The State of California put into effect new energy regulations, Title 24, that regulate energy usage of light fixtures installed in commercial and residential settings. One point of confusion is the application of the new law, which went into effect last October, on low voltage landscape lighting systems.
Exterior lights mounted on buildings have a variety of new restrictions regarding fixture energy efficiency, photocells, and motion detection equipment. Fortunately, these new restrictions don’t apply to landscape lighting systems. To quote the California Title 24 Residential Compliance Manual,
My House has a row of small incandescent bollards along the walk way to the front door. Do these have to be high efficacy?
No. The high efficacy requirement only applies to lighting mounted to the building.
I would like to install low-voltage landscape lighting in my yard. Are these required to be on a motion sensor and photocontrol?
No. Even though low-voltage lighting does not qualify as high efficacy lighting, lighting not attached to a building, like landscape lighting, is exempt from this requirement.”
These exemptions make sense, because landscape lighting is in a completely different class of application and energy use than other residential and commercial lighting.