The 2016 updates to Title 24 included changes to required lighting controls. In a nutshell, areas that require multi-level lighting controls are now required to have either a vacancy sensor or a partial-ON occupancy sensor—this includes classrooms, offices <250 square feet, Multi-purpose rooms <1,000 square feet, and conference rooms.

Areas that do not require multi-level lighting controls can choose between a vacancy sensor, partial-ON occupancy sensor, or occupancy sensor.

In practical terms this means increased energy savings in the long-term. In terms of the nitty-gritty experience of lighting controls in everyday life, here’s what will happen when you enter and exit a space. Imagine you are the protagonist of a movie. A very important movie about going to work and saving the environment.

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INT. LED OFFICE BUILDING – DAY

Vacancy Sensor (Manual-ON, Auto-OFF)

Scenario #1: You walk into a room. You don’t even notice that the lights are off. You go about your business.

Scenario #2: You walk into a room. You think, “Hmm, it’s really dark in here.” You turn on the lights. You go about your business.

Occupancy Sensor (Auto-ON, Auto-OFF)

You walk into a room. The lights go on.

Occupancy Sensor (Partial-ON, Auto-OFF)

You walk into a room. The lights switch on automatically to 50-80% of their full power.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING – NIGHT

Vacancy Sensor (Manual-ON, Auto-OFF)

You walk out of the room. 20 minutes go by. The lights shut off automatically.

Occupancy Sensor (Auto-ON, Auto-OFF)

You walk out of the room. 20 minutes go by. The lights shut off automatically.

Occupancy Sensor (Auto-ON, Partial-OFF)

You walk out of the room. The lights dim to 50-80% of their full power.

In sum, the changes to mandatory lighting controls for 2016 are geared toward saving energy without negatively impacting the overall user experience of walking into and out of rooms. The result: lower energy costs, a greener future, and occasionally having to manually turn on the lights.

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