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Light fixture Height


Chris Bernhardt
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For some reason I have it in my head that there is a minimum height that a light fixture must be in rooms. Now I know the limitations in closets and bathrooms (wet/damp areas) but I thought that there were limitations for how far a light fixture mounted on a ceiling could be above the floor but can't seem to find anything in the NEC.

What I have found is IRC Section R305.1 Minimum Height "... The required height shall be measured from the finish floor to the lowest projection from the ceiling..." But does that imply that light fixtures should not project below 7'?

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

For some reason I have it in my head that there is a minimum height that a light fixture must be in rooms. Now I know the limitations in closets and bathrooms (wet/damp areas) but I thought that there were limitations for how far a light fixture mounted on a ceiling could be above the floor but can't seem to find anything in the NEC.

What I have found is IRC Section R305.1 Minimum Height "... The required height shall be measured from the finish floor to the lowest projection from the ceiling..." But does that imply that light fixtures should not project below 7'?

Chris, Oregon

No. That section is talking about ceiling height, not the height of stuff that's mounted to the ceiling. It goes on to allow beams & girders to hang lower than the ceiling but it doesn't address light fixtures at all.

I know of no requirement for clearance between the floor and a light fixture. Think about pendant fixtures in dining rooms and breakfast areas. Some things are still left to common sense.

Now stairways and landings are different. They specify headroom. There can't be sconces projecting out from a stairway wall less than 6'-8" above the nosing line or above the landings. (R311.5.2) Builders love it when I point this out.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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It would seem that in some cases a light fixture other than a pendant type fixture in dining areas etc. projecting below 7' might be suceptable to causing injury or being its self damaged. Does anyone every write them up? I feel the need to at least comment on it to try and avoid liability if some relative of the client walks into it. I normally only find this kind of stuff where home owner has changed out the original fixture.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

It would seem that in some cases a light fixture other than a pendant type fixture in dining areas etc. projecting below 7' might be suceptable to causing injury or being its self damaged. Does anyone every write them up? I feel the need to at least comment on it to try and avoid liability if some relative of the client walks into it. I normally only find this kind of stuff where home owner has changed out the original fixture.

Chris, Oregon

Oh, sure. I meant to say that when I see something like that, I use common sense. If someone's going to knock their head on a fixture, I think you'd be nuts not to point it out. You really don't need code citations for stuff like that.

Two weeks ago, I found a paddle fan that would scalp anyone over 5'-10".

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Attic and crawl space keyless fixtures get advisements for these covered bulbs. Cuts down on lacerations upon impact. Knock on wood I've only popped one but did have a neck breather homeowner cut himself bad enough to require ER attention. Stitches and the works. The rest of the inspection went smoothly.

http://www.environmentaldefense.org/pag ... &bulbID=23

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Chris,

This is the type keyless fixture I am speaking of. These are very common in attics and crawls around here, because they are the cheapest fixtures available.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Keylessfixture.jpg

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The link in my previous post was the bulb type I advise clients to purchase when clearance or impact is an issue. Closets, under stairs, also come to mind. I'm sure I've advised these in other circumstances/locations just can't think of any right now.

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