Which rooms in a house require switched lights per code?
Sunday, February 9, 2020
The basic requirement is at least one wall switched light should be installed in every habitable room, kitchen, and bathroom, according to the National Electrical Code [NEC 210.70(A)(1)]. But there are also several additional required locations and specifications, per NEC 210.70(A)(2):
** At least one switched light required in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and also detached garages that have electrical power.
•• At least one swtiched light must be installed at the exterior side of outdoor entrances to a dwelling unit, attached garage, and detached garage that has electric power. A vehicle door is not considered an outdoor entrance.
•• Interior stairways with six or more risers require lighting switched at the top and bottom landings (three-way switch).
•• Any attic, underfloor space, utility room or basement that is used for storage or contains equipment that requires servicing, must have a minimum of one wall switched light.
•• Lights must not be controlled by a dimmer switches unless they provide a full range of dimming control at each location.
And there are, of course, exceptions:
•• In rooms other than kitchens and bathrooms, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch can substitute for a switched light.
•• Lights are allowed to be controlled by occupancy sensors if they are either in addition to wall switches or equipped with a manual override switch.
•• At hallways, stairways, and outdoor entrances, remote, central, or automatic controll of lighting shall be permitted.
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