Wiring a light to GFCI

According to the NEC , is it ok to wire a kitchen light into a GFCI ,so if the GFCI is tripped the light goes out…is this permissible ?

The local electrical AHJ told us (md inspectors) that it was OK in bathrooms (where I see this most often) so it is probably Ok in kitchens as well. In my opinion however this is not best practice, as I don’t want the lights extinguished if a GFCI were to blow. I write it up as just that, not best practice.


Short answer yes. There is really no limit on what can be GFCI protected in a dwelling.


Thanks for the information guys. I was always of the impression that bathroom GFCI receptacles should be dedicated, however I never called one out that wasn’t. Just made a FYI comment in the report to what was affected when tripped.

And with further thought, I may have been thinking about jetted tubs, which I believe should have either a dedicated GFCI receptacle or breaker.

Hi, Scott.

Sounds to me like the kitchen might be on a dedicated circuit.
As a rule, electronics and appliances that are rated for 1,000 watts or higher, likely need a dedicated circuit, especially if the item will be operating for long stretches of time.

Did all the power go off the the GFCI was tripped? Was the GFCI breaker in the panel?

Scott’s original question was about lighting on a GFCI protected circuit which is permitted.
If the protected circuit in question is a kitchen small appliance branch circuit then then lighting cannot be on that circuit.


Thanks for further clarification Robert!

Even when it is on the bathroom receptacle circuit?

That (lighting on receptacle circuit) would be permitted if a 20 amp circuit served only things within that bathroom.


I see it all the time in homes built before there were GFCI’s. It didn’t matter that they ran the wiring from the receptacle to the light but when GFCI’s became a requirement, they were just added to the existing wiring configuration.


Yes, you are right… :man_facepalming: I was thinking about the circuit feeding multiple bathrooms, because that is how I always see it done around here.
I know it would be incorrect in that situation.

As Stephen said these situations typically arise in situations where GFCIs are an upgrade and little thought is given to the existing wiring. My objection stems from the inconvenience of resetting the GFCI if the lights go out also. A simple thing to correct in most cases.

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Inconvenience yes, but I report it as a possible safety hazard.


Person comes home late at night and takes a shower. The only light on in the house is the bathroom and it goes out due to a GFCI trip. Most people wouldn’t even know that they need to reset the GFCI. Now the person has to try find a light source in the dark.

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I agree totally. Most accidents in the home occur in the bathroom.

How did people shower and survive before electricity?

Candle light? But then again that would create a burn or fire hazard, no?

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Gas lights and they probably took baths during the day. Many didn’t bathe.


DR Horton wires their bathrooms this way on new construction. It is not against code but I call it out as a nuisance and “poor design”. I’m doing two 11th month warranty inspections tomorrow in a DR Horton development and I expect I’ll be calling it out both times.


I don’t have a much of a problem with that.

But more valuable in my book is hooking the smoke detectors to a lighting circuit, so that if the circuit goes out, somebody notices before all the batteries die. Happens more than you’d think…

This might happen in older homes where GFCI receptacles were added after the fact. Clarification by the OP is needed. Are you talking a regular GFCI or are you talking about the light being installed on one of the 2 GFCI protected small appliance branch circuits that supply the kitchen? Overhead lighting is not allowed on those circuits. When I rewired my home, every single circuit is GFCI / AFCI protected cause I got a great deal on the breakers from a retiring electrician.