As states adopt stricter energy codes requiring greater efficiency, lighting designers and manufacturers have seen the light (pun intended) and have begun to develop decorative fixtures and spot lighting products that reduce energy usage. “Decorative fixtures such as sconces, pendants, and ceiling lights used to be available only as incandescents, but now they’re mostly available for CFLs [compact fluorescent lights] and even LEDs,” says Melanie Taylor, a lighting designer and senior associate with WSP Flack + Kurtz, a New York City–based engineering firm. “Manufacturers are making these fixtures available primarily because of energy codes. They’ve responded to the demand that energy codes have created.”

Energy codes are part of building codes, and, as such, they are governed by municipalities. Although these entities are able to create their own codes, most end up modifying the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for their own purposes, Taylor notes. “There’s a movement toward one single code, and more and more states are using the IECC because it’s a lot of work to develop your own code and keep it updated,” she explains.

A new version of the IECC will roll out in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Early indications are that the code, which will be roughly 30 percent more stringent than the 2006 IECC, will include lighting in part of its energy reduction plan.

Taylor points out that energy codes don’t force the usage of certain types of lighting. Instead, they limit how many kilowatts may be used per square foot. To that end, multifamily owners and developers can meet the coming energy code, use less electricity, and still achieve plenty of light by installing energy-efficient fixtures like those highlighted on these two pages.

Electric Slide: Specifically designed for use with CFL bulbs, the Decora CFL Slide Dimmer can determine a fixture’s high- and low-end dimming capabilities and adjust the dimming range accordingly. For more information, call Leviton at 800-323-8920 or visit

Step It Up: Light hallways and stairwells with the STEP03 LED light from Winona Lighting. The recessed light’s concealed optic comes in four sizes and eight LED colors. Featuring an LED module constructed of extruded aluminum, the light can be installed in both wet and dry locations. For more information, call Winona Lighting at 800-328-5291 or visit

Sleek Series: The Vetro Family of luminaires features multiple layers of European hand-blown glass designed with clean lines and edges, some of which are encircled with clear polished glass. The collection comprises complementary downlights, pendants, and wall sconces that include CFL and metal halide models. For more information, call Philips Lightolier at 800-215-1068 or visit

Pinned Down: The Piedmont Collection from Sea Gull Lighting offers several Energy Star–qualified fluorescent fixtures, including sconces and pendants. The units feature iron-look resin trim surrounding a white acrylic diffuser and pin-based lightbulbs tested to last 10,000 hours, compared with the 6,000 hours that screw-in lightbulbs can provide. For more information, call Sea Gull Lighting at 800-347-5483 or visit

Unbeatable Drum: Lumetta offers customizable surface-mount and pendant drum fixtures. The units are made with Lumenate, a durable, washable, lightweight composite designed to diffuse light evenly. The luminaires come in a wide selection of colors, textures, configurations, and sizes. For more information, call Lumetta at 877-586-3882 or visit

Sheer Energy: Tech Lighting’s Dillon Pendant features a translucent organza drum with an inner glass cylinder that provides a soft wash of light. The pendant, designed for CFLs, is available in black, satin nickel, and white. An optional incandescent version can be dimmed using a standard incandescent dimmer. For more information, call Tech Lighting at 847-410-4400 or visit