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Old 03-02-2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Hello,
This weekend we had to spend some time at the in-laws house (plumbing backed up ) and while we were there I noticed in their closets they have some partially enclosed light fixtures mounted above the doors. They remind me of Bathroom vanity lights with the glass attached around the bulb but not fully enclosed. It is a newer house (2 years old) with the fixtures being installed while they were building and was a shock to see those located there because of the code violations.

My question is what options do they have to bringing it up to code and making it safe? Are CFL bulbs permitted to be counted as "Flourescent" fixtures? I realize getting a fully enclosed fixture would work but I'm not certain I could convince them to change them all, fire hazard or not.

Am I miss interpreting the code any? There is almost 18" clearance from the fixture to the shelf and is about 6" from the ceiling. Is there any option other than changing the fixture? Thanks for your time.

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:18 AM   #2
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


NEC 410.8 Luminaires (Fixtures) in Clothes Closets.

(B) Luminaire (Fixture) Types Permitted. Listed luminaires
(fixtures) of the following types shall be permitted to
be installed in a closet:
(1) A surface-mounted or recessed incandescent luminaire
(fixture) with a completely enclosed lamp
(2) A surface-mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaire
(fixture)

(D) Location. Luminaires (fixtures) in clothes closets shall
be permitted to be installed as follows:
(1) Surface-mounted incandescent luminaires (fixtures) installed
on the wall above the door or on the ceiling,
provided there is a minimum clearance of 300 mm
(12 in.) between the luminaire (fixture) and the nearest
point of a storage space
(2) Surface-mounted fluorescent luminaires (fixtures) installed
on the wall above the door or on the ceiling,
provided there is a minimum clearance of 150 mm
(6 in.) between the luminaire (fixture) and the nearest
point of a storage space
(3) Recessed incandescent luminaires (fixtures) with a completely
enclosed lamp installed in the wall or the ceiling,
provided there is a minimum clearance of 150 mm (6 in.)
between the luminaire (fixture) and the nearest point of a
storage space
(4) Recessed fluorescent luminaires (fixtures) installed in
the wall or the ceiling, provided there is a minimum
clearance of 150 mm (6 in.) between the luminaire
(fixture) and the nearest point of a storage space
410.9 Space for Cove Lighting. Coves shall have adequate
space and shall be located so that lamps and equipment
can be properly installed and maintained.

As you can see from this article, it is very likely the installation is compliant. It would have not passed inspection had it been non-compliant. Read it over and measure for your particular application.

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #3
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Thanks very much for the reply. My only concern with that is
Quote:
1) A surface-mounted or recessed incandescent luminaire
(fixture) with a completely enclosed lamp
Its not a fully enclosed fixture and currently does not have a CFL bulb in it to be considered as a flourescent. Would it be acceptable if it was? I see that it complies with the location.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


It does have to be fully enclosed. It is not considered a fluorescent as you can screw a incandescent lamp into it. A new glass globe or fixture will be required.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:54 PM   #5
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


What if it were the new type of socket that only takes CFL bulbs?
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:28 PM   #6
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Thanks JV thats what i was thinking. Gigs I havent seen any of those, do you have a link by chance?

Now to get the In-laws to believe me :P wish me luck lol
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:14 PM   #7
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


I agree with JV...The potential to install an incandescent bulb in that fixture makes it fall into the requirements for an incandescent fixture, CFL or not. The inspection is of the fixture, not the lamp itself.

Many times I have turned down incandescent light fixtures in too close proximity to shelving in clothes closets, only to find a CFL screwed into the fixture at the re-inspection. Crafty, but not something I'd pass. A fixture that only takes flourescent bulbs or tubes is a different thing than a fixture which the owner can choose to use CFL's or not.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmudr1 View Post
Thanks JV thats what i was thinking. Gigs I havent seen any of those, do you have a link by chance?

Now to get the In-laws to believe me :P wish me luck lol
http://www.maxlite.com/GU24.html

GU24 only allows florescent bulbs so it's energy star compliant. Ignore the part about them being the most common in a year... that's way too optimistic and edison socket will be around for a very long time.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


I'm confused here... the code is dealing with the here and now.

If you inspect the socket and a CFL is being used as the luminare then it should comply. What the homeowner does after you leave, next week, or next year should not be an issue.

Are you stating that you cannot install a porcelain type device in a closet because someone MAY install a incandescent instead of a fluorescent luminarie at some point in time?
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:31 AM   #10
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


The code is based on the Fixture...not the bulb installed

It would have to be a Fixture that takes ONLY flourescent bulbs
You don't inspect bulbs....you inspect the Fixture
Fixtures can be changed too...but technically that would require another inspection to make sure the new fixture meets code
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmudr1 View Post
I noticed in their closets they have some partially enclosed light fixtures mounted above the doors. They remind me of Bathroom vanity lights with the glass attached around the bulb but not fully enclosed. It is a newer house (2 years old) with the fixtures being installed while they were building and was a shock to see those located there because of the code violations
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
(1) A surface-mounted or recessed incandescent luminaire (fixture) with a completely enclosed lamp

As you can see from this article, it is very likely the installation is compliant. It would have not passed inspection had it been non-compliant. Read it over and measure for your particular application.

Since its not a Flourescent fixture & not fully enclosed I do not think it would pass Inspection ?

How about a pic of some of the fixtures ?
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:56 AM   #12
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Scuba Dave I can try and get some pics, but it may be a while. Im only out there maybe 1-2 times a month. Maybe I can find some online in the meantime for ya.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:00 PM   #13
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DownRiverGuy View Post
I'm confused here... the code is dealing with the here and now.

If you inspect the socket and a CFL is being used as the luminare then it should comply. What the homeowner does after you leave, next week, or next year should not be an issue. Installing a fluorescent bulb does not make it a fluorescent fixture.

Are you stating that you cannot install a porcelain type device in a closet because someone MAY install a incandescent instead of a fluorescent luminarie at some point in time?
Yes, the fixture needs to accept only fluorescent type bulbs.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #14
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DownRiverGuy View Post
Are you stating that you cannot install a porcelain type device in a closet because someone MAY install a incandescent instead of a fluorescent luminarie at some point in time?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. The choice of a lamp that is used in the fixture has no bearing on the code requirement. If that fixture can accept an incandescent lamp it is an incandescent fixture regardless of the decision to use a CFL lamp in it.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:20 PM   #15
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CFL bulbs permitted in partially enclosed fixtures in closets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. The choice of a lamp that is used in the fixture has no bearing on the code requirement. If that fixture can accept an incandescent lamp it is an incandescent fixture regardless of the decision to use a CFL lamp in it.
Seems to be quite a popular opinion around here. I think this is at least the third time I have read this same answer.

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