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JA8 Lighting: What Is It and How Can It Benefit You?

JA8 Lighting: What Is It and How Can It Benefit You?

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Home to approximately 12% of the population and some of the strictest energy policies in the US, it’s no surprise that the state of California directly influences lighting as manufacturers work to ensure products are available that meet California Energy Commissions (CEC) requirements. A recent example of this is the increasing availability of LED bulbs and fixtures that are JA8 compliant. If you don’t live in California, chances are you probably haven’t heard of JA8. Like Title 20 and Title 24, JA8 is a set of codes or rules pertaining to California’s energy regulations. In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at what JA8 lighting is and how it benefits you.

What is JA8?

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JA8 is the name given to the 2016 revisions of California’s Title 24 regulations. Going into effect in January 2017, these regulations cover indoor and outdoor lighting in new construction, renovations, and additions to both residential and nonresidential buildings. The bulk of the JA8 revisions apply to residential lighting, which Title 24 defines as:

  • A single family building (including sheds and garages)

  • High rise multifamily residential units

  • Hotel and motel guest rooms

  • Dormitory and senior housing

  • Fire stations

JA8 requires that all lighting be “high efficacy”, meaning that many applications must use JA8 certified light sources in order to comply. In order to become JA8 certified, bulbs and fixtures must meet strict requirements and pass rigorous testing. Light sources must produce at least 45 Lumens per Watt and turn on to full brightness in less than 0.5 seconds. Bulbs and fixtures must also meet dimming, life span, and color rending requirements. Once the light source meets these requirements, it is approved by the state of California and registered with the CEC. All certified light sources must have ‘JA8-2016’ or ‘JA8-2016-E’ printed directly on the bulb or fixtures, as seen in the image below. If the product is not listed with the CEC and does not have the JA8 date code, it is not JA8 certified.

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Note: The E in the ‘JA8-2016-E’ code means that the lamp or fixture is rated for elevated temperatures. Bulbs with this code can be used in enclosed fixtures.

What are the JA8 requirements?

In order for your new construction or renovation project to pass inspection, you must meet numerous JA8 requirements. Here are few of the most important regulations:

  • All fixtures with a screw-based socket must use JA8-compliant bulbs

  • Enclosed fixtures can only use JA8 bulbs labeled ‘JA8-2016-E’

  • Downlights cannot have a screw-based socket and must be rated for direct contact with insulation (Type IC or IC-rated)

  • Lighting located in bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and utility rooms must have one light paired with a vacancy sensor

  • Wall mounted outdoor lights must be controlled by one of the following combinations: photocell and motion sensor, astronomical time clock, Energy Management Control System (EMCS) with the features of an astronomical time clock, or a photocell and time switch

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These regulations apply to all permanently installed fixtures. Examples include under cabinet lighting, ceiling lights, ceiling fan lights, and track lighting. Fixtures like table lamps and floor lamps that plug in with a cord and can be moved around are considered “portable luminaries” and are exempt. If the portable luminaire is mounted similarly to permanently installed fixtures, however, it will automatically fall under Title 24. You can learn about other possible exemptions in our previous blog post.

Note: California updates Title 24 regulations every 3 years. The next updates will take effect January 1, 2020.

What are the benefits of using JA8 lighting?

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Regardless of where you live, switching to JA8 lighting has many benefits. JA8 bulbs and fixtures provide exceptional energy savings and the longer life span helps to reduce maintenance and replacement costs. The light output of these fixtures can be dimmed down as needed when paired with compatible dimmers and dimmable bulbs. Dimming also helps to extend the life span. All JA8 light sources produce a color rendering index (CRI) of 90 or higher. CRI measures how well a light source can accurately display colors. Light sources with a high CRI light make colors appear brighter and more vivid, and are commonly used to showcase decor, art work, and merchandise displays. Some JA8 and Title 24 certified products may qualify for rebates. Depending on where you live, rebates can come from local utility companies or through your state.

At this time, no other states require JA8 certified lighting. Keep in mind, however, that states do tend to adopt California’s energy regulations within a few years of going into effect so your state may require JA8 lighting soon. It is best to always check your local and state codes to see what is required before starting on renovations or new construction.

Do you have more questions about JA8 certified lighting? Leave your questions in the comments below or call 1-800-624-4488 to speak with one of our lighting experts.

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