Understanding the BCA J6 for homes

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) covers the requirements for plumbing, insulation, heating, construction and many other aspects of home building - including Lighting.

The Lighting section is known as J6 and provides regulatory guidelines that must be adhered to in all new homes, and renovations where a building permit is required.

To prove that your new home or renovation will meet the energy consumption requirements of BCA J6, you need a lighting plan that shows the light fittings you'll be installing and using the BCA provided calculator prove that the total energy consumption across the entire interior of the home will be 5 Watts per square meter (5W/m2) or less.  Verandas and Porches are allowed 4 watts per square meter (4W/m2), and Garages 3 watts per square meter (3W/m2).

As with any regulation, then there are the "exceptions" and adjustment factors which come into play.

Keeping it simple - by including lighting control equipment in your home, in the form of motion detectors at the most basic level, right through to comprehensive digital lighting control systems, you can "earn" extra watts which can be consumed by lighting.  how much you earn is governed by how much control you install.

Calculating BCA J6 can be confusing, however professionals who deal with the BCA on a regular basis can assist you with navigating the process and ensuring you comply.

The biggest hurdle that this regulation creates is very simple, and rarely discussed.  

Energy Consumption is not always a good indicator of light produced - especially with LED product.  You can have a lighting plan which complies with the BCA J6 but fails to produce usable light in your home.  Many low wattage solutions in the market are in reality, not terribly efficient.    Researching your light fitting selection, or bringing in a lighting professional to provide you with a design which both complies - AND produces  usable, low glare light to live by can take the "unknowns" out of this equation.

For further information regarding what to look for in LED fittings - check out this previous blog post... and for guidelines to how much light is enough in our home, click through to the Layered Light & Lux Levels post here.

For professional lighting design services which comply with BCA J6, contact Mint Lighting Design for your consultation today.

Adele LockeComment