Understanding Lighting Compliances: Energy Star, Title 24, ADA, and More

Whether you are walking through the aisles of your local hardware store, lighting outlet, or scrolling through an online retailer, you may have noticed the mention of specific certifications and wondered what they meant. Phrases like ‘Dark Sky’ and ‘Energy Star’ may sound like science fiction terminology but they are in fact important designations of compliance.

Here are some of the most common certifications you will see when selecting a new light and how choosing the right light can actually help save you money and the environment.

Energy Star: One of the more common phrases in lighting, designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifying products that are energy efficient. Not only can you help save the planet, but you can lower your monthly electricity bills. 

Title 24: A set of regulations in California state building code for energy conservation, green design, construction, and maintenance for all buildings in California. Purchasing Title 24 compliant products are not only great for the environment but also your wallet.

ADA - The Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, stipulates that wall sconces may not protrude more than 4 inches from the wall. These guidelines are designed for public spaces in commercial and multifamily buildings, allowing them to live comfortably without having to worry about protruding light fixtures.

Dark Sky: These specialized products are designed to help reduce light pollution. Bright lights in certain areas such as the desert can confuse local nocturnal wildlife. Lighting fixtures direct light downward instead of upward and spread the light beam out, allowing for a star filled sky.

Moisture Designations

Almost all lighting fixtures you encounter will have a different UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating listed. These ratings designate how much moisture your light can tolerate, broken down into 3 categories: Wet, Damp, and Dry. This lets you know which room is safe for a fixture to be installed in.

Wet – Rated for direct contact with water. Lighting fixtures that suitable for wet locations such as outdoors, exterior walls, or decks.

Damp – Not suitable for direct contact with water but can withstand moisture and condensation. Perfect for a bathroom or a covered patio.

Dry – No contact with water at all, these must remain dry. This rating will consist of most indoor lighting fixtures.
Vivex – Maxim’s own line of outdoor lighting products specially innovated and crafted with a proprietary process to provide the best defense against the elements. Ideal for shore front, high heat, and rainy locales. Fixtures are incredibly resistant yet still designed with our signature Maxim style.