Stairway Lighting

I’ve been doing quite a few “new-construction” inspections lately, and have been running into the same problem over and over. Needless to say, some of the builders aren’t happy with some of my “findings.”

CA has a relatively new energy code, built into its building codes (Title 24), which requires (among other things) that all incandescent light bulbs be placed on dimmer switches.

The problem is with the stairway lighting. How can the lighting “legally” be on a dimmer? When the dimmer is turned down, this effectively disables the opposite switch.

I have discovered this at least 4 times in the last month. Is there a “reasonable” solution to this?

I think the intent is thay you use a CFL there.

What’s a CFL?

compact fluorescent

That’s what I thought.

Ahhhh but those wonderful CFL’s have that wonderful mercury hazard…:wink:

I think the interpetation of the Title 24 laws need some common sense applied to them. I’m a Title 24 energy plan examiner and the laws can be confusing to the layman. For a good guide to new construction lighting, I use the guide supplied by the UC Davis Lighting Technology Center. Here is the link.

About fluorscent lights, they need some time to warm up to get the full light energy out of them. For lights that get switched on and off constantly, an incandescent light is better.

Thanks for the link. I haven’t read the pdf yet.

The builder reps believe that cfl’s don’t provide adequate lighting for the stairway, perhaps for the reasons you suggested - the “warm-up” time.

So, what to do? How do we provide adequate and proper stairway lighting with Title 24 in mind?

I actually put switches in my stairway at home that dim from both switches.

But if you can “disable” the opposite switch by turning-down one dimmer, the lighting is improper.

3-way dimmers

I didn’t know they made those. Pricey little buggars.

I just replaced single dimmer with a 3 way dimmer (Leviton) for my dining room. I didn’t know they had such a critter either. It can be safely and legally wired for single pole or 3 way. Cost me around $15. It has a rocker switch and a slide dimmer.

Several manufacturers are now making LED stairway lights.

I think most of the resistance to CFLs is misplaced. Perhaps if you are talking about outside stairs in the mountains where it really gets cold I could see “warm up” being a problem but I have them all over my house and they start just fine down to the high 40s.
I was slow to jump on the CFL bandwagon but that is pretty much all I buy these days. A 100w equivilent bulb will certainly get you 70-80% within a second of turning on, even outside at 40f. That is better than the typical 60w builder grade luminaire you see on steps.

my three way dimmers are made by leviton. there great

Unclear about the concept, part XVIIXVI:

Lutron Maestros can be dimmed from both locations, you just buy a “master” and a “slave”.

Yeah…CFL’s are all over my house as well Greg…I like em very much actually.

Jim, do you have links?