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  1. #1
    daniel nantell's Avatar
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    Default Incasedent bulb in closets

    I know that incandescent bulb in closets without a globe is a code violating, but if you change the incasedent to florescent would you still need to cover the bulb. thanks

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  2. #2
    Joseph C. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    I wish I could find a code to back this up but I'm pretty sure you would need to use a enclosed compact fluorescent light fixture.



  3. #3
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    I just try to use a little common sense. There are at least two possible safety concerns that could be present with an incandescent in a closet. The first one is the risk of fire from combustible materials being stored too close to, and possibly even in contact with the bare bulb. A pile of blankets comes to mind.

    The second one is the risk of a bare bulb being broken by someone trying to move something large on or off a shelf in close proximity to a bare bulb.

    You may be able to eliminate the first problem with a compact fluorescent bulb, although their bases do get fairly warm, but not the second one. My clients jaws always drop, and they shake their heads knowingly in agreement as I describe the glass shards coming down at their eyes at the same time the light has gone out. I then recommend replacing all bare light bulbs in closets with low profile, completely enclosing, plastic guarded light fixtures.

    Last edited by Michael Chambers; 06-04-2009 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Gooder grammer!

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    Cool Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    June 5, 2009

    Hi Daniel,

    As an inspector I would point, that although a luminaire with a globe is
    permitted, and without the globe is a code volation. Saying that I would
    put, that it would be in their best interest, to prevent a fire, by changing
    it out to a florescent. There one on market now, that would install right
    onto the existing fixture outlet box. Its energy star rated, comes with a
    13 watt compact fluorescent, made by LEVITON, include bulb guard.

    One attach above door should be 18" from the edge of the bulb to the edge of the storage shelf.

    One attach/surface mounted should be no less than 6" from the bulb edge
    to shelf edge.

    Or if install, a remodeler recess, flush with a solid lens, no more than 6"
    from the trim edge to storage shelf edge.

    So my answer to your question it, YES, your luminare was design to work
    with a globe install over it, the CODE, only allows than when they have
    their globe intall.

    I hope this helps, and remember a large wattage incadescent bulb can
    cause a fire. ROBERT


  5. #5
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incandescent bulb in closets

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel nantell View Post
    I know that incandescent bulb in closets without a globe is a code violating, but if you change the incasedent to florescent would you still need to cover the bulb. thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph C. Miller View Post
    I wish I could find a code to back this up but I'm pretty sure you would need to use a enclosed compact fluorescent light fixture.
    Daniel,

    No, changing the lamp will not change the rating or listing of the lighting fixture (luminaire) and another incandescent lamp may be installed. If the luminaire is rated for incandescent lamps, it must be a fully enclosed type or it is not allowed in closets.

    Joseph, Daniel,

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining and bold are 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.

    - Luminaire. A complete lighting unit consisting of a light source such as a lamp or lamps, together with the parts designed to position the light source and connect it to the power supply. It may also include parts to protect the light source or the ballast or to distribute the light. A lampholder itself is not a luminaire.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    From the IRC
    This is just the last 1/2 of the section.


    E3903.11 Luminaires in clothes closets.
    The types of luminaires installed in clothes closets shall be
    limited to surface-mounted or recessed incandescent
    luminaires with completely enclosed lamps, and surface-
    mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaires. Incandescent
    luminaires with open or partially enclosed lamps and
    pendant luminaires or lamp-holders shall be prohibited.
    Luminaire installations shall be in accordance with one or more
    of the following:
    1. Surface-mounted incandescent luminaires shall be
    installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling, provided
    there is a minimum clearance of 12 inches (305
    mm) between the fixture and the nearest point of a storage
    space.
    2. Surface-mounted fluorescent luminaires shall be
    installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling, provided
    there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm)
    between the fixture and the nearest point of a storage
    space.
    3. Recessed incandescent luminaires with a completely
    enclosed lamp shall be installed in the wall or the ceiling
    provided there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152
    mm) between the luminaire and the nearest point of a
    storage space.
    4. Recessed fluorescent luminaires shall be installed in the
    wall or on the ceiling provided there is a minimum clearance
    of 6 inches (152 mm) between the fixture and the
    nearest point of a storage space.




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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    The inspectors' organisation IAEI has opined that simply placing a fluorescent bulb in the socket isn't enough, as you may later replace it with an ordinary bulb.

    Yet, I have been using such bulbs that come with a plastic gizmo that remains in th socket, much like a "Type S" fuse adapter, thet prevents the future use of incandescent bulbs. While I have yet to see any 'official' ruling as to these gizmos, I am inclined to find them acceptable - for both the 'closet light' requirement, as well as ah energy code requirements there may be.


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    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incandescent bulb in closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert S. Mattison View Post
    There one on market now, that would install right
    onto the existing fixture outlet box. Its energy star rated, comes with a
    13 watt compact fluorescent, made by LEVITON, include bulb guard.

    If that is for a screw shell compact fluorescent, as used for incandescent lamps, the fixture itself may be dual rated for incandescent use and would thus only be allowed if fully enclosed.

    Not sure if you are describing a complete new fixture (luminaire) or something which 'fits onto' a keyless or pull chain fixture and comes with a compact fluorescent lamp and a guard. If this is the case, the lamp holder/fixture/keyless IS rated for incandescent lamps and that would not be a code approved installation as you cannot change the rating or listing of the keyless fixture by adding a guard over it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Red face Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    June 5, 2009

    Hi Jerry,

    Levition Closet Light

    MODEL NUMBER: 9860

    Features and Benefits

    * 13W GU24 Base Lamp
    * Keyless Bi-Pin Compact Fluorescent Lampholder
    * Impact resistant thermoplastic construction
    * Optional polycarbonate lamp guard available
    * Pigtail leads provide easy installation
    * Knockout holes on box enable multiple configuration
    * Thread-cutting screws faclitate insallation of lamp gaurd
    * Warranty: 2-years Limited
    * Lamp Output - 900 lumens
    * Lamp Color = 2700 K
    * Installs in closet, garages, basements, utility rooms and attics
    * Suitabe for indoor use only
    * Use with standard wall switch

    Jerry I also been insform that LEVITON may have this model equip wilth
    a pull chain.

    By the way I live in the sticks. Vermont is so far behind Florida in tech-
    nology, could it be the your State has NASA.
    l leave you now. ROBERT


  10. #10
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incandescent bulb in closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert S. Mattison View Post
    Levition Closet Light

    MODEL NUMBER: 9860
    Interesting closet light, but those things are never "as much light as a 60 watt incandescent", they should make those with a brighter lamp in them.

    By the way I live in the sticks. Vermont is so far behind Florida in technology, could it be the your State has NASA.
    That county is not one of the more forward thinking building departments in the state. No where near the bottom of the pile at the launch pad, mind you, but no where near where the crew sits either, more like where the faulty "O" rings were in Challenger.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    Do you think I should say anything about this one?

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    Cool Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    June 8, 2009

    What would you like us to say.

    Do your job and tell the home owner what you think!


  13. #13
    daniel nantell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    A poor choice of storage for the gasoline can, even mty.


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    Cool Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    June 8, 2009

    Hi Daniel,

    your on the right track now. What people store inside closet is be on
    belief**.

    Write your report, how you feel, give than a copy, enclosed a copy of
    your photo, have than sign a copy of your report. Also you have to
    know the National Electrical Code, and any local electrical code, that
    might apply in the area, where this house is located.

    You should have an answer, should they ask what would be a better
    closet light, then the current one in used. If you don't know, go down
    to your closes electrical supply house, I'm sure, they will be happy to
    suggest something better then what all ready in place.

    It your job, do your homework, and tell the customer this what needed.
    They look to you to know what in their best interest, if they what a safe
    house.

    Good Luck to You! Robert


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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    The gas container was empty and had never been used. Just thought it was a funny picture.


  16. #16
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incandescent bulb in closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Seidner View Post
    Do you think I should say anything about this one?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Seidner View Post
    The gas container was empty and had never been used. Just thought it was a funny picture.
    But nothing in the photo is a code violation.

    If there was gas in the gas can, it would be a violation of "stupidness" (or would that make it in conformance with stupidness? ).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
    John Arnold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    I have cfls in my house, but it's beyond me why anyone with little kids would have them after reading the clean-up instructions in the event of breakage. Your domicile practically becomes a superfund site!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  18. #18
    Jim Port's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incandescent bulb in closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    But nothing in the photo is a code violation.

    Do you really think the the required clearances are met? Even if that would be a fluorescent fixture I wonder if there is 6" from the plane of the shelf to the closest portion of that fixture. Shelf depths are commonly 14-16 inches deep and closets with bifolds seem to run about 2' deep. Without measuring I would not have made that statement about no violation.


  19. #19
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incandescent bulb in closets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Do you really think the the required clearances are met?
    Yep, it looks like they are.

    Even if that would be a fluorescent fixture I wonder if there is 6" from the plane of the shelf to the closest portion of that fixture. Shelf depths are commonly 14-16 inches deep and closets with bifolds seem to run about 2' deep. Without measuring I would not have made that statement about no violation.
    As usual, you need to go back and read the code, this time as it defines "closet Storage Space" regarding that in clothes closets. Start with 410.2, then go to 410.16(C)(1).

    That "looks like" it meets the code to me if that is a 16" shelf (a common ventilated shelf depth).

    If that is only a 12" shelf (also common ventilated shelf depth), it would not meet code.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
    Jim Port's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incasedent bulb in closets

    I did not think that it looked like the clearances required by 410.16(C) (1) were met. Given we don't know the true dimensions of the shelf depth or fixture, I was looking at a shelf depth of approx. 14" plus the 6" (min, if fluorescent) clearance plus the depth of the fixture, probably 5" or greater would require a closet depth of greater than a typical depth of 2 foot. The title of the post was about incandescent bulbs which would increase the clearance to 12 inches. Using that photo and a relational distance between the fixture size, the distance between the fixture globe and the plane of the shelf does not look like the clearances are met.


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