lamps, neon, cold cathode, compact fluorescents (that are not medium-base socketed), barrier-coat rare earth phosphor fluorescent lamps, LED and electronic ballasts ( >20 kHz). Exceptions include traffic signage and certain exit signs.

Mandatory Features and Devices, Low-Rise Residential, [150(k)]: This section requires fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, utility rooms, outdoor areas and other spaces, with a number of exceptions. As an alternative to using high-efficacy fixtures, controls can be used such as qualifying dimmers and occupancy sensors. In new construction, designers are going to want to become familiar with the alternative part of this requirement very quickly, notes Mark Cerasuolo of Leviton. Compact fluorescents and fluorescents in bathrooms are a hard-sell for buildersespecially in bathrooms, where unnatural-looking illumination can be a real liability among the better half of the home-buying equation. Expect to see a surge in interest in residential dimming and occupancy-sensing technology as builders strive to reconcile the need to comply with the new standards with the requirement of keeping their homes sellable and desirable.

[UPDATE: The California Technology Lighting Center (CTLC) offers the Residential Lighting Design Guide, a 28-page best practices and lighting design guide available for free download here (5.5MB PDF), to help builders comply with California's 2005 Title 24 energy code.]

All Buildings [122, 125, 131]:

These acceptance requirements include mandatory measures for basic building commission for lighting and HVAC equipment and controls.

Title 24 Compliance Map.

Courtesy of Watt Stopper / Legrand. Click the image to see it large. It will open in a new window. (Then close the window to return to this article.)

Interior Lighting Design


Below is an interview with Charles Knuffke, Western Regional Technical Manager, Watt Stopper / Legrand. He has been educating specifiers around the West Coast about changes to Title 24 in a series of seminars.

In summary, what do you see as the most significant changes between the old Title 24 and the 2005 Title 24 in regards to lighting controls?

There are quite a few changes in Title 24 from the previous version to the new 2005 version; in fact, I'd say that this is the most significant upgrade ever to the Lighting Section of the Title 24 code.

In some cases, the wording changes are small, but with great impact. For example, in the past, any "non-conditioned" space was exempt from many of the lighting control requirements. But this exemption has been stricken entirely by just adding a single word to the Code. Granted, I've never understood why a conditioned warehouse had to follow the Lighting Energy Code requirements but a non-conditioned warehouse didn't, so I think this change was warranted.

I believe that for most electrical engineers, the biggest change will be the exterior lighting energy calculations that they're going to start preparing. I think the specifiers doing work in California understood the calculations the previous code required, which compared the amount of energy needed based on their interior lighting design to what they're allowed to use by the Title 24 code. However, in interior spaces it's pretty easy to start off with a Whole Building approach, to see if the Code's been met, and if needed, to progress to the Area Method. Now, however, there's a whole new set of rules and exceptions required to calculate the amount of energy allowed to light the exterior grounds. At least in the building, you've got walls that clearly define the spaces within; for exterior lighting, you've got to start your calculation based on the height of the luminaires, which define a square centered on the light, and then start breaking that area into smaller areas based on function. And then there's the fact that California has defined four different lighting zones for the state (basically Parks, Rural, Urban, and Special), so depending on where a building is built, different amounts of energy can be used to power the exterior lights.

The change in the Code that I'm most unsure of is the new requirement that's calling for commissioning of all installed lighting control systems. I say I'm unsure because I'm not sure who's expected to do this workthis might be a case where the engineer is expecting the contractor to do the commissioning, but has the contractor included this additional cost in their proposal? There's no doubt in my mind that commissioning is more than just a good ideathat's why it's required as a prerequisite on every LEED projectbut I'm interested in seeing what happens when it's mandated for every project in California.

There's one last significant change that I'd like to mention, and that's a change that some electrical engineers might not notice right away, because it's included in the section that deals with the Building Envelope. But the new 2005 Title 24 requires that skylights be installed in every low-rise building with 25,000 sq-ft under ceiling, with ceiling heights of greater than 15 feet and lighting power densities greater than 0.5 W/sq-ft. Basically, the Code is requiring skylighting in many big box retailers and warehouses, with some exceptions. I think that some national chains that are planning on doing future business in California are going to be pretty surprised by this section of the code.

What do you see as the most significant differences between the 2005 Title 24 and ASHRAE/IES 90.1-1999, which DOE has set as the minimum standard for all state energy codes?

There's no doubt that the 2005 Title 24 is considerably more stringent than ASHRAE/IES 90.1-1999. I think some folks may even think of Title 24 as a "testing ground" for new ideas that if successful, might then become part of later revisions of the national energy codes. I'd say that the items I listed above, as well as many other requirements such as mandated cutoff fixtures for exterior lights in hardscape areas over 175W, and the mandatory daylighting control requirements for daylight zones greater than 25,000 sq.ft. are all pretty far reaching, and might in time become part of ASHRAE. But lets remember that even though pretty much everyone agrees that these codes do save energy, there are still several states that haven't passed an energy code at all.

I'd also like to point out that in at least one case, I do think ASHRAE does a better job than Title 24 in the verbiage it uses. ASHRAE clearly points out that in areas where you're using something other than an occupancy sensor to control the lights (i.e., probably a time-based system), at least one switch in each individual space has to be capable of overriding that individual space for at least four hours. This means you can't use a simple timeclock to control a circuit that's powering lights in several small offices, and then just put a line voltage switch in each office since that switch can't override the timeclock. There are ways to meet this requirement with an "Auto Shut Off Switch" in each space (think of it as an electrically held switch) or a local controller, but not with a standard single pole wall switch. I believe that's something that's in Title 24 right now, but the wording of the section is such that I think it confuses most people who read it. I hope to see that section re-written in a future revision.

How demanding are the new Title 24s controls provisions? What will specifiers and installers of lighting systems have to watch out for?

Interesting, if we're talking about "controls"i.e., devices that ensure lights are turned off automatically, there are not a lot of new requirements that the specifiers have to look out for. Speaking as a manufacturer, we have to look at the changes in what's allowed and not allowed to ensure that our devices comply with every new version Title 24. There were not a lot of changes to the Timeclocks and Occupancy Sensor sections, but one area where there were significant changes was in the daylighting section. I think that since California is going to start mandating automatic controls in some daylight zones, the people who wrote the Code want to ensure that only highly reliable daylighting controls or astronomical timeclocks will be used to meet those requirements.

If you're not talking specifically about "controls, but talking about general requirements, I would recommend that you either download the Code from the California Energy Commissions website that clearly identifies every changed word and study that, or attend one of the classes being put on by the local utilities, IES groups. Even some manufactures, like my company for example, will host educational seminars to bring the specifiers and installers up to speed with the changes.

How should specifiers and installers of lighting systems in California change their thinking, business practices or design practices to accommodate the new 2005 Title 24?

I doubt the code was written to try and change any business practices, although as I said before, the new commissioning requirement might really start increasing the number of full-time commissioning agents. Some of these companies have been around for quite some time, and they have their own professional organization (click here to visit the Building Commissioning Association's website), but their penetration has usually been limited to just high-end projects. With the new requirements, this is a huge business opportunity.

While there's a lot to digest in the code, I think there are two areas where we'll see real changes in designone is daylighting, and the second is Residential Lighting. Daylighting has always been a good ideaalmost any study that's been done will have overwhelming positive results in occupant productivity and health, or even product sales growth when daylighting has been incorporated in the design of the building. But Title 24 has been very tentative about dealing with daylighting. In the past, all you had to do was separately switch some of the lights in a daylight zone from the lighting in the non-daylight portion of the zone. There was no mandate for any automatic control function. Now, though, youve got mandatory automatic daylighting control in any 2,500 sq.ft. skylight daylighting zone, and a mandate that some buildings have to add skylights. I can't think of a stronger one-two punch to drive daylighting into more buildings. I think we're going to see lots of companies look to invest in skylightswhat better than a California mandate to increase skylight sales growth?

The second area that I think the Code is going to have an enormous effect is in residential. In general, most people probably didn't even think about residential in regards to Title 24 and lighting controls. However, now there's going to be a huge impact when people realize what's required for residential lighting.

Simply put, the 2005 Title 24 is allowing only high-efficacy luminaries in residences whenever the fixture will be permanently installed. There's a table in the code that defines what "High Efficacy" means (in terms of lumens/watt), and it varies based on lamp wattage. That's certainly going to change the way houses are designed and built in California. There are several exceptionskitchens, for instance, have an automatic 50% exception based on power. Fixtures in Garages, Utility Closets, Laundry Rooms, and Bathrooms must be high efficacy, unless they have a manual ON occupancy sensor. While there is a fixture cost adder, I don't think too many people will mind having a compact fluorescent or a fluorescent fixture in Garages and Utility Closets. Laundry Rooms, I'm not sure one way or the other. But I believe many people are going to have a hard time with these types of fixtures in the bathroom, especially when they are the only lights in the bathroom. I think that developers are going to be looking to the occupancy sensor manufacturers to come out with a reliable residential occupancy sensor that will allow them to keep their clients happy, and several of us already have introduced devices for just this application.

There's one other residential area covered by the Code, and that's "everything else. While there is an exemption for closets under 70 sq.ft., any permanently installed fixtures in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, etc. will all have to be high efficacy as well. If however a developer installs a manual-on occupancy sensor or a dimmer, they can avoid this requirement. I think we're going to see a huge increase in dimming controls sold in California specifically because of this requirement in the code.

If you could convince all specifiers and installers of lighting systems of one thing about the new Title 24, what would it be?

During presentations that I've done for specifiers in the past few months, I've tried to make sure that they understood the extra work that will be required based on the new Code. While it may not be a significant amount, if they want to get paid for the extra work involved, they need to be out educating architects, owners and developers as soon as possible, so when the extra charges that will be incurred to perform these calculations show up in their invoices, they will get paid for them!

I've also got to say that I've seen some specifiers look at the changes negatively, because of the extra work they will have to do. However, I've also had some who found a bright side to these changesbecause the California code is so specialized, and so much more efficient than any other code in the Country, fewer specifiers from outside California will be able to do jobs in California without partnering up with a local specifier.

What impact do you believe this will have on construction in California, in particular lighting design?

I don't think the Code will have much impact on construction in California. I think that after the crisis we had in 2000-2001, with energy costs skyrocketing, people accept the fact that California needs to do whatever it can to prevent that from happening again. And the best way to do that is with energy codes.

In terms of controls, does the new Title 24 call for commercially available technologies, or will specifiers have to learn new technologies?

There aren't a lot of new technologies being called for in the code. During my first ever trip to sit in on a California Energy Commission, back in 1988 I think, I remember a discussion about what could be done to get more people to design around natural daylighting. While the agreement was that there wasn't anything that should be added to the code, it's interesting that even back then daylighting was being considered. It's just that now people have had more opportunities to try automatic daylighting controls, and we're moving from "It's a good idea" to "It's required.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about the 2005 Title 24 that would be of interest to the lighting industry?

I find it funny that the code goes into great detail in Section 119 about how occupancy sensors, timeclocks, and daylighting control systems should function, but now residential bedrooms and living rooms can avoid using high efficacy fixtures by installing a dimmer, and there's no requirement at all as to how the dimmer should function. I guess if it becomes an issue, that's fodder for a future code revision.

More Information:

Click here to visit the Title 24 homepage.

Click here to download a PDF-format copy of the 2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, Title 24, Part 6, California Code of Regulations.

Click here to download a PDF-format marked version of the Title 24 code, showing differences between the old and new versions by means of cross-outs and underlines.

Click here to download PDF-format versions of Compliance Manuals for both the Nonresidential and Residential codes. These manuals go into great detail about how to design to meet code requirements.


2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, Title 24, Part 6, California Code of Regulations (PDF download).

Californias 2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings: A Title 24 Code Review for Electrical Professionals, Powerpoint presentation (PDF download), Charles Knuffke, Western Technical Manager, The Watt Stopper.

California Title 24 2005 Lighting Standard/Impacts on Lighting Design: The Biggest Change in Years, Powerpoint presentation (PDF download), James R. Benya, PE, FIES, IALD, LC, Benya Lighting Design.


California's new Title 24 standards  where do LEDs fit? 25 Jan 2006 California has updated its Title 24 energy-efficient lighting standards, but it's not clear how these apply to LED fixtures. Effective October 1, 2005, the California Energy Commission introduced a new set of standards for residential lighting. The 2005 Title 24 standards relate to new and remodeled homes in California, and aim to reduce lighting energy consumption by requiring the use of new energy-efficient technologies. The standards look at different rooms and areas of a house, and specify what types of lighting and controls should be used. For example, bedrooms must use either high-efficacy luminaires, or a manual-on occupancy sensor or a dimmer. High-efficacy ratings are shown below.

*** Ratings for high efficacy luminaires
Lamp power: less than 15 W Required lamp efficacy: 40 lm/W
Lamp power: 15-40 W Required lamp efficacy: 50 lm/W
Lamp power: more than 40 W Required lamp efficacy: 60 lm/W

*** High-efficacy luminaires are designed and built to operate only energy-efficient light sources, which includes fluorescent T8 lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) with electronic ballasts, as well as high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. LED fixtures are not mentioned in the standards  so where do they fit?

What about LEDs?

Determining whether LED fixtures meet the 2005 Title 24 definition of high-efficacy luminaires is complicated due to the variations from fixture to fixture.

Melissa Blevins of the California Lighting Technology Center says, "The complication lies in the wide variety of fixture power supplies, and how hard the LEDs are driven by the power supply. The issues associated with heat sinking affect the efficacy of all LED sources."

The concern surrounding the variability of individual LED luminaires with different operating conditions is magnified by the fact that LED efficacies today are so close to the cut-off point between high-efficacy and low-efficacy ratings for luminaires [see above].

"In the 2008 Title 24 revision, it is expected that the code will be modified to more clearly describe the testing requirements for LEDs relative to the high-efficacy requirements," says Blevins.

"In the meantime, it is recommended that manufacturers provide independent testing lab reports indicating that efficacy values for the LEDs meet the 2005 definition of high efficacy [see above] throughout its operational range." Crucially, this means that the LED modules should be tested under 25 0C ambient conditions in combination with the actual power supply that will be used in the field, in order to portray accurate and realistic lumen output and power consumption values.

More information

The 2005 Title 24 standards can be obtained from the California Energy Commission's website. Also, the Residential Lighting Design Guide, explaining how builders can comply with the new regulations, can be found on the California Lighting Technology Center website.


We are professional Title 24 consultants located in Orange County who perform Title 24 & Title 24 calcs. We perform Title 24 & energy calculations throughout Orange County: Aliso Viejo La Habra Anaheim La Palma Balboa Lake Forest Brea Los Alamitos Buena Park Mission Viejo Costa Mesa Monarch Beach Corona Del Mar Newport Beach Coto de Caza Newport Coast Cypress Orange Dana Point Placentia Dove Canyon Portola Hills Foothill Ranch Rancho Santa Margarita Fountain Valley San Clemente Fullerton San Juan Capistrano Garden Grove Santa Ana Huntington Beach Seal Beach Irvine Stanton Ladera Ranch Talega Laguna Beach Trabuco Canyon Laguna Hills Tustin Laguna Niguel Villa Park Laguna Woods Westminster Yorba Linda El Toro Mission Viejo area.

Call (949) 610-7444 to speak to someone regarding your Title 24 needs in Orange County, Anaheim, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Buena Park, Dana Point, Trabuco Canyon

Get a free estimate PHP FormMail Generator - A free tool to create ready-to-use web email forms with file upload, auto-response email, and dependent dropdowns.



I am writing this letter as a matter of recommendation for the Orange County Design Group. OCDG  worked closely with Sylvania Lighting Services on a recent design/build project for PG&E.  They provided a variety of blueprints, Title 24 calculations, and building permit management for us under some heavy time constraints.
OCDG performed professionally and helped us meet the customer goals.  In many cases they were given little to work with, and asked to develop complete plot plans and layouts without any existing drawings or materials to work from.  They proved to be innovative and responsive. If your business has design needs we would not hesitate to recommend them.

Peter Alpert
Executive Major Account Representative
Sylvania Lighting Services


Mike & Ophelia F.  Orange County CA 

Thank you Orange County Design Group for assisting us with our renovation project.  Your preparation of construction plans and your facilitation of the permit process got our project off to a good start.  With your assistance, that phase of the project was much easier and completed much sooner then we expected.  We found your company and the subcontractors you referred to us easy to work with, and are pleased both with the quality of work done as well as the cost.  Thanks again for your help.


Orange County Design Group,

I would like to thank you and your company for the work you did to make our family room addition become a reality. After giving you our ideas, desires and wants, your staff did an excellent job drawing up the blueprints needed for the building permit. I like the idea of your company doing all the leg work pulling all the permits necessary. It was money well spent. Iíve attached some pictures of our completed addition. All inspections were completed with no errors. Except for the foundation and texturing of the walls, all the work was done by my wife Charlene and me. We had a great time doing this project. Now weíll sit back and enjoy it. Should I decide to build again, Iíll give you a call. Thanks again to yourself and your staff.


Jeff & Charlene E.

Orange County, CA


Franchise Opportunities