Article 210

210.70(A)(2) Lighting Outlets Required

Article 210 covers branch circuits except for branch circuits that supply motor loads only. Motor load provisions are covered in Article 430. Branch circuits with combination loads (motor and non-motor) must be installed in accordance with Articles 210 and 430. Specific-purpose branch circuits must meet the provisions in Article 210 and also any applicable provisions in other articles. Lighting outlets must be installed where specified in 210.70(A), (B) and (C). Lighting outlet provisions for guest rooms in hotels, motels and similar occupancies are stipulated in subsection B. Compliance with provisions in subsection C is required in occupancies other than dwelling units. Last month’s In Focus included a discussion of luminaires (lighting fixtures) in clothes closets. The discussion included three of the four subsections in 410.8. This month’s In Focus will finish luminaires in clothes closets and then return to 210.70(A)(2).

The listed luminaires permitted in clothes closets include: 1) surface-mounted incandescent with a completely enclosed lamp, 2) surface-mounted fluorescent, 3) recessed incandescent with a completely enclosed lamp and 4) recessed fluorescent. While these luminaires are permitted, they must be installed in accordance with the provisions in 410.8(D)(1) through (4). Each of the four luminaire types must be installed with a minimum clearance between it and the closest point of the closet’s storage space. The term “storage space” was defined last month in Required Lighting Outlets, Part IV.

Surface-mounted incandescent luminaires installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling must have a minimum clearance of 12 inches (300mm) between the luminaire and the nearest point of a storage space. Since incandescent luminaires must have a completely enclosed lamp, every part of the luminaire must be at least 12 inches from the storage space [410.8(D)(1)]. Be careful when installing surface-mounted incandescent luminaires on closet walls. It’s possible that the luminaire could be located more than 12 inches from one part of the storage space but not more than 12 inches from another (See Figure 1).

Surface-mounted fluorescent luminaires installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling must be provided with a minimum clearance of 6 inches (150mm) between the luminaire, and the nearest point of a storage space [410.8(D)(2), See Figure 2].

Recessed incandescent luminaires with a completely enclosed lamp installed in the ceiling or wall must have a minimum clearance of 6 inches between the luminaire and the nearest point of a storage space [410.8(D)(3), See Figure 3]. While receptacle outlets are permitted in clothes closets, they are not required.

Recessed fluorescent luminaires installed in the ceiling or wall must be provided with a minimum clearance of 6 inches between the luminaire and the nearest point of a storage space [410.8(D)(4), See Figure 4].

Habitable rooms and bathrooms in dwelling units must have at least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet unless meeting one of the two exceptions [210.70(A)(1)]. Additional lighting outlets must be installed in accordance with the provisions in 210.70(A)(2)(a), (b) and (c). At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages and detached garages with electric power [210.70(A)(2)(a)]. This section covers areas in dwelling units that are not covered in the previous section.

At least one lighting outlet that is controlled by a wall switch must be installed in each dwelling hallway. Unlike the provision that only requires a receptacle if the hallway is 10 feet (3m) or more in length, the lighting outlet is required regardless of the hallway’s length. For example, a hallway in a dwelling is only 5 feet in length. One switch to control one lighting outlet must be installed in this dwelling hallway. Because of the hallway’s length, no receptacle is required (See Figure 5).

While the Code does not require more than one lighting outlet, additional lighting outlets may be beneficial. The length or the layout of the hall may create a need for additional lighting. Likewise, while only one wall switch is required, additional switches are often installed as a convenience for the dwelling’s occupants.

At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet is required in each dwelling stairway. Although the number of steps is a factor in determining the number of switches, it is not a factor in determining if a lighting outlet is required. Regardless of the number of steps, at least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet is required. The type of luminaire supplied by the lighting outlet is not a concern of the Code. For example, a one-family dwelling has a recreation room adjoining the family room. Three steps separate the two rooms. The homeowners prefer to use lamps instead of overhead lighting. Therefore, wall switch-controlled receptacles will be installed in most rooms of the house. As an alternative to overhead lighting and wall sconces, an indoor recessed step light with a louvered faceplate will be installed in the wall adjacent to the steps. This installation pleases the homeowners and also satisfies the provision in 210.70(A)(2)(a) (See Figure 6). This provision pertains to all stairways—interior and exterior.

At this point in 210.70(A)(2), there is no mention of the number of wall switches required. Later in this same section, another provision requires additional switches where the stairway between floor levels has six steps or more. This provision will be discussed in detail in another part of Required Lighting Outlets.

At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed in every garage that is attached to the dwelling (See Figure 7). Regardless of the size of the attached garage, only one lighting outlet and one wall switch is required. Depending upon the size and layout of the garage, additional switches and lighting outlets could be helpful to the homeowners. Lighting outlets are not required in detached garages. However, where electric power is provided, at least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed. For example, the homeowners want an electrical panel installed in their detached garage. Since this garage is equipped with electric power, at least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed.

Next month’s In Focus, resuming with 210.70(A)(2)(b), will continue discussion of required lighting outlets in dwelling units. EC

MICHELSON, president of Jackson, Calif.-based Business Communication Services and publisher of the BCS Reports, is an expert in TIA/EIA performance standards. Contact her at www.bcsreports.com or randm@volcano.net.