6.4 Mandatory Requirements

The mandatory features and devices must be included in all outdoor lighting projects when they are applicable. Mandatory requirements for outdoor lighting are specified in §110.9, §130.0, and §130.2. These are similar to the mandatory requirements for indoor lighting.

Even if the design has errors and has specified incorrect features and devices, the installer is responsible to meet all of the applicable requirements that he or she installs. The installer is also required to sign the appropriate Installation Certificate to verify correct installation. The Certificate of Acceptance document for outdoor lighting controls shall also be submitted to the local enforcement agency to prove the installed outdoor lighting controls pass the acceptance test.

6.4.1          Luminaire Cutoff Requirements

The 2019 Standards include a new threshold metric based on initial luminaire lumens for the BUG rating requirement. All outdoor luminaires that emit 6,200 lumens or greater must comply with Backlight, Uplight, and Glare ("BUG") requirements contained in Section 5.106.8 of the CalGreen Code (Title 24, Part 11).

The BUG ratings assume that the light emitted from the luminaire is providing useful illuminance on the task surfaces rather than scattering the light in areas where the light is not needed or intended, such as toward the sky. These BUG ratings also increase visibility because high amounts of light shining directly into observer’s eyes are reduced, thus decreasing glare. Additionally, light pollution into neighbors’ properties is reduced. The BUG requirements vary by outdoor lighting zones and outdoor lighting zones are described in Section 6.2.2.

Luminaire manufacturers are aware of the technical details of the BUG ratings and can typically provide to designers and contractors the BUG ratings for their luminaires. In the rare occasions where the luminaire manufacturer cannot provide the BUG rating, the BUG rating of the luminaire can be calculated with outdoor lighting software if the luminaire photometric data is available.

Luminaires are exempted from the BUG rating requirements for the following applications as these applications are desirable to project light sideways or upwards.


    Lighting for building facades, public monuments, statues, and vertical surfaces of bridges

    Lighting required by a health or life safety statute, ordinance, or regulation that may fail to meet the uplight and glare limits due to application limitations

    Temporary outdoor lighting that does not persist beyond 60 consecutive days or more than 120 days per year.

    Replacement of existing pole mounted luminaires that are spaced more than 6 times the mounting height of the existing luminaires and the replacement luminaire wattage is less than the wattage of the original luminaires. In addition:

o Where the existing luminaire does not meet the luminaire uplight and glare zonal lumen limits.

o Where no additional poles are being added to the site.

o Where new wiring to the luminaires is not being installed.

    Luminaires that are intended to light the right of way on publicly maintained roads, sidewalks, or bikeways.


Example 6-2 Luminaire Classification for Outdoor Luminaires


What is the IES BUG system for outdoor luminaires?


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) published the technical memorandum ’Luminaire Classification for Outdoor Luminaires’ in 2011 (TM-15-11). This document defines three-dimensional regions of analysis for exterior luminaires and further establishes zonal lumen limits for these regions as part of a larger method of categorizing outdoor lighting equipment into Backlight, Uplight, and Glare components. Collectively, the three components are referred to as the BUG system.

RP-8 fig 2a

Luminaire Classification System for Outdoor Luminaires as defined in IES TM-15-11

Image Credit: From ANSI/IES RP-8-14 Roadway Lighting with permission from the Illuminating Engineering Society


The zonal lumen limits per secondary solid angles for uplight and glare are based upon the methodology found in TM-15. The lighting zone that the project is located in determines the maximum zonal lumens for both uplight and glare. There are no separate zonal lumen limits for the Backlight component in the Energy Standards, regardless of the lighting zone. This component is intended for property boundary conditions and is intended to help determine the suitability of specific products to mitigate light trespass, and is therefore outside the prevue of Title 24.

To comply with this mandatory measure, the luminaire must not exceed the maximum zonal lumen limits for each secondary solid angle region (within both the Uplight and Glare component) per lighting zone. The zonal lumen values in a photometric test report must include any tilt or other non-level mounting condition of the installed luminaire. 

The BUG rating for luminaires may be determined with outdoor lighting software or by contacting the manufacturer. There is also software available to produce a BUG rating for a tilted luminaire condition (which is not a typical circumstance for most applications). Since the California BUG limits and calculation procedures match the IES, no deviation from the IES BUG rating is necessary.

Example 6-3 Wallpacks and Zonal Lumen Limits



A new parking lot adjacent to a building is being designed to be illuminated by wall packs rated at 7,000 initial luminaire lumens. The wall packs are mounted on the side of the building and their main purpose is for parking lot illumination. But they are also illuminating the façade of the building. Do these wall packs have to meet the backlight, uplight and glare (BUG) rating limits?



Yes, these 7000-lumen wall packs will have to meet the BUG rating requirements because their main purpose is for parking lot illumination. Luminaire mounting methods or locations do not necessarily determine the purpose of the illumination. Define the function of the luminaire by determining what the majority of the light is striking. In the case a typical wallpack, 80% or more of the light is likely striking the parking lot or sidewalk in front of the building, and only 20% or less on the façade, so BUG rating will be required for verification of the zonal limits.

Each luminaire must be appropriately assigned to the function area that it is illuminating, whether it is mounted to a pole, building, or other structure. Only luminaires that are rated less than 6,200 initial luminaire lumens are not required to meet the Backlight, Uplight and Glare (BUG) requirements in the Energy Standards.


Example 6-4 Tilted Luminaires meeting the BUG Requirements



If a low BUG rating luminaire is mounted at a tilt does it still meet the BUG requirements?


It depends. Luminaires that meet the zonal lumen limits when mounted at 90° to nadir may or may not comply with the BUG rating limits when they are mounted at a tilt.

In order for a tilted luminaire to meet this requirement a photometric test report must be provided showing that the luminaire meets the zonal lumen limits at the proposed tilt. There are lighting design software available to produce a BUG rating for a tilted luminaire, or this can be provided by the manufacturer.


Example 6-5 Defining the Property Line for the Purpose of BUG Rating Compliance


Where is the property line if the area under construction is located next to a public road?


For property line that abuts a public roadway or transit corridor, the property line may be considered to be the centerline of the public roadway or transit corridor.

For property lines about public walkways, bikeways, plazas and parking lots, the property line may be considered to be 5 feet beyond the actual property line.


Example 6-6 Mounting Height from the Property Line


How are the BUG rating of a luminaire determined by mounting height from the property line?


If the luminaire is mounted more than 2 mounting heights away from the property line, then there is no limit on the backlight rating. Otherwise, for locations less than 2 mounting height away, the luminaire must meet backlight ratings listed in Table 5.106.8 (N).

For instance, a 6,600-lumen parking lot luminaire rated with a B2-U0-G1 BUG rating is installed on a 20-foot pole. If this luminaire is located 2 mounting heights (40 feet) away from the closest property line, it is acceptable for use in a lighting zone 2 (LZ2) or higher lighting zone (LZ3 or higher) location.

The luminaire lumen output and BUG ratings can be obtained from the manufacturer or may be calculated from photometric data.

6.4.2          Requirements of Outdoor Lighting Controls

The primary requirements for outdoor controls are as follows:

1.   Lights Off During Daytime: All outdoor lights shall be automatically controlled so that lights are turned off when daylight is available. [§130.2(c)1]

2.   Scheduling Controls: All outdoor lights shall be automatically controlled by a time-based scheduling controls. [§130.2(c)2]

3.   Motion Sensing Controls: Outdoor luminaires greater than 40 watts and mounted less than 24 ft. and above the ground shall be motion controlled, so that the lighting power of each luminaire shall be automatically reduced by at least 50 percent. This applies to luminaires providing general hardscape lighting, outdoor sales lot lighting, vehicle service station hardscape lighting, or vehicle service station canopy lighting. [§130.2(c)2]

Exceptions to all outdoor lighting controls. All lighting control requirements do not apply to any of the following lighting applications:

1.   Lighting where a health or life safety status, ordinance, or regulation prohibits outdoor lighting to be turned OFF or reduced.

2.   Lighting in tunnels required to be illuminated 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.


Example 6-7 Circuiting of Non-outdoor Lighting Load


Can irrigation controllers be on the same power circuit as lighting?


Maybe, it depends.

If there is any outdoor lighting load on the same power circuit, the outdoor lighting load must be independently controlled from all other non-outdoor lighting loads.


More information of each lighting controls are laid out in the following sections.


A.   Daylight Availability

All installed outdoor lighting must be controlled by a photocontrol, astronomical time-switch control, or other controls that automatically turns off the outdoor lighting when daylight is available.

      A photocontrol measures the amount of ambient light outdoor and when the light level outside is high enough to indicate it is daytime, the control turns the lights off.

      Astronomical time clocks require an initial setup of the time clock device and the setup may include the entry of the current date and time (and time zone), site location (by longitude and latitude) and others (daylight saving time). The clock calculates sunrise and sunset times (which vary by factors such as day of the year), turns the lights off near sunrise and keeps them off until sunset.

      A part-night outdoor lighting control has a light sensor and a timing mechanism to control lights relative to measured sunrise and sunset times.

The appropriate product of astronomical time clocks or part-night outdoor lighting controls can be used for both daylight availability and scheduling control.

B.   Automatic Scheduling Controls

All installed outdoor lighting shall be controlled by an automatic scheduling control that reduces lighting power according to a schedule.

Further, automatic scheduling controls are required to have the capability of programming at least two nighttime periods (a scheduled occupied period and a scheduled unoccupied period) with different light levels (lighting power of 40 to 90 percent from full power) if desirable by the building design and operation. More than two nighttime periods are allowed for a building, as desirable for its activities or operations. 

For the scheduled unoccupied period, the scheduling controls shall have the capability of reducing power between 50 percent and 90 percent and can also turn the lights off. Automatic scheduling controls are flexible to suit changes in building activities. If new actives warrant different operation schedules or different amounts of light is needed for the period, the building operator can adjust the settings of the automatic scheduling controls. The intent is to require the automatic scheduling controls to be capable of providing different amounts of outdoor lighting depending upon time of night. This also provides the capability to reduce lighting power when the outdoor space is not occupied or in use.

There are applications in which there are benefits to employ both motion sensing controls and automatic scheduling controls. It is the intent to allow both types for meeting the outdoor lighting control requirements. See example below. 

Example 6-8 Using Automatic Scheduling Controls Plus Some Other Controls


Can motion sensing controls be used together with automatic scheduling controls?


Some applications require the installation of motion controls. For these applications, automatic scheduling controls are required in addition of motion sensing controls. During the occupied period, motion sensing controls can detect vacancy of an outdoor space and the controls can reduce the lights to a reduced state, per the initial setup.


Example 6-9 Using Automatic Scheduling Controls for Buildings of 24x7 operation


Is the automatic scheduling control requirement applicable to a building occupied 24 hours per day, seven days per week?


Yes, automatic scheduling controls are required for buildings that are occupied 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Business activities can change over time as business models and hours of operation evolve. The required nighttime periods of a scheduled occupied period and a scheduled unoccupied period are decided by the building owner or the building operator, as appropriate, to suit the business needs.


Acceptance Tests Required for Automatic Scheduling Controls

Outdoor automatic scheduling controls are required to have acceptance test conducted to confirm the appropriate schedules are programmed and controls have been enabled. The acceptance test procedures are detailed in Reference Nonresidential Appendix NA7.8.7 and NA7.8.8.  Refer to Section 6.6.5 of this manual for details about outdoor lighting controls acceptance test.

C.   Motion Sensing Controls

Outdoor luminaires greater than 40 watts, where the bottom of the luminaire is mounted 24 ft. or less above the ground, shall be operated with motion sensing controls if they are used in the following applications:

1.   General hardscape lighting including parking lot lighting

2.   Vehicle service station hardscape lighting and canopy lighting

3.   Wall pack lighting installed for building façade, ornamental hardscape, or outdoor dining lighting

The motion sensing controls shall:

1.  reduce the lighting power of each luminaire by at least 50 percent and no more than 90 percent, or be capable of turning the luminaire off during unoccupied periods.

2.  be capable of reducing the lighting to its dim or off state within 15 minutes of vacancy detection.

3.   control no more than 1,500 watts of lighting power by a single sensor.

Exceptions to all motion sensing control requirements.

      The motion control requirements do not apply to applications listed as exceptions to Section 140.7(a). These application exempted from the motion controls requirements of Section 130.2(c)3 when more than 50 percent of the light fails in the application. The applications include temporary outdoor lighting, lighting for public roadways, and lighting for public monuments – the complete listing can be found in Section 140.7(a). A short version of the listing is also provided on the rightmost column of Table 6-1.

      In addition, luminaires serving the following applications are not required to have motion sensing controls:

1.   Lighting for Outdoor Sales Frontage, Building Facades, Ornamental Hardscape and Outdoor Dining;

2.   Luminaires rated 40 watts or less;

3.   Lighting subject to health or life safety statute, ordinance or regulation may have a minimum time-out period longer than 15 minutes or a minimum dimming level above 50 percent.

Acceptance Tests Required for Motion Sensing Controls

Motion sensing controls are required to have an acceptance test conducted to confirm the sensor can sense activity within the detection zone and turn the lights to their occupied lighting power levels within the timeout period. The acceptance test procedures are detailed in Reference Nonresidential Appendix NA7.8.1 and NA7.8.2.  Refer to Section 6.6.5 of this manual for details about outdoor lighting controls acceptance test.

6.4.3          Lighting Control Functionality


All installed lighting controls listed in §110.9(b) shall comply with the requirements listed below. In addition, all components of the system considered together as installed shall meet all applicable requirements for the application for which they are installed as required in §130.0 through §130.5, §140.6 through §140.8, §141.0, and §150.0(k).

Designers and installers are advised to review features of their specified lighting control products for meeting the requirements of Section 110.9(b) as part of the code compliance process.

A.   Time-Switch Lighting Controls

Time-switch lighting control products shall provide the functionality listed in Section 110.9(b)1 of the Energy Code.

B.  Daylighting Controls

Daylighting control products shall provide the functionality listed in Section 110.9(b)2 of the Energy Code.

C.  Dimmer

Dimmer products shall provide the functionality listed in Section 110.9(b)3 of the Energy Code.

D.  Occupant Sensing Controls

Occupant sensing control products (including occupant sensors, partial-ON occupant sensors, partial-OFF occupant sensors, motion sensors, and vacancy sensor controls) shall provide the functionality listed in Section 110.9(b)4 of the Energy Code.

One important functionality is the capability to automatically turn lights either off or down within 20 minutes after the area has been vacated.

EXCEPTION to the requirement: Occupant Sensing Control systems may consist of a combination of single or multi-level Occupant, Motion, or Vacancy Sensor Controls, provided that components installed to comply with manual-on requirements shall not be capable of conversion by occupants from manual-on to automatic-on functionality.

E.   Part-Night Outdoor Lighting Controls

Part-night outdoor lighting control products shall provide the functionality listed in Section 110.9(b)5 of the Energy Code.


Example 6-10 Manufacturer Responsibility for Certified Controls


What is the responsibility of the manufacturer with regard to using lighting control products that are certified by the CEC and listed in the Commission’s directories?


It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to certify its lighting control products as required by the applicable California Appliance Efficiency Standards (also known as Title 20 Standards). The approved products will be listed in the CEC’s directories or in an appliance efficiency database.  


Example 6-11 Designer Responsibility for Certified Controls


What is the responsibility of the designer with regard to using lighting control products that are certified by the CEC and listed in the Commission’s directories?


It is the responsibility of the designer to specify only lighting control products that have been certified and listed in Energy Commission directories.


Example 6-12 Installer Responsibility for Certified Controls


What is the responsibility of the installer with regard to using lighting control products that are certified by the CEC and listed in the Commission’s directories?


It is the responsibility of the installer to only install lighting control products that are certified by the CEC and listed in the Commission’s directories. It is also the responsibility of the installer to sign the Installation Certificate.