As a homeowner or a homebuilder you need to be familiar with the Australian Building Code (BCA) regulations for energy efficient lighting. At times it can get pretty overwhelming so at LEDified we want to break it down for you, basically any new project or major renovation that requires a Certificate of Occupancy to be issued when the building works are completed must comply with BCA lighting regulations. These regulations are carefully monitored and it’s good to know the latest requirements for your home.


2011 Changes To The Building Code Of Australia

In 2011, the Building Code of Australia was changed to include more stringent energy efficiency requirements for hard-wired. All homes must now comply with wattage allowances of:

• 5 watts per square metre inside the home.

• 4 watts per square metre on the exterior of the home such as verandas, alfrescos or balconies.

• 3 watts per square metre for garages.

All three of these areas are included in the total wattage allowance. Wattage does not have to be spread evenly between rooms in the house. As long as your total wattage used does not exceed your allowance, you’re in compliance with the law. This gives homeowners and builders a great deal of flexibility in terms of how they light their homes. Areas needing more lighting than others can get it as long as the extra watts are offset by lower watts somewhere else in the home.

LED Lighting For Energy Efficiency

Even though home wattage is capped, homeowners can still get the illumination they need without going over their limit by using LED lighting. Since LED lights use much less energy than standard bulbs, homeowners can realise great savings in terms of energy costs and wattage without sacrificing brightness. For example, an old 60W bulb can be replaced with LED lighting that may only use 11W of electricity. That saves you 49W against your total wattage allowance.

It’s important to understand that the wattage that is counted towards your total allotment isn’t based on how much your fitting can handle, it’s based on how much you actually use. So, even though your recessed lights can handle 60W, if you are only using 11W LED downlights, the 11W is counted towards your total home wattage, not the 60W.

The BCA lighting regulations give homeowners and builders a chance to create energy efficient homes from the start. But even if you’re not renovating, switching to LED lights is a smart move that’s good for your budget and the environment.

Learn more about how to use LED lighting in your home on our website: