13.23.      NA7.6.2.4 and NA7.6.2.5 Automatic Time Switch Lighting Controls Acceptance


Automatic Time Switch Acceptance

Use Document NRCA-LTI-02-A

Purpose of the Test

This test ensures all non-exempt lights, per §130.1(c)1, are automatically turned off at a predetermined time and individual lighting circuits can be manually enabled, if necessary, during scheduled OFF periods.

Lighting during typically unoccupied periods prevents energy waste.


This test verifies the functionality of installed automatic time switch controls visually and does not require special instrumentation.

Test Conditions

All luminaires and override switches controlled by the time switch control system must be wired and powered.

Lighting control system must be installed and ready for system operation, including completion of all start-up procedures, per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Document the initial conditions before overrides or manipulation of the BAS. All systems must be returned to normal at the end of the test.

Estimated Time to Complete

Construction Inspection: 0.5 to 2 hours (depending on familiarity with lighting control programming language)

Equipment Test: 2 to 6 hours (depending on familiarity with lighting control programming language, number of lighting circuits and override switches to be tested, and programmed time delays between ON and OFF signals)

Acceptance Criteria

Automatic time switch controls are programmed with acceptable weekday, weekend, and holiday schedules, per building occupancy profile.

The correct date and time are properly set in the lighting controller.

Program backup capabilities are present to prevent the loss of the device’s schedules for at least 7 days, and the device’s time and date setting for at least 72 hours, if power is interrupted

All lights may be either turned ON manually or turned ON automatically during the occupied time schedule.

All lights turn OFF automatically at the scheduled times.

The manual override switch is functional and turns associated lights ON when activated.

Override time limit is no more than 2 hours, except for spaces exempt per §131(c)3.B.


If annunciator is installed, verify proper installation. Verify the annunciator warning to the occupants that the lights are about to turn OFF functions correctly.

Ensure that automatic time switches have been certified to the Energy Commission in accordance with the applicable provision in §110.9. Verify that model numbers of all automatic time switches are listed on the Energy Commission database as “Certified Appliances & Control Devices.”



Potential Issues and Cautions

The manual override time limit can be adjusted to minimize test time, but the time limit setting must be reset upon completion of the test (not to exceed 2 hours).

When possible, perform the test when the spaces are unoccupied. Turning the lights OFF when other occupants are present can cause problems and unsafe working conditions.

A. Test Application

Newly Constructed and Additions/Alterations: Applies to Occupant sensor, Manual Daylight Controls and Automatic Time Switch Control Acceptance. Functional testing and verification is required.


B. Construction Inspection

1.  Verify automatic time switch controls are programmed with acceptable weekday, weekend, and holiday schedules. Non-exempt lights should be scheduled OFF a reasonable time after the space is typically unoccupied (i.e., 1 or 2 hours after most people vacate the space).

2.  Verify schedule and other programming parameter documentation is available or posted to the owner. The documentation should include weekday, weekend, and holiday schedules as well as sweep frequency and/or override time period.

3.  Verify correct date and time is properly set in the time switch. Lights will not be controlled correctly if the programmed date and time do not match actual values.

4.  Verify the battery is installed and energized. The device shall have program backup capabilities that prevent the loss of schedules for at least 7 days, and the time and date settings for at least 72 hours if power is interrupted.

5.  Override time limit is no more than 2 hours. When the lights are switched off, each lighting circuit can be turned back on manually. Most systems will either send out another OFF signal through the entire lighting network to command all lights back off, or an override timer will expire to turn off the lights which were manually turned on. Regardless of the control strategy, lights that were manually turned ON during an OFF period should only be operating for up to 2 hours before they are automatically turned off again.

6.  Verify that override switch is readily accessible and located so that a person using the device can see the lights being controlled--for example, individual override switch per enclosed office or centrally located switch when serving an open office space.

7.    Verify that model numbers of all automatic time switch controls are listed on the Energy Commission database as “Certified Appliances & Control Devices.” http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/database.


C. Functional Testing

Step 1: Simulate occupied condition.

Set ON time schedule to include actual time or adjust time to be within the ON time schedule (whichever is easier).

Verify and Document

Verify all lights can be enabled. Some systems may turn the lights on automatically at the scheduled time, but others may require that lights be turned on manually using their respective area control switch.

Step 2: Simulate unoccupied condition.

Set the OFF time schedule to include the actual time, or adjust the time to be within the OFF time schedule (whichever is easier).

Verify and Document

All non-exempt lights turn off. Most systems warn occupants that the lights are about to turn off by sending a pulse through the lighting circuits to “flicker” the lights or provide another form of visual or audible annunciation.

Manual override switch is functional. Enabling the manual override switch allows only the lights in the selected space where the switch is located to turn ON. This is particularly important in enclosed spaces to ensure only lights within the enclosed space are controlled, however, switches serving open spaces should also control only lights in the designated zone. The lights should remain ON throughout the override time period (refer to §130.1(c)3B for maximum override times) and the system indicates that the lights are about to be turned off again.

All non-exempt lights turn off when the next OFF signal is supplied to the lighting control circuits or the override time has expired. In order to reduce testing time associated with the complete OFF-Manual override-OFF sequence, the override time may be shortened so that the entire sequence can be witnessed within a reasonable amount of time.

Step 3: Return system back to normal operating condition.

Ensure all schedules, setpoints, operating conditions, and control parameters are placed back at their initial conditions. Ensure the override time period is no more than 2 hours.

It is also good practice to leave a schedule in the timeclock itself for easy reference and to leave a blank schedule form so that the users can document any schedule changes.