How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Why are there no ceiling lights in some rooms?
Monday, March 2, 2020
Although a switched light is required in most rooms of a house, a switch connected to a wall receptacle for plugging in a lamp is allowed as an alternative in all habitable rooms of a house, except kitchens and bathrooms, which need to have the switch directly connected to a light fixture. The rest of the rooms can have a switched wall receptacle for plugging in a lamp, per National Electrical Code [NEC 210.70(A)(1)], but with the exception of several additional required locations for switched light fixtures (not switched receptacle outlets), 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:
•• 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.
Also, see our blog posts How can I figure out what a mystery wall switch does?
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