Happy young couple buying a lamp at a home improvement store.

California Energy Commission: Title 20 and Title 24 JA8 Explained

Your client comes in with a story. She wanted to wear her new black pants but picked dark brown or even navy instead?

You are not the only one.

Bad retail lighting can make anyone think they are color-blind; hence CRI is so important. You want us to backtrack a bit, right? We will.

In this piece, we are going to dive into the color rendering index and answer exactly why it is important to consider the CRI level of your light bulbs.

What Is CRI?

Color rendering index or CRI is how objects look under different light sources compared to how they look under sunlight. Simply put, it is how close to natural light your light bulbs shine.

How is CRI Measured?

CRI is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, and it calculates how light can give off eight pastel colors.

You can find this scale on the CRI measuring chart, which puts your light on a scale to test its accuracy as a light source. You want your light’s color rendering index to be as close to 100 as possible.

Anything 90 and above has a high CRI score, and a scale of 80 and below has poor indexing.

different lighting natural and CRI indoors at a mall

Why Is the Color Rendering Index Important?

Of course, it won’t matter that you wore the wrong color pants. But you want the lightbulbs around your homes geared to illuminate space as close to natural light as possible.

Think about it: do you want a dull-looking environment where everything looks lifeless, like one of those bad ads?

Well, this is often how low CRI lightbulbs make an environment look. No client wants that.

You want a vibrant environment that is full of life. Hence LED lights with a high CRI are important. They are not the only contributors, but they are great enhancers.

How Does CRI Affect LED Light Production?

CRI is not a new term; it was just never needed.

During the time of incandescent lightbulbs, no one cared about CRI because these bulbs had a great CRI index. But these bulbs were not energy efficient.

And in the attempt of efficiency came LED and even fluorescent lights.

But with the rise of LED lights came a need for measuring color output, and the answer was in the CRI introduction. LED lights are energy-efficient, but some have a low CRI measurement. This brings us to Title 20.

What Is Title 20?

California has several regulations for both builders and homeowners. There is Title 24, which has more to do with the actual building rather than lighting. So, Title 24 is a set of regulations that govern the inspection of buildings.

Title 20, however, relates to lighting.

Title 20 is a set of rules that regulate the sale of lighting sources in the state of California, and they have been drafted by the California Energy Commission or the CEC.

It had a two-part implementation:

  • Implementation 1 in 2018
  • Implementation 2 in 2019

What exactly Does Title 20 Mean?

Title 20 means every light bulb sold in the state of California must pass several tests for efficacy and life rate.

It also states that for light sources to be legally sold in California, they must be registered on the Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System or the MAEDBS.

So even if a light bulb passes the CEC tests, if it is not registered with MAEDBS, it cannot be sold in the state.

What Are CEC Testing Standards?

Light bulbs will go through several tests to approve their sale.

These regulations apply to three major categories, all of which must be state-regulated. We are talking about state-regulated LED lamps, small-diameter directional lamps, and service lamps.

  • LED lamps should have a minimum efficacy of 80 lumens per watt or lpw and a rate life of 10,000 hours.
  • Small diameter directional lamps must also have a minimum efficacy of 80 lpw and a rate life of 25,000 hours.
  • Service lamps, however, have a lower minimum efficacy requirement at 45 lpw. They must have a rate life of 1,000 hours.

As for CRI, all lamps must have a minimum measurement of 83, because anything lower cannot be approved.

Who Is Responsible for Implementation?

The state has made it the responsibility of everyone involved to ensure that light bulbs meet lighting standards. So, the CEC expects manufacturers, distributors, installers, and contractors to check all light bulbs.

What Is the Difference Between Title 20 and Title 24″

Title 24 refers to the regulation of buildings. This is a different set of regulations that ensure a building in California meets standards for safety, energy conservation, and design.

Title 24 affects lighting but doesn’t regulate the actual product or light source. Title 20 deals with the light product itself. It regulates its manufacturing, distribution, and sale.

Title 20 affects the light bulb, while Title 24 affects mostly its installation.

Which Lamp Should You Choose?

When it comes time to pick your lighting, consider several factors. Are you looking to build a studio type of lighting or are you interested in just lighting your room?

But regardless of your position, you want lighting with a CRI of 90 and above.

However, if you are the former, you can make the extra investment of ensuring your lights don’t disappoint. You can also invest in color-pumping technology that amps certain colors in the spectrum. This is a strategy in the retail arena.

Buying Lighting Sources for Your Space

CRI is not a luxury, it is a nationwide regulation that not only affects your lighting but also the type of light bulbs you can purchase.

The right color rendering index in your light bulbs can help bring vibrancy into your space. It is not a magic act. It is a light thing.

At Lite Lume Corporation, we manufacture lights both consistent with regulations and can add vibrancy to a space.

Contact us to get the best lighting for you.

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