CA Title 24 Quick Reference: Plug Load Control – When Do You Need It?

This may not be the most popular topic but with the new 2016 version of Title 24 code there are exciting and important changes to discuss. The requirements for plug load control have remained rather the same, with a few major changes.

The biggest change for plug load control is the requirements in alterations. Alterations section 141.0(b)2 has a new subsection P (141.0(b)2P) that covers Electrical power distribution requirements in alterations. 141.0(b)2 Piv states that “Circuit Controls for 120-Volt Receptacles and Controlled Receptacles. For entirely new or complete replacement of electrical power distribution systems, the entire system shall meet the applicable requirements of Section 130.5(d).” The CEC has confirmed that this means that receptacle control is only required in alterations when the entire electrical distribution is replaced. Note, if replacing the entire distribution system, then all connected receptacle loads must meet the requirements of 130.5(d).

The areas/spaces where plug load controls are required are similar but listed with broadened terms. Private offices and open offices have been changed to Office Areas, to include any space that has office related functions being performed. This includes any room or area of a building in CBC Group B Occupancy where business, clerical or professional activities are conducted, including quiet rooms, warehouses, etc., where these functions are also performed. “Reception lobbies” was changed to Lobbies to include all lobbies within a building or space. The term Kitchenette was broadened to Kitchen Areas as to include any space within a building where there are cooking facilities or where food is prepared. Conference Rooms and Copy Rooms have remained unchanged. Hotel and motel guest rooms maintain the same requirement to control half of the receptacles using a captive keycard, occupancy sensing control, or automatic controls that switch the power off no longer than 30 minutes after the guestroom has been vacated.

The requirements for plug load control are still to install a control system: that can automatically shut off the lighting when the space is typically unoccupied, with an automatic holiday shut-off and maximum 2-hour override. At least one controlled receptacle must be installed within 6 feet of an uncontrolled receptacle or split wire the receptacles to provide at least one controlled and one uncontrolled receptacle. Modular furniture in open office areas are to have at least one controlled receptacle installed at each workstation. Provide controlled receptacles or circuits with a permanent and durable marking that differentiates them from other uncontrolled receptacles or circuits.

Be sure to check out nLight’s nPP20 PL that controls a full 20 amp receptacle circuit and gives you peace of mind when controlled receptacles are required.

CA Title 24 2016 Quick Reference: Local Manual Control

Where do you put light switches for spaces that are open to the public like corridors, retail spaces, lobbies, restrooms, arenas, etc? These can be locked devices, placed within view of the lighting, or controls capable of annunciating the space that is being controlled. You can use a nPOD KEY, a keyed digital dimming switch, a nPODM decora digital dimming switch, or best of all, a nPOD GFX a 16 channel single gang touchscreen dimming controller with custom digital labeling. Read on for the specific requirements and solutions by area.

With the enforcement of 2016 T24 code, there have been a lot of inquiries surrounding the changes to local manual control requirements. Per 130.1(a), it is a requirement to provide manual control that is readily accessible and located within the same room or area. The exceptions provided allow for: areas to have lighting control that is within view of the lighting (or illuminated area) or controls that annunciate the area being illuminated; and to have the manual control not accessible to unauthorized personnel.

The areas that allow for controls to be within view or annunciated are malls and atria, auditorium areas, retail merchandise sales areas, wholesale showroom areas, commercial and industrial storage areas, general commercial and industrial work areas, convention centers, and arenas. The areas that allow for controls that are not accessible to unauthorized personnel are public restrooms with two or more stalls, parking areas, stairwells, and corridors. What does having controls not accessible to unauthorized personnel entail? The CEC accepts using a standard switch within a locked enclosure, a keyed switch, a switch located within an inaccessible area with a view of the lighting or illuminated area or using a switch with the controlled area being annunciated.

Per 130.1(a)4, General lighting shall be separately controlled from other lighting systems in the area so additional switches/controls are needed if providing additional types of lighting.

Note, the requirement for dimmable fixtures to be controlled by a dimming switch that can control the fixture through all of the required steps of Table 130.1-A has moved from the Area Control requirements section to section 130.1(b)3.

T24 Compliant Control Typicals:


T24 Compliant Control Systems:


nLight AIR:


LC&D – Blue Box:

XPoint Wireless:


Parking Garage Lighting Controls and Life Safety: Top 5 Factors to Consider.

XPoint™ Wireless is the Best Solution to Meet Parking Garage Requirements Don’t be Liable for Life Safety!

A common design in parking garages has been to use line voltage occupancy sensors with the emergency lighting calculations taken at 50% of the fixture’s output. Concerns have been raised by Inspectors and Electrical Engineers around this as a liability and compliance issue. The motion sensors contain relays that are NOT UL924 listed and tested for an emergency. This raises the liability and concern if the occupancy sensor keeps the fixture at a dimmed state or fails in the off position because they have not been tested for emergency use. Per Article 700 of the NEC, NFPA 70, the emergency relay is required to drive the emergency fixture to full power illumination levels upon loss of normal power, which is not a capability of standard occupancy sensors alone and may leave each emergency fixture at different dimmed states and produce non-uniform light levels. Additionally, an occupant near an exit may be drawn in the wrong direction by motion sensors being activated in an adjacent area that is not their intended path of egress. When it comes to parking garage lighting in California, there are several lighting control codes that need to be met as dictated by California Title 24, UL and IES. Did you know there is one simple solution that meets all of these necessary requirements?

Meet XPoint™ Wireless by Acuity Brands. It’s a flexible lighting control system that enables users to configure lighting in zones or as individual luminaires, allowing light level adjustment for occupancy, available daylight, wall stations, time of day, BMS integration and utilizes UL924 listed devices for safe and reliable emergency operation.

Let’s break down some of those codes, and show off how XPoint Wireless meets them.

1. Relay devices, including motion sensors with integral relays, that are controlling emergency circuits are required to have UL924 listings.

XPoint Wireless uses a UL924 listed wireless motion sensor with an integral relay that is compliant.

2. Per Article 700 of the NEC, NFPA 70, the emergency relay is required to drive the fixture to full power illumination levels upon loss of normal power by bypassing the dimming/switching controls.

XPoint Wireless meets this requirement by automatically closing the emergency relay and deactivating the control signaling wires to drive the fixture to full power illumination upon loss of normal power.

3. The IES recommends controlling the transition zone of a parking garage entrance, per IES RT-20-14, for the interior light levels to follow the natural light levels of the exterior.

XPoint Wireless utilizes the nLight or LC&D network devices for astronomical timeclock/photocell scheduled light levels. XPoint Wireless also has the ability to slowly fade between these light levels to avoid abrupt light level changes for drivers/pedestrians within this transition zone.

4. California Title 24 section 130.1(c)7B requires partial OFF (a step between 20%-50%) in parking garages when no motion is detected. Additionally, it requires that no more than 500 watts of lighting may be controlled together as a single zone.

XPoint Wireless controls are integral to each fixture, providing the flexibility to easily control individual fixtures or programmed groups of fixtures.

5. California Title 24 section 130.1(c)7B requires that the motion sensors controlling egress fixtures should be automatically activated from all designated paths of egress.

XPoint Wireless utilizes a motion sensor that can be automatically activated during normal operation and has a UL924 listed relay device that automatically turns the fixture on to full bright when normal power is lost.

Pretty awesome, right? If you have any questions or want more information on XPoint Wireless please contact Jeret Carr, Controls Specialist, at