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  1. #1
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    Default Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Is there a requirement for light fixtures in clothes closets to have some sort of cover over the bulb?

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    Dylan Whitehead

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Yes.

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    - 410.16 Luminaires in Clothes Closets.
    - - (A) Luminaire Types Permitted. Listed luminaires of the following types shall be permitted to be installed in a closet:
    - - - (1) A surface-mounted or recessed incandescent luminaire with a completely enclosed lamp
    - - - (2) A surface-mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaire
    - - - (3) Surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires identified as suitable for installation within the storage area
    - - (B) Luminaire Types Not Permitted. Incandescent luminaires with open or partially enclosed lamps and pendant luminaires or lampholders shall not be permitted.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Yes a guard is required.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    I'd say that those answers are rather definite considering there's no mention of the age of the house.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I'd say that those answers are rather definite considering there's no mention of the age of the house.

    Where does the age of the house play a role in recommending safe practices that are known today?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    To answer your question John, I don't know.

    However the original question was regarding a requirement and not a recommendation.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Jerry,
    Does it say the same thing in the 2005 NEC and what section?

    Dylan Whitehead

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Disregard the last post. Found exact verbage in the 2006 IRC section E3903.11 and in the 2005 NEC article 410.8. Thanks for the help.

    Dylan Whitehead

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    The key is an incandescent bulb. If it is a incandescent bulb then it needs a cover over it. If the fixture is an incandescent bulb and it does not have a cover, a simple fix would be to use a screw in compact fluorescent bulb.

    The logic behind a covered incandescent bulb is to protect it from having items pushed up near or against it and starting a fire.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    I understand the logic in the requirement, but when you have a homeowner stating that they can just take the bulb out and the problem is solved, I wanted to have something to show them where it is required by code.
    To me this is a simple problem to fix, people just love to question and argue. Doesn't make sense but oh well.

    Dylan Whitehead

  11. #11
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    The requirement that incandescent fixtures can't be that old; there are likely millions of clothes closets still around, that were made with simple 'keyless' lampholders as their fixtures.

    Now, today, we have another fly in the ointment: CFL's, those screw-in fluorescent bulbs.

    Just to make sure the debate doesn't go away, some CFL's are coming with little plastic discs, that act in the same manner as 'Type S' fuse adapters, preventing the future use of ordinary bulbs.

    Balderdash on whatever 'today's safety' preaches. Rather, let's look to one of our truly revolutionary, basic principles - one that protects our liberty, and reigns in overly intrusive 'kings,' both great and petty: our prohibition on making yesterday's legal action a crime to prosecute today. "Ex post facto' is the phrase I have in mind.

    In short, no one is under any obligation to change their home to meet today's rules.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Dylan, there are requirements for distance from shelving also!



  13. #13
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The key is an incandescent bulb. If it is a incandescent bulb then it needs a cover over it. If the fixture is an incandescent bulb and it does not have a cover, a simple fix would be to use a screw in compact fluorescent bulb.
    Scott,

    That is not an allowable fix.

    The fixture itself is still capable of having an incandescent lamp screwed into it, and the fixture itself is rated for an incandescent lamp.

    The fixture itself is required to be replaced.

    The logic behind a covered incandescent bulb is to protect it from having items pushed up near or against it and starting a fire.
    Actually, the reason is that if the lamp where to break, the hot filament could land on the easily ignitable clothing and start the fire.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Balderdash on whatever 'today's safety' preaches. Rather, let's look to one of our truly revolutionary, basic principles - one that protects our liberty, and reigns in overly intrusive 'kings,' both great and petty:

    Which is why you still, by your own previous posts, live in a house supplied by (if I recall correctly) 2 30 amp circuits.

    Correct me if I am wrong or am recalling incorrectly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Dylan, there are requirements for distance from shelving also!

    Correct!

    See attached.

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    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Fixtures in Clothes Closets

    Not quite sure I can follow your logic, Jerry. (BTW.... that's 2-15 amp circuits on a 30 amp service; no 240 here!)

    The principle I referred to was around long before I ever came on the scene, and would still be there, whether I lived in a palace or a yurt.

    Otherwise, it's hard to beat a nearly 70 year safety record. Now, whether a simple abode is suitable to anothers' life is another question entirely. Perhaps, were you building today 'on speculation,' there is some logic in requiring something to be built to meet the needs of the 'average' or typical' person.

    The situation changes radically when an existing situation is encountered. The buyer has the responsibility to buy a home that is suitable for his use. You might as well require every home to have three bedrooms, just in case a family moves in, or because a young couple 'might' have children.

    Appliers of the current code might also cite my lack of a 'land line' phone jack - which is required by the latest edition of the NEC. In this day of cell phones, they might as well also object to my lack of a hitching post (for the horse I don't have).


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