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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did the plans for a house my friend is building. The master suite has a 9' x 11' room against an outside wall, and there is a window there.

His intent is to do built-in wardrobes and drawer units on three walls, with all clothing storage inside these units.

Does that make the room a "closet," because his inspector is claiming the room is a closet and subject to a code stipulation that no lighting can be in the room save that called out for closets. He wants to do ceiling lighting, but is being told he cannot.
 

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The NEC does not define a 'dressing room', so it's up to the AHJ to make the call.

Keep in mind, the inpector ---IS NOT--- the AHJ.

The inspector ---WORKS FOR--- the AHJ.
 

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I did the plans for a house my friend is building. The master suite has a 9' x 11' room against an outside wall, and there is a window there.

His intent is to do built-in wardrobes and drawer units on three walls, with all clothing storage inside these units.

Does that make the room a "closet," because his inspector is claiming the room is a closet and subject to a code stipulation that no lighting can be in the room save that called out for closets. He wants to do ceiling lighting, but is being told he cannot.
I know that isn't where you live. The minimul inspections they provide!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Believe it or not, we do get electrical inspections, but you have to call for one. Nothing happens if you don't call. The inspector is not affiliated with the town or the jurisdiction. He is just a freelancer, but well qualified and certified. You'll need his signoff in order to get a CO. But COs don't really mean anything unless your lender requires one, and so many homes or big remodels happen without financing, that not many COs get issued.

My guy is in fact building here, and is doing all his own work, from dig to finish. Nothing subbed at all, and he gets the electrical inspection because he wants it. Everything in his compound is 3-phase because he had it run in for his big professional shop. He was the largest cabinet shop in town.

This "dressing room" will have all clothing and wearables encased in cabinets with doors and drawers, and nothing will be exposed. I suppose the thing to do is not to call it a closet, but a room for your "dressers and armoires".

If you can have incandescent ordinary lighting in your bedroom, with your short and tall dressers there, why not in this room?

It is just a room version of this dressing hall I built into a house, which got inspected and passed. Note the built in wardrobes and dresser, and the ceiling light fixture.
 

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I agree with the inspector. That ceiling-mounted light, an incandescent one at that, if for whatever reason broke and the filament was hot would trigger a fire if any of those doors/ drawers were open and happened to contain a wool sweater. That walk-in dressing room does not look like it's "low end" if you know what I mean. Either replace that fixture with a fully enclosed fixture, or install a recess light or two with a shower trim. IMO, the architect deliberately used to the words "dressing room" to avoid NEC 410.8 (B).
 

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I agree with the inspector that you have to call it a closet. I mean your friend needs a new wife if she has to have a dressing room. Who's going to fall for that? calling it a dressing room?
 

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Whether you call it a Closet, a Walk-In Closet, a Dressing Area or whatever, your lighting and lighting location requirements or restrictions I believe are the same.

The intent is to not have fixtures installed near combustible materials where they would be subjected to temperatures in excess of 90 degrees.

You are required to have surface mounted fixtures or recessed fixtures, both with lenses more than 12" from clothes (hanging area or talllest shelf).

Depending on the "closet", I like using wall mounted fluorescent fixtures (with a lens) above a door if the closet is 2' deep (10 SF area or more requires lighting); ceiling mounted flourescent fixtures (with a lens) if it is a walk-in type closet. When the dressing area closet starts getting to where you can play racquetball in it you have more flexibility to use recessed lights, but with a lens, or surface mounted with a lens.
 

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It really does not matter what vulgar term you use to describe the room. You can't just call it a garage solely for the purpose of installing a light fixture.

I can't call a kitchen a Food Storage, Preparation and Presentation Area to keep from having to install GFIs and small appliance circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The "room" shown in the rendering I posted here is a hall. The doors you see along the R are closet doors. The piece you see on the L is a built-in dresser.

The tops of the closet doors are at 82 inches off floor. Inside the closets, each 25 inches deep, is a full-width top shelf with its front edge back 11 inches from closet front. Right below those shelves, at a height of about 71 inches off the floor, is a hanger rod.

The light fixture shown in the hall outside the closet is mounted to a ceiling 96 inches off the floor.

We are not talking here about lighting inside those closets. We are talking about the lighting in the hall.

May not a foyer with a clothes closet have surface-mounted ceiling fixtures nearby?

How about a bathroom with a linen closet, one with a door or doors? What kind of lighting can happen on the ceiling of the bath, outside that closet?

And in a bedroom, if one outfits it with a really tall armoire, a free-standing piece in which one stores clothing. What rules apply there?
 

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I agree with the inspector. That ceiling-mounted light, an incandescent one at that, if for whatever reason broke and the filament was hot would trigger a fire if any of those doors/ drawers were open and happened to contain a wool sweater. That walk-in dressing room does not look like it's "low end" if you know what I mean. Either replace that fixture with a fully enclosed fixture, or install a recess light or two with a shower trim. IMO, the architect deliberately used to the words "dressing room" to avoid NEC 410.8 (B).
NEC Definition - Article 100 - Clothes closet: A non-habitable room or space intended primarily for storage of garments and apparel.

If it is designed to be sat in, however briefly, it is not non-habitable.

NEC Definition - Article 410.2 Definitions. Closet Storage Space. blah blah blah to the highest clothes-hanging rod blah blah blah.

Outside the doors isn't a closet storage space.

And what has 410.8 got to do with anything?
410.8 Inspection. Luminaires shall be installed such that the connections between the luminaire conductors and the circuit conductors can be inspected without requiring the disconnection of any part of the wiring unless the luminaires are connected by attachment plugs and receptacles.

I take it you mean to refer to 410.16 (B), which would preclude incandescent fixtures in a clothes closet.

Closet? I have never seen a closet with a dressing table and mirror and no racks, bars or hangars, whereas I have worked in multi-million dollar homes that had dressing areas larger than all my bedrooms combined.

I was licensed to inspect in the City of Philadelphia for many years. I have never personally seen closets inside closets. It is reasonably, at best, a dressing room, at worst, hallway.

You want to eliminate the selected fixtures because of their proximity to the dressing area closets and built-in storage units? Let's get rid of bedroom lights as well, in case the lamp breaks and the filament falls on the bed and ignites the mattress, or in case the bedroom closet door is open, or a dresser drawer..... What utter nonsense.

I think that a salient issue here is whether there is otherwise a conventional closet for the bedroom, whose existence might justify the "dressing room" argument.

Maybe we should also outlaw incandescent lamps in garages as well, in case the lamp breaks and the filament falls down on the gas leaking from the improperly maintained lawnmower or automobile.
 
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