Lighting Controls & Building Code of Australia Compliance

Written by: Surya Bedi | Published: 29-Feb-2016

With the rapid pace of LED lighting & controls technology development in the Australian market, there is often a time lag for Lighting Standards and Building Codes to be updated. A recent Lighting Council of Australia Technical Bulletin navigates a path forward via Section J6 of the Australian Building Code.

The Lighting Controls Sub-Committee of the Lighting Council of Australia, the peak industry association representing Australian lighting manufacturers, suppliers & retailers has stepped in to fill the information gap in the fast moving area of lighting controls and AS/NZS1680 compliance.

With timeframes of up to 5 years to update Standards, the Lighting Council of Australia has recently released a Technical News bulletin for AS 1680 that aims to show how lighting controls should be used in conjunction with interior artificial lighting.

The Technical Bulletin explains that lighting controls should be used to save energy and maintain compliance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia1 (BCA) and Australian standards.

Specification J6.3 (d) of the Building Code of Australia - Interior artificial lighting and power control  states that 95% of the light fittings in a building or storey of a building of >250m2 must be controlled by a time switch or an occupant sensing device.

Motion detectors must be capable of detecting a person before they are 1m into the space as well as other requirements for various applications and building classes. Positioning and placement of occupancy sensors is important.

How will this guide help me?

The Guide provides clarity in the best practice of controlling lighting. The question of "can I replace permanent lighting levels with non permanent lighting levels" - ie when lighting is controlled via motion or occupancy, is now answered by the support of the concept for lighting for people & not spaces.

enLighten CEO Steve Cahill welcomes the announcement. "Consultants & designers are looking to work within the rules to provide compliant lighting solutions. Any parameters or rule references that can provide comfort or support for new technology enablement is a positive for the lighting industry."

"I would recommend that all lighting practitioners and facility managers read this technical bulletin".

"Our business model is to generate energy savings by providing light where & when it is needed. This interpretation of the standards supports our philosophy that lighting needs are related to the space usage and activity & not the physical space dimensions" comments Steve.

Lighting Council of Australia - Light Technical Guide to BCA compliance Lighting Council of Australia - Light Technical Guide to BCA compliance (330 KB)

To view other Light Technical bulletins www.lightingcouncil.com.au/site/news-technical


Surya Bedi

Author: Surya Bedi

Product & Engineering Manager

Surya is an Electrical & Electronics Engineer with a Master of Design Science (Illumination Design & Building Services).  He is experienced in preparing electrical designs and delivering lighting solutions across retail, commercial, residential and industrial sectors.


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