What is minimum code requirement for switched lighting in a house?
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Minimum requirements per National Electrical Code (NEC):
•• At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room, including kitchens and bathrooms. [NEC 210.70(A)(1)]
•• In other than kitchens and bathrooms, receptacle(s) controlled by a wall switch can substitute for a lighting outlet. [NEC 210.70(A)(1) - Exception 1]
•• Lighting outlet can be controlled by motion sensor (occupancy sensor) if it is in addition wall switch or located at a usual location for wall switch and has a manual override. [NEC 210.70(A)(1) - Exception 2]
•• At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power. [NEC 210.70(A)(2)(1)]
•• Dwelling units (houses), attached garages, and detached garages with electric power must have at least one switch-controlled lighting outlet on the exterior side of exterior entrance doors with grade-level access. A vehicle door is not considered an exterior entrance door. [NEC 210.70(A)(2)(2)]
•• There must be a wall switch at each floor level for the lighting outlet(s) for interior stairs with six risers or more. [NEC 210.70(A)(2) - Exception]
•• Lighting outlets at additional locations listed above must not be controlled by dimmer switches unless they provide the full range of dimming at each location. [NEC 210.70(A)(2)(3)]
•• Attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements require at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch installed where those spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing. At least one point of control shall be at the usual point of entry, and a lighting outlet provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing. [NEC 210.70(A)(3)]
See our blog post What is the difference between a luminaire, lighting outlet, lampholder, and lamp in the National Electrical Code (NEC)? for definitions of terms used for this part of the code.
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