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Community and Q&A

Artificial Lighting Code Requirements

christian_paro | Posted in Building Code Questions on

Do the “artificial lighting requirements” in R303.1 of the IBC for habitable rooms with less than an 8% glazing ratio require that the supplied artificial lighting be in the form of hard-wired fixtures, or can it be satisfied with lamps or other such plug-in fixtures?

If lamps are acceptable, do they need to have outlets controlled by a wall switch, or is a switch on the lamp itself adequate for lighting control?

Interested in this for what will be an owner-occupied house, but I could see additional implications for rental units (ex: if code is not satisfied by “built-in” fixtures but could be with plug-in fixtures, is supplying those something a tenant should be able to expect their landlord to do as part of offering the unit?).

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  1. kbentley57 | | #1

    a 3'x4' window in a 16'x9' room is about 8%. That's not a lot of light, and the room will be dark, especially when the sun is on the other side of the house in the evening.

    As for the question, the third exception to that code states

    "The glazed areas need not be installed in rooms where Exception 1 is satisfied and artificial light is provided that is capable of producing an average illumination of 6 footcandles (65 lux) over the area of the room at a height of 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor level."

    So I think technically it can be provided by anything that meets the lux levels.

    I'd at least put in an overhead box with a cover, with at least a triple gang box for a ceiling fan / light combo down the road. You'll wish you had if you ever want to make the change.

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