What’s New

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 an nPOD KEY, a keyed digital dimming switch, an nPODM decora digital dimming switch, or best of all, an 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:

SDLA:  https://www.sandiegolighting.com/controls-typicals/

T24 Compliant Control Systems:

nLight:   https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/nlight

nLight AIR:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/nlightair

Fresco:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/fresco

LC&D – Blue Box:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/blue-box

XPoint Wireless:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/xpoint-wireless

EchoFlex: http://www.echoflexsolutions.com/

Designer Lighting Luncheon: Eureka Lighting Takes the Stage

Is there really a better way to spend your lunch hour then discussing the latest “hot topics” in lighting? We don’t think so. Specifiers, designers, engineers and architects in the lighting industry, joined us for the third installment of our designer luncheon series on May 24th at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station. Stone brewing was a great location to host over 40 attendees, who engaged with a presentation and networking opportunities after enjoying a delicious lunch of steak, potatoes and organic greens, served buffet style.

We were lucky to have Eureka Lighting’s very own Director of Sales, Scott Spence and California District Sales Manager, Robert Ayala host the event, alongside our spec team. The duo gave the attendees insight into the many award-winning Eureka products and their vast capabilities. We were particularly impressed with the Matrix, an innovation in acoustic lighting, and the Flynn. Both of which won 2017 Product Innovation  Awards. Attendees had the opportunity to not only hear from the Eureka experts but witness the power of these products themselves, as we had multiple on display.

We love being able to provide the San Diego area with the latest in lighting innovation and networking opportunities. Rather than sitting in the drive-thru line on your lunch hour join us for our next designer luncheon, tentatively scheduled with Armstrong ceilings and JLC Tech t-bar lighting solutions! We have another show-stopping location in the works for you but keep checking in on our InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn pages for more details as they become available!

Our events are always sure to fill up quickly so reserve your spot today. Anyone who specifies lighting in the San Diego/Imperial County areas is welcome to join us and can simply RSVP by emailing Amanda Ivko at amandai@sdltg.com!


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: LFI 2018 Recap

LFI 2018It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, we’re not queuing the Christmas music. We’re talking about another exciting week at Light Fair International, which was hosted in the Windy City this year, Chicago, Illinois. The venue was incredible with plenty of space for manufacturers and vendors to show off their latest lighting and lighting control innovations. After attending this popular industry tradeshow for 10+ years, I can confidently say the booths this year were the best to date. Speaking of which, one of my favorite eye-catching displays was the all-new, dynamic color changing Rubik from Acuity Brands’ Mark Architectural Lighting.

IoT, The Internet of Things, was yet again a hot topic at LFI. Many of the manufacturers who were using the buzzword seemed to have different and varying capabilities with this innovation. It’s exciting to see so many follow in the footsteps of Acuity Brands, who we know was a pioneer in the IoT revolution.

I was pleasantly surprised that track lighting is back and it’s better than ever! Manufacturers, like XAL Move-It and Bruck Lighting Smart Track had sleek track systems on display, and PureEdge was showing off their incorporated Trueline look to create a mud-in track system.  I personally believe the versatility of track lighting, the sleek, minimalistic design, European inspiration are the large drivers for why this lighting solution is making a comeback!

Could you imagine a world where lights act as a means for disinfection? I saw this idea come to life at the Visa Lighting booth. In partnership with Vital Vio, Visa introduced their “Disinfecting Luminaires”. The LED technology protects environments from harmful bacteria by emitting a white light that is safe for both humans and animals.  Looking forward to sharing the technology with anyone and everyone in San Diego who is responsible for healthcare design!  Make sure you click on the Visa Lighting Link above for more information!

Another big play in the new products category was Horticultural Lighting.  Manufacturers like SpecGrade LED, Beghelli, and Sonaray all had new products on display. Horticultural lighting, although it has been around for a while, I feel is being taken to a whole new level with technological advancements through color, wavelength, product design, and placement.  And if you think everything you have learned about lighting for humans applies to horticultural lighting, I am quickly learning that is not true!  The terminology and science that is specific to growing plants is a whole new ballgame. The manufacturers I mentioned above have great resources to help us all learn the ins and outs of effective horticultural lighting!

Congratulations are in order for many of our manufacturers who brought their A game to LFI 2018. Alphabet Lighting won top honor with their “Most Innovative Product of the Year” award for its NU Vector Series!  Other winners were Mark Lighting Chisel, Juno FlexConnect and the SensorSwitch VLP App, who were all recognized as “best of” in their respective categories.  FlexConnect also won a “Design Excellence” award.  One of the coolest products I saw at the show was the digital tension system from TLS international. See the product in action here.

Finally, LFI has always been a great place to learn from some of the best in the industry.  Having my NCQLP LC Certification, I need continuing education credits to maintain the certification and to keep up with the fast-paced and innovative lighting landscape!  I was able to take a few classes to satisfy some continuing education credit needs, but more importantly, learn more about topics that are some of the most talked about in the industry today. We strive to be subject matter experts at SDLA so we can share the information we learn with our San Diego lighting colleagues!  Understanding continuing education is important for many, we offer classes at least once a month on a variety of topics through our SDLA Academy curriculum. A quick reminder that SDLA is also an AIA approved CEU provider so we are able to deliver AIA/HSW CEU presentations on-demand when the need for credits arise!

Back to School with NECA

NECA As an Associate Member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), SDLA was cordially invited to participate in the California Title 24 training course on April 20th, hosted at the NECA San Diego office. These training courses exist as a valuable resource for union electrical contractors of IBEW Local 569. NECA training courses help electrical contractors take their career to the next stage with tailored courses in traditional and new technologies. We enjoyed participating in the event where NECA San Diego hosted a great presentation with breakfast and an afternoon BBQ.

Martin Dodd from Energy Soft was the keynote speaker, while Joshua Desoto of NECA hosted the event. Martin provided an extensive overview of how Title 24 is approached and applied in the industry. Martin not only reviewed the requirements contractors need to be aware of but went into detail on how to decipher and implement the variety of Title 24 forms. This four-hour training course was highly interactive throughout, with Martin calling on us to speak to our wealth of knowledge of different Title 24 requirements and solutions. Chris Bale (SDLA Contractor Salesman) and I were heavily involved in giving code and project insight based on our controls department’s vast experiences. Attendees were kept engaged as well by being asked to share their questions, different experiences and advice when dealing with Title 24 code requirements. After the conclusion of the presentation, Chris and I were available to give attendees project specific solutions and advice.

NECAOur controls team was excited to be invited because of our expertise in Title 24 requirements and compliances in the San Diego area and we enjoyed the opportunity to support NECA, Martin, and those in attendance with specific lighting and lighting controls questions. NECA training emphasizes the importance of continuing education and it’s an organization we are proud to support. We look forward to supporting NECA San Diego and our electrical community with future trainings and projects.

If you have any questions regarding Title 24, or any project specific solutions you can implement to meet compliance requirements, email me at jeretc@sdltg.com!

Meet The Team: Chris Bale

Chris Bale doesn’t mind being reminded that he’s the “old guy” in the office because he loves the chance to be a mentor in the industry. Chris is a born and raised San Diegoian, and when he’s not out in the field as a contractor/distributor sales lead, he’s taking life one wave at a time on his paddleboard. Chris also loves to spend time with his daughter, who is a freshman in college right here in San Diego. Are you ready for a far-out meet the team with one of San Diego’s favorite soul surfers?

Q: How did you get started in the lighting industry?

CB: Initially I didn’t think I’d end up following in my father’s footsteps but as fate had it, I was an electrical distributor for 30 years. I was born into that field and was lucky to find a job in that industry. Two years ago, I decided it was time for a change and SDLA was always my first choice to work with when I was on the electrical distributor side, so it made perfect sense to come work for them as a lighting contractor/distributor sales lead. I’ve known the owners for over 40 years and knowing they take customer service seriously, it was easy to take that leap of faith to leave the electrical industry for the lighting industry.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

CB: I love having the opportunity to give back to the industry. I have no problem being known as the “old guy” in the office because I love mentoring some of the up-and-comers. Things are always changing in this field and I have the best of both worlds because I can help a new professional navigate the industry while also getting to hear their fresh perspective.

Q: What does a work day look like for you?

 CB: Customer service is at the core of my job, so my day is dictated by what the customer needs at that time. Some days I’m in the office preparing a quote or proposal for a client and then the next, I’m out in the field connecting with contractors and distributors. It’s such a great balance; I have the chance to immerse myself in the field with new experience but always have a place to call home here, back at the office. In the past as an electrical distributor, it was difficult to feel as part of the staff because I was always on the road, but in this position, I’ve always felt as a member of the team.

Q: What do you like best about the culture at SDLA?

CB: Everyone here gets along fantastically; we are all focused on servicing the customer, which centers us all on one common goal. I can definitely echo the idea that we are one big family. Coming to work is like going to a family get-together, your weird Uncle Gary is here, and we definitely have dysfunctional fun.

A Bird’s Eye View of Our Lighting Controls Department

How would your life change if you had a bird’s eye view of the inner workings of everything around you? In our lighting controls department, we have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in our industry, and alongside the fixture quotation department, providing the complete lighting package. Each day, projects make their way onto our bid board and with each project comes a different set of specifications, Title 24 requirements, design requirements and style preferences. We have a front row seat to how things are being done in various parts of our market and how ideas are being executed in different scenarios. Because of this, we can compile our broad array of experiences in order to provide the end user with the best possible interface and cost-effective solution. Ready to soak in everything you need to know about a day in the life of our lighting controls department?

1. An idea is born in our quotations department. The process begins in the quotations department when a request comes in from a distributor who is working with a contractor or lighting engineer. At this point, one of our four specialists will take the project under his wing. Once a specialist is assigned to quote and design, they remain involved in the entire process so that the point of contact stays the same for the distributor/contractor working with us. Initially one of our control specialists will analyze all the documents provided by the contractor and determine if the specifications meet Title 24 standards. Design begins at this stage and after we feel confident that we have provided the best value we will send the project back to the contractor for review.

2. Awarded the gig. If we are awarded the job, we eagerly to get to work. Sometimes a new series of documents and revisions will come in or we will work from the initial set of information. In this stage of the process, we finalize the layout in AutoCAD. This layout will serve as an instructional floor plan for how each room will be designed and can include wiring details for how all the equipment is installed into the system. There are two different solution types for our layouts, standalone and networked designs. A standalone system will have all the controls, controlled in one room. A networked system will have every room networked back to a centralized Eclypse/Gateway controller where time-clock and/or Automatic Demand Response control is incorporated. After designing the layout to include the best fit solution for the application and to meet California Title 24 requirements, we will send the final document to the contractor for execution and installation.

3. Our design comes to life. Each project is different and the same can be said for the contractor or engineer who will bring our design to life. Some contractors will install the equipment based on our exact design, others may go back and forth with our specialist to optimize the solution, making communication a vital component of this process. Each time we work with a different contractor or engineer we are gaining more understanding of our industry and how to better serve our customers. Alongside the contractor, we are solving issues we see in our field and providing solutions that are innovating how controls are incorporated into the lighting industry.

With our vast experience and knowledge of the industry, we are confident we can offer the best value and design when an idea makes its way to our lighting controls department. If you’re looking for a team that places a priority on effective communication and value then bring your idea to our quotations department by emailing quotes@sdltg.com!

Meet the Team: Brendan Kelliher

When Brendan Kelliher joined the team two years he became SDLA’s lucky charm.  Born and raised in Ireland, Kelliher moved to the United States and is a great addition to the lighting controls department.  After standing up for a week straight at his standing desk, he officially became known as the office’s standup guy… of course, his teamwork skills played a role in the nickname too! Brendan is settling into his new home here in San Diego and loves the beach, but he does miss those rainy days in Ireland that we don’t find here too often. Let’s meet one of our beloved controls specialists!

Q: How did you get started in the lighting industry?

BK: I went to school for civil engineering and worked in that field before moving to the United States. When I moved from Boston to San Diego I had the opportunity to talk with SDLA and I was really interested in what the company was doing. So, I initially didn’t think I’d end up in lighting, but this company had me excited enough that I decided to make the switch. I’ve now been a control specialist for two years and I can safely say I made an awesome choice when betting on SDLA.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

BK: I love checking in with the bid board for hot projects and seeing all the different rewards and challenges that each job will offer. I love that my day to day is always changing along with the projects we are working on; the job is never monotonous, and it really keeps things fresh and exciting. Also, I love being the point person for a lighting controls project when I’m able to own everything from the concept to the design to the execution.

Q: Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on?

 BK: Right now, I’m really enjoying working on the SDG&E Mission Control project. The Fresco™ line from Acuity Brands is a really big component of this job because the line includes high-performance lighting controls that we are excited to use in our layouts. This project is very rewarding because a lot of thought and detail has gone into designing the layout so, after numerous rounds of revisions, it will be great to see the project completed, knowing the client got the best value.

Q: What do you like best about the culture at SDLA?

 BK: What first attracted me to SDLA was the support system given to each and every employee. I saw very early on, firsthand, that everyone is really helpful and supportive of one another and it’s something that I continue to love about the culture here. The environment in the office is great too, the atmosphere is the perfect hybrid between laid back and goal oriented. We work hard, play hard. I can also confirm that our team is like a big family and I’m really lucky to have great co-workers, like JP Castro. He’s the Sancho Panza to my Don Quixote.

Join Us For a Free IES Training!

We’re eliminating any excuses you may have for furthering your education by sponsoring a FREE IES, Title 24 compliant training! On April 11th, we invite all distributors, electrical contractors, electrical engineers, architects, lighting designers, and anyone else interested to attend our training. This IES Spring update will be held at the REXEL San Diego Energy Center and lunch will be provided for all those in attendance from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. This opportunity comes to you with no admission fee and free parking, so if you have been waiting to attend a training course, this is the perfect chance to get a baseline knowledge or refresher of industry standards as regulations continue to become more rigorous.

As the speaker for the event, I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing several perspectives from different occupations and experience levels in the industry. This training is suited for anyone new to Title 24 or any seasoned professional looking for a refresher course. In this course, I will discuss the exceptions to the code professionals should be aware of and how to utilize these benefits to move projects from concept to execution. Even some seasoned electrical professionals and distributors may not be aware of the way they can use code and regulations to their benefit and sometimes see compliance strictly as a prohibitory factor. This IES training will also cover how to offer lower up-front costs and energy savings projects, while still being Title 24 compliant. As code requirements and regulations continue to become more and more challenging, it’s essential that we continue to educate ourselves through training in order to save our clients and our companies time and money.

There are still spots available for this training, so be sure to register online and secure your spot free of charge! If you want more information or have any other questions, please reach out to me at danielc@sdltg.com.  

SDLA Academy: Networked Lighting Controls

The SDLA Academy recently held another successful premiere course for lighting and lighting controls training and education. On March 22nd, we hosted about 16 different electrical engineers, electrical contractors, and electrical distributors for the course, “nLight Networked Lighting Controls, What’s New?”, right here in our office! Those in attendance gained education and training on networked lighting control solutions and how they relate to Title 24 requirements, BMS integration, Demand Response, and IoT solutions. Today, lighting control knowledge is an absolute necessity for professionals to have due to the push in energy saving code requirements, and the increased desire of building owners to be more in tune with their buildings’ potential. Software Applications, like Space Utilization, Siteview Energy and Indoor Positioning have been developed to utilize the networked control sensor devices to pull data like occupancy status/history, light levels from standard nLight devices, energy metering from the integrated SVEM and indoor location from Atrius enabled fixtures. Our training and hands-on demonstrations displayed the many ways available to design and utilize controls systems in order to give our clients an innovative approach to lighting their spaces.

Our attendees were able to get hands-on interaction with nLight® and nLight®Air of Acuity Brands, a digital control system that provides a wide range of control from small, individual rooms to multi-story buildings and has full read/write BACnet/IP BMS integration capabilities. Keep an eye out for the Summer release of the fully networked nLight AIR wireless control system that will provide the ability to have interior/exterior and wired/wireless lighting controls under one system. These Title 24 compliant systems were on display with another controls lines from Acuity including Fresco™, a high- performance architectural lighting control system that is bringing dynamic spaces to life. The Fresco system has the ability to control nLight, dimming panels, DMX (including RDM), Dali, and tunable white fixtures. All of these systems meet the needs of Title 24 while simultaneously addressing the “requirements of today’s architectural and dynamic lighting environments.”

Attendees not only had the chance to experience these innovative systems and enjoy a delicious lunch, but they also had the chance to win a very fine SDLA jacket from our event giveaway. Congrats to our winner, Kyle Knoakes!

Want a chance to experience these systems first hand? Email me at jeretc@sdltg.com for more information or to set up your demonstration today! Also, don’t miss out on our next course with the SDLA Academy, Visual Lighting Software Half-Day Training, which will be hosted on April 19th!