adding light inside a closet

I want to add a light to a closet below a staircase (not a walk-in). What are the codes related to this?
An old post I found mentioned there can be no exposed light bulb, and that the fixture has to be 2 feet away from the rack or closer if using florescent.
Considering code and ease of installation, what type of light fixture would you recommend, and should I put it on the ceiling or the side wall?
Does the switch need to be outside the closet or can it be inside?
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/849974 The light inside right now is a portable florescent I temporarily put on the shelf.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peter wrote:

the actual code will depend on where you live. in ontario we are supposed to mount the box on the ceiling or above the entrance door. not above the shelving area. there is no mention of flourescent vs incandescent and with the new flourescent bulbs that fit into a regular socket, the line is blurred. previously, i would have gone flourescent for the additional safety. now i wouldn't.
they don't mention the switch, but stands to reason it should be where it should be. walk up to the closet from your usual direction. where would a stranger reach to turn it on? inside? not likely. ...thehick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
add a door switch auto on when door is opened, you can add a master off switch in case you sometimes dont want it coming on automatically.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are also switches that have a pilot light that would tell you that the inside light was on.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
thehick wrote:

Seems to me (and I do this) the 'automatic' place to look is inside any door you open to enter the space.
There have been ads on the boob tube recently for "stick ups". Just mount a bracket, insert light and you're done, no wiring.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just went through this with my remodeling. In my area in Ohio, the inspector wants the fixture on the front wall, or on the ceiling, but not over the shelf. There must be a 12" distance maintained from the fixture to a vertical line drawn at the front edge of the shelf, that can be reduced to 6" if using a fluourescent fixture.
-- Dennis
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peter wrote:

Consider all the alternatives: Low-voltage, high-intensity, and LED lighting come to mind.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's what the 2002 NEC has to say, section 410.8, quick paraphrase:
No fixtures with bare incandescent bulbs or pendant fixtures. Other fixtures may be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall above the door.
You have to have sufficient clearance between the light fixture and "storage space". Storage space is defined as the volume within a certain distance horizontally of the side and back walls. Between 0 and 6 feet high, the distance is 24". Above 6 feet high, the distance is the greater of 12" and the width of any shelving.
Surface-mount enclosed incandescent fixtures must have 12" of clearance to storage space.
Surface-mount fluorescent fixtures, and all recessed fixtures, must have 6" of clearance to storage space.
These rules imply that no lights are allowed in a closet less than 3' wide or less than 18" deep.
Cheers, Wayne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just tried to read the 2005 NEC. I believe the rules are the same, although the description is not as plain as your paraphrase. I just look at the illustration.
However, I could not find any rules about where the switch can be placed (outside or inside the closet) in section 404, so I guess I can put it anywhere I want as long as it is under 6.5 feet high.
Someone suggested simple light bulb on a ceramic base. This would be allowed if the bulb is fully enclosed, per NEC:
"Incandescent fixture with open or partially enclosed lamps... shall not be permitted."
Now I need to find out how much the permit would cost :(
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peter wrote:

Granted, my house was built 22 years ago, but the simple porcelain fixtures with bare bulbs and pull cords (string or chain) were installed in three places; the garage ceiling (1), the basement utility room, and above the electric panel in the basement (the electrical inspector used it to check the panel). The code must have changed. The only reason I mention pull cords is that there is no switch installation involved, therefore less wiring and alterations to the existing walls (burying wires). This would include small fluorescent fixtures with pull cords (or built-in switches).

--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The no bare bulb rule is for closet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can, however buy add-on plastic bulb-cages (similar to the front of a trouble-light) that will go on most ceramic fixtures. It about doubles the price of the installation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peter wrote:

Use the typical garage ceiling light, the porcelain one with a string or chain switch. Mount on the ceiling, provided there is head room, or above the door.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I added a closet light a couple years ago. I installed a round plastic box (for the ceramic lamp base) just above inside the closet door. At this location there is no glare and it shines on the closet contents. I installed a square box just outside the close door where I installed the switch. It doesn't matter if you install a pull string inside the closet or outside switch, I like the outside switch. I use an incandescent bulb as it is on for only brief periods.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peter wrote:

How often do you need a light? The last time I did this, I saved my money and just got one of those stick-on battery powered lights. You can buy a lot of batteries for the price of a full install of a 120V light. With the new LED-based battery light pucks, you won't need many batteries. These don't provide much light, but they suited my needs.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you are putting in a switch, Think about a motion sensor switch mounted on the ceiling with the light. Its a fully automatic and easy to install option.
RickR
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was just going to suggest the same thing. It's a closet, so get a ceramic fixture and a screw-in motion sensor, then install a maxlite type flourescent bulb. When you open the door the light will come on, and as long as you're there hanging up clothes or whatever, it will stay on. It will go off after the motion stops, like when you close the door.
Those screw-in sensors are expensive, but you get away with a dirt-cheap fixture, so not too bad overall. Our closets have door switches, but after 40 yrs they don't work anymore, and replacements don't exist. I changed the fixtures to the chain-pull type, but may just buy some sensors now just for convenience.
Keith
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
k posted for all of us...

Oh yeah?
Cooper Wiring Devices Model # 1664 on this page for example
http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/14-53-misc-switches/indoor-automatic-door - switch--630206.aspx
Google is your friend
--
Tekkie "There\'s no such thing as a tool I don\'t need."

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.