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Old 12-22-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
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Utility light in attic space


What does code say about installing utility lights in attic space?

One space has a standard inverted V shaped roof line - will I need to install a brace across the top about a foot down, to make a level surface for the junction box?

The other area in my attic is about 3' wide, with one wall being 8' tall, and the opposite wall being about 4' tall. The roof angles down from the 8' to 4' section, so there isn't a lot of room near the upper most portion of the space.

Does code say I need to allow so many inches of clearance for a light? Are there restrictions on how *low* a light can be mounted on a wall?

I can try and snap a few pics if my words don't describe very well.

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Old 12-22-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Utility light in attic space


I'm not aware of a code requirement for a light in an attic space. However I recommend one. Most use a bare bulb with a pull chain, or a switch near access hatch. There are no requirements on placement, it don't even have to be level. However it is important that there is plenty of clearance from roof decking to all wire and boxes 2" should be plenty in case Roofers use a little long of nails. If finding a good mounting location is hard, I some times mount it on a vertical wall space, or a knee wall.

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Old 12-22-2010, 11:28 PM   #3
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Utility light in attic space


Probably a good idea to put it on a timer, that way it won't get left on.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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Utility light in attic space


A motion detecting switch might work well, too.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:52 PM   #5
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Utility light in attic space


Both have good idea however some state/local codes may not allow to use the timer in the attic space for attic luminaire.

I know in France we can not use the timer and the switch have to be near the scuttle door or on the wall near the attic door.

Keep the luminaire high as you can and you may need more than one depending on how big the attic and how it lay out.

Merci.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:28 AM   #6
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Utility light in attic space


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I'm not aware of a code requirement for a light in an attic space. However I recommend one. Most use a bare bulb with a pull chain, or a switch near access hatch. There are no requirements on placement, it don't even have to be level. However it is important that there is plenty of clearance from roof decking to all wire and boxes 2" should be plenty in case Roofers use a little long of nails. If finding a good mounting location is hard, I some times mount it on a vertical wall space, or a knee wall.
code required if you have a split heat and air with furnace in attic.
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:37 AM   #7
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code required if you have a split heat and air with furnace in attic.
forgot about that thanks
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:09 AM   #9
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Utility light in attic space


Here's what I ended up with. One switch by door controls two 2' fluorescent light fixtures (each covered with it's own on/off switch). There are two fixtures in each space, which is about 32' long. Won't be enough lumens to perform surgery by, but bright enough to see to walk & read what's on boxes.

Junction box to first fixture:


Back of fixture:


Front:


Top:
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
Probably a good idea to put it on a timer, that way it won't get left on.
This idea as well as the motion detector idea are safety hazards, imo.

Imagine being in the corner of your attic when your lights turn off. You'll be falling through your ceiling in no time.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:00 PM   #11
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Utility light in attic space


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Originally Posted by oleguy74 View Post
code required if you have a split heat and air with furnace in attic.
and if the attic is used for storage (dwelling units)...
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Utility light in attic space


Just a personal preference: I've seen situations where an attic space light was just a bare light bulb, a homeowner was in the attic moving something around and hit the bulb while lit. Not only does this give you instant darkness, but the "pop" noise, and the shattering glass. I prefer to use a "cost effective"/low dollar light fixture with some type of cover over it. Even if you hit this, it may break, but the cover/lens will absorb most of the shock and save the light bulb. The fluorescent fixtures look good, but in some due time you will have to wait for them to stop "winking" before they come on.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:11 PM   #13
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Utility light in attic space


These look like a good idea:

http://www.mcgillelectrical.com/Cata...nProductsID=88


Would have saved me from breaking a few bulbs.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:40 PM   #14
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These look like a good idea:

http://www.mcgillelectrical.com/Cata...nProductsID=88


Would have saved me from breaking a few bulbs.
That's what the guys put in my attic. Seems like a great way to do it.

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