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Indoor lighting is one of the single largest consumers of energy (kilowatt-hours) in a commercial building, representing about one-third of electricity use. The objective of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards is to effectively reduce this energy use, without compromising the quality of lighting or task work. Lighting also contributes a significant power demand on the electrical grid, and contributes significantly to the amount of energy needed for cooling.

The primary mechanism for regulating indoor lighting energy under the Standards is to limit the allowed lighting power in watts installed in the building. Other mechanisms govern basic equipment efficiency, and require that the lighting be controlled to permit efficient operation.