Occupancy Controls and Egress Lighting
California's Building Code supersedes the Energy Code. Per the building code, when a space or room is occupied, the entire means of egress from that occupied space to the public way must be illuminated to at least 1 foot-candle (fc).
Use of occupancy controls to reduce light levels during unoccupied periods is allowed. However, in low mode (unoccupied), lighting along the entire means of egress must remain at 1 fc or above. The means of egress is composed of three distinct sections:
- Exit Access: That portion of a means of egress system that leads from any occupied portion of a building or structure to an exit.
- Exit: That portion of a means of egress system between the exit access and the exit discharge or public way. Exit components include exterior exit doors at the level of exit discharge, interior exit stairways and ramps, exit passageways, exterior exit stairways and ramps and horizontal exits.
- That portion of a means of egress system between the termination of an exit and a public way.
More information may be downloaded below including relevant code sections, determinations published by the California fire marshal, and relevant definitions.
- Download the Fire Marshal's determination.
- Download the Building Code related to egress lighting requirements.
- Download the Energy Code pertaining to occupancy control requirements for lighting systems.
- Download definitions used in the Building Code - Egress Lighting.