Policies & Programs
Last Update: August 22, 2012
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Policies & Programs Overview

Electric lighting has become an essential feature of modern life, but it is also responsible for significant energy and environmental impacts.  A wide range of codes, policies and standards have been developed to respond to these impacts, but in order to understand the motivation of these standards it is necessary to recognize the energy and environmental circumstances that led to their creation.  Lighting represents a significant energy end use in buildings and exterior applications.  The generation of the electricity needed for lighting consumes fossil fuels, and leads to air and water pollution.  In addition, lighting equipment and components create a continuous waste stream, consuming raw materials, adding to landfills, and sometimes even posing health risks.  If not thoughtfully designed and installed, light itself may result in negative human health and ecological impacts.

To address these complexities, the sections titled Energy Impacts and Environmental Impacts provide an overview of the energy and environmental effects of lighting, respectively.  After establishing this context, the section titled Energy Policies, Codes and Programs discusses the wide range of federal, state, mandated and recommended lighting policies, codes and standards that regulate and inform lighting design and equipment.  Finally, the section Design and Construction Standards provides a summary of several construction codes and standards that contain lighting provisions, as well as professional organizations that influence lighting design.

Regulations & Incentives

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