For years, the State of California has been considered a leader in the world energy conservation. This is evident in the lighting field with the latest round of updates to the famed Title 24 compliance.
In case you weren't aware, starting July 1, 2014, the Golden State's law will require that those who are installing residential and non-residential lighting, whether new construction or retrofit, adheres the latest in energy efficient usage. Guess what? This also includes BALLASTS!
The new standard requires that residential applications, such as, kitchen, bathroom, garages and utility rooms, have high efficacy fixtures. This means that luminaires are required to have at least 40 lumens per watt (15 watts or less), at least 50 lumens per watt (for units 15-40 watts), as well as, 60 lumens per watt over 40 watts.
So, how does this affect your ballast choice?
Actually, as trusted electrical contactor, you can enhance your lighting system's energy saving capability by purchasing and installing an electronic ballast to any Fluorescent or Compact Fluorescent (CFL) fixture. That is, providing that it falls within the aforementioned wattage requirements.
If your project (or client) requires/prefers a dimmable lighting function, you can install a dimming ballast! This will help to increase the energy value of the luminaire(s).
Finally, if your application includes recessed canlights (or down lights), keep in mind that electronic ballasts can be sensitive to heat. Particularly, this is the case which installing in insulated ceilings that are insulated covered (IC) or airtight (AT) rated. So, it's best to make sure that the luminaire is warranted.