How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
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.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:
• Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit?
• Can a short circuit cause a high electric bill?
• What is the maximum spacing requirement for securing NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable)?
• Is it alright to just put wire nuts on the end of unused or abandoned NM-cable or wiring?
• What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?
• What are typical aluminum service entrance wire/cable sizes for the electrical service to a house?
• Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?
• Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house?
• Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?
• Does a wire nut connection need to be wrapped with electrical tape?
• What is the minimum clearance of overhead electric service drop wires above a house roof?
• What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?
• What is the color code for NM cable (Romex®) sheathing?
• Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?
• How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?
• Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall?
• What is an open electrical splice?
• What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection?
• What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house?
• What is an "open junction box"?
• How dangerous is old electrical wiring?
• I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring?
• What is "knob and tube" wiring?
• What is the code requirement for receptacle outlets in a closet?
Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
of Blog Posts
Top 5 results given instantly.
Click on magnifying glass
for all search results.
Buying a home in North/Central Florida? Check our price for a team inspection by two FL-licensed contractors and inspectors. Over 8,500 inspections completed in 20+ years. In a hurry? We will get it done for you.