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The California Energy Commission (CEC) was put into place by the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. At the time, a growing need for energy in the state led to a need for a modern energy policy to reduce the environmental impacts and costs of existing systems.

The CEC remains the official energy policy and planning agency for the state, and the organization continues to promote its seven core responsibilities through legislation. Some of its most notable work includes Titles 20 and 24, which mandates energy efficiency standards for businesses.

Business owners save on costs by installing energy-efficient lighting that follows this legislation, and the benefits are felt throughout the community. Read on for our guide to Title 20 and Title 24 regulations in California for facility managers and electricians. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your next installation is compliant.

energy efficient lighting

Title 24 Requirements

Must dim to 10% of light output as a part of a motion controlled lighting system. Controls must be on dimmer with manual ON/OFF and dimming capabilities.

Lights must be turned off during daylight hours with a photo control and automatic time switch, or an astronomical time switch control


Areas that can use a manual ON/OFF control not accessible to unauthorized personnel includes public restrooms with two or more stalls, stairwells, parking areas, corridors, and display/access/case lighting.

Outdoor lighting is on a separate circuit from other lighting and is independently controlled with automatic scheduling

Noise created must be less than 24dB at 100% and 20% levels

Lights must flicker less than 30% for 200Hz or below at 100% and 20% levels

Marking must be made on lamp (JA8-2016 or JA8-2016-E)

CRI (Color Rendering Index) 90 or greater
CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) 4000K or less
R9 Color Rendering Value 50 or greater
6,000 Hour Lumen Maintenance 86.7% or greater
Rated Life 15,000 hours or greater

Understanding Title 24

Title 24 or Joint Appendix 8 (JA8) is often referred to by a different name: the California Building Standards Code. This establishes energy efficiency requirements for all buildings in the state. Just like Title 20, it is concerned mainly with energy conservation, and efficiency, but also touches on accessibility, and fire and light safety. 

Any new construction projects will be reviewed for Title 24 adherence when a building permit is pulled for the project, or the building plans are inspected. Even though this legislation isn’t focused on lighting, it has implications for lighting decisions.

CA lighting regulations

Understanding Title 20

Title 20 deals with appliance efficiency regulations for consumer electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. It includes minimum efficiency levels for a wide range of products for both residential and nonresidential buildings.

Any product covered by the program must be registered with the CEC before it is allowed to enter the market and be legally sold in the state. Part of this step includes listing the product in the California MAEDBS (Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System).

As a lighting manufacturer, retailer, importer, distributor, installer, or contractor, it is your responsibility to confirm that the products you are dealing with are Title 20 compliant. The CEC makes it clear that every member of the supply chain has a part to play in ensuring compliance.

In the California lighting industry, Title 20 ensures that products sold are longer-lasting, brighter, and efficient. This results in less waste from discarded bulbs and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the program is facilitating the transition to efficient LED bulbs gradually from existing halogen, incandescent, and CFL bulbs. 

Title 20 is not set in stone. Updates to the regulations are commonly made, such as in 2018-19 when two tiers of standards were added, including new regulations for product certification and quality.

Title 20 Requirements

Title 20 affects three categories of lighting: LED lamps, small diameter directional lamps, and general service lamps. These products must pass testing and performance requirements to be listed with MAEDBS and reach Title 20 compliance.


All LED Lamps

Must have a power factor greater than 0.7. If dimmable, the lamp must be dimmable to 10% with reduced flicker and noise less than 24dB at 100% and 20%.

Lamps must be able to product white light, or a correlated color temperature (CCT) between 2200K and 7000K.

State-Regulated LED Lamps (SLED)

Including any lamp with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) E12, E17, E26, or GU-24 base types. Also includes LED lamps designed for retrofitting that are within existing recessed can housing that contains these bases.


When compared to its incandescent equivalent, lamps must be dimmable, lower than 3000k, and lumens greater than 310 (for E26) or 150 (E12  and


Minimum Efficacy 80 lpw (lumens per watt)
Minimum Compliance Score 297
Minimum Rated Life 10,000 hrs
Standby power 0.2 watts


State-Regulated General Service Lamps (GSL) 

GSL’s are omni-directional lamps with an E26 style base, which can include incandescent, LED, or CFL bulbs.

Minimum Efficacy 45 lpw
Minimum Compliance Score None
Minimum Rated Life 1,000 hours
CRI (Color Rendering Index)

80 or greater for non-modified spectrum lamps

75 or greater for modified spectrum lamps

State-Regulated Small Diameter Directional Lamps (SDDL)

These lamps are commonly found in hospitality, museum, and retail track lighting, including incandescent, halogen, or LED’s. SDDL’s are non-tubular directional lamps with a diameter of 2.25″ or less. They operate at either 12, 24, or 120 volt.


Minimum Efficacy 80 lpw (or 70 lpw and a minimum compliance score of 165)
Minimum Rated Life 25,000 hours


Comparing Title 20 and Title 24

These key pieces of legislation were designed to interact well with each other. While Title 24 deals with how a new building is built and maintained, Title 20 covers the products that go into this building (in addition to retrofits of existing structures).

However, it is important to remember that a product can follow Title 20 requirements without following Title 24. 

Products require a Title 20 approval before they are brought to market. Before it is installed in a new project or major retrofit, it will have to be evaluated to meet its Title 24 requirements as well.

LED Lighting and California’s Lighting Regulations

At LED Lighting Supply, our team has experience with the CEC’s Title 20 and Title 24. Not only are our products Title 24 compliant, but we are experts in ensuring Title 24 compliance for retrofits and new builds.

If you are looking to improve your facility with longer-lasting, brighter, and energy-efficient LED lighting, get in touch with our team to find the best products for your space.

Keep an eye on the LED Lighting Supply blog for changes to lighting regulations and other useful guides for lighting professionals.

Title 20 Lighting
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