We live in San Francisco, CA. We're attempting to replace overhead lighting in our kitchen area of our condo.

I'm trying to understand this piece of the lighting code:

According to http://energycodeace.com/site/custom/public/reference-ace-2013/index.html#!Documents/appendixja8qualificationrequirementsforresidentialluminairesusin.htm

There's this:

(e) An LED light engine shall be capable of being installed in luminaire housing without using any type of base or socket used for incandescent lamps; it may include a GU-24 or modular quick connect, but shall not include screw base sockets or adaptors of type and size E12 through E39.

This seems to indicate that we can't use an LED light engine that has a screw base of size E12 to E39. Which seems counter intuitive.

I'm seeking some clarification on this.


  • Make sure you're looking at the latest version of the code. I believe the GU-24 provision was dropped in 2017.
    – user71659
    Mar 14, 2018 at 5:29
  • No light engine that basically retrofits an Incandescent Unit. The Luminaire Housing must utilize a Quick Connect or GU24 connection. As the LED unit must only be installable in that situation and not if it fits into a screw base. This guarantees it is LED and will always be LED.
    – Ken
    Mar 14, 2018 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


You're not allowed to use fixtures where some fool could remove the LEDs and install incandescents. Hence if you use swappable "bulbs", the lamp socket must be a unique type made exclusively for efficient lighting. This is done for two reasons:

  • efficiency, as it defeats the purpose of efficient mandates/incentives if some flat-earther can just screw in inefficient bulbs.
  • safety, as these odd-socket or no- socket fixtures may not be rated for the 60-100W heat of an incandescent. (Or to be more precise, efficiency rules enable lamp designs that don't need to dispose of incandescent heat, freeing designers to innovate).

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