Light switch where entering a room.

The only switch when you walk into this room (from outside) operates the breezeway light. I told the builder that lights within the room should be operable when entering the room from outside (not walk across to the opposite wall to do so)

I anticipate a request for some “code” type reference… anyone? Bueller?

430 Emerald 013.jpg

NEC 2002

**210.70 ******[FONT=Times-Bold][size=2]Lighting Outlets Required. [/size][/FONT]

[FONT=Times-Roman][size=2]Lighting outlets shall be installed where specified in 210.70(A), (B), and ©.[/size][/FONT]

**(A) Dwelling Units.

**In dwelling units, lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with 210.70(A)(1), (2), and (3).

**(1) Habitable Rooms. **At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room and bathroom.

**Exception No. 1: In other than kitchens and bathrooms, **one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch shall *be permitted in lieu of lighting outlets.

*Exception No. 2: Lighting outlets shall be permitted to be **controlled by occupancy sensors that are (1) in addition to **wall switches or (2) located at a customary wall switch **location and equipped with a manual override that will *allow the sensor to function as a wall switch.

***(2) Additional Locations.

**Additional lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with (a), (b), and ©.

(a) At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power.

(b) For dwelling units, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power, at least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of outdoor entrances or exits with grade level access. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered as an outdoor entrance or exit.

© Where one or more lighting outlet(s) are installed for interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level, and landing level that includes an entry way, to control the lighting outlet(s) where the stairway between floor levels has six risers or more.

*Exception to (a), (b), and ©: In hallways, stairways, and **at outdoor entrances, remote, central, or automatic control *of lighting shall be permitted.

FYI: I am not aware of a NEC requirement as to where the switch is located.


I generally don’t make definitive statements on the job site about something I’m not sure about. As Samuel Clemmons said, “better to keep quite and look stupid than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” I go home and research it first–that’s why I don’t do onsite reports. I like the time to think things over and research things I’m not sure about; nobody knows all the various codes.

Personally, unless it’s a brand new house or there is some safety hazard, I wouldn’t give your situation second thought–we aren’t code enforcers anyway.

As to the specifics of your question, let’s see. I don’t know either.

It is brand new.
Won’t close till the end of the month.
When I say the ‘Builder’ I mean the “in charge” guy there on Sunday morning overseeing the other two guys there (actual “Builder” site rep will be there tomorrow).
No report given yet, this was a walk through for a neighbor…

I’ve just never seen a door from which you can enter a room from outside and not have a wall switch to that rooms interior lights readily accessible…
In this particular room, you enter, walk across a 14.5 foot room to the opposite wall to access the light switch…

Mayhap I’m just naive:D

Maybe “at outdoor entrances” is inferred here?


**Exception to (a), (b), and ©: **

This was discussed several times last year on the old board. You might do a search there but, if memory serves, then you’ll not find any ‘code’ references to support the idea of a switch by the door. I had one last year in a utility room that was actually behind the door, i.e. you had to close the door in the dark to get to the switch.

Actually this is correct…the NEC does not mandate that the switch MUST be on the doorknob side of the swinging door per se…just that a switched outlet ( ie : Light or Recept. ) has to be present in certain locations…

The CODE contains the requirement for the location of the lighting outlet, but does no specify the location for the switch. Naturally, you would not want to isntall a switch behind a door or other inconvient location, but the CODE does not require you to relocate the switch to suit the swing of the door. When in doubt as to the best location to place a light switch…if you do not know where the best location is…make a friend…ask the AHJ…:slight_smile:

This topic has been kicked around before on the boards, and I believe the end result was there is no code requirement for a switch to be in a room it services. However, codes are concerned with minimal safety, and not convenience or functionality.

As an HI there is no reason you can’t write that issue up as a concern (or defect, but thats a little strong in my book), as HI’s are not limited to commenting on strictly code related issues.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

I’ll just say it’s stupid (a concern, an inconvienience, or the like) and if the HO want’s to let it stay, oh well…

I’d certainly holler to get a switch there…

same as if the tread and rise of stairs varies in the same flight, but stays within the min-max. it’s not any violation, but might be erginomicly uncomfortable and note worthy.

While we are on the subject of light switches, I have seen two bathrooms with the light switch is on the outside of the room. I can’t find any information where this is restricted but seems like it could be a safety hazard if someone were to turn the switch off while someone was in the bathroom.


option #2 if all else fails

only when shaving the jewels

way to much information there, you just ruined my supper :shock: :wink:



Sorry mate, I’ll save my bits for pre-tea :smiley:

If it is a brand new residence can you look at the plans and see what the architect drew? We bid according to the plans, if we see stuff that would be better, we suggest it to the person who is paying the bill, then it becomes a change order . We don’t usually add stuff for free, unless we missed something when we did the bid that would create a code violation.

Man I wish I had that luxury sometimes brian…usually I am the one who creates the electrical layout either 1.) in my office, 2.) with the client or 3.) as I am wiring the building…lol ( in regards to Residential mind you…I stopped doing commercial buildings )

More and more architects are steering away from plans layed out “electrically” I am finding out because they simply just dont understand the proper layout of a dwelling…much like Engineers…they know a WHOLE lot of book sense…and when it comes to the common sense…well…I refrain from comment…:wink:

Well here if you are buliding a new structure you must submit complete plans in order to get your permit. Sometimes the arky (can I say that?) will call the sparky :slight_smile: and ask how to do the load calc, but we never design the electrical layout.

My wife was a builder before the crash and she would be the first one to tell you plans are just guidelines. The actual location of switches and receptacles is usually decided by the installer if there is no better indication. As long as they pass muster with art 210 nobody really cares. She used to walk the house with the customer on the “pre drywall” and locate them, painting the locations on the floor. Even with that she still ended up with switches behind doors. Then it was a decision, do you change the door swing or move the switch. She would not leave it that way.
Conciencious people like that were the first ones laid off. ;-(

Yep…the submit plans but on dwellings the layout is left to us…we design it, lay it out, and meet with the owners about it…now i do some lighting and electrical consulting for a few builders and we do end up with a nice layout for the EC…but on the many homes i have wired over 20 years…the layout is in my head and the clients head.

Kinda enjoyed the small commercial jobs i did because they had only a quarter of the items and all layed out…was a nice break now and then.