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Exterior lights & building code

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Jun 24, 2014, 09:42 PM
SturdyNail
Exterior lights & building code
We have storm doors that swing out onto our patio. We want to put lights on either side of the doors, but, from a practical point of view, it seems that the lights need to be outside the range of the doors (so the doors can't hit them).
Realizing that local codes trump other codes, do you know if the placement of lights, relative to the door swing, is limited by International Building Code?
If I wanted to check the code, where would I look?

Thanks in advance.
Jun 25, 2014, 09:06 AM
Jaybee
I think you are in the clear to install the lights where they need to be to clear the door swing - as long as the lights illuminate the door area.

IRC has lots of regs about circuit loading etc. but I can't find anything that sets a specific distance from a door for exterior lighting. The nearest would be section E3803.3 which states in part: "lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of each outdoor egress door"

As there are no minimum or maximum distances specified, your should be fine as long as your location does in fact provide light to the door area.


Jaybee
Jun 25, 2014, 06:35 PM
CommonwealthSparky
So your inspector adheres to the IBC, does he? I have IBC book at the shop but none at the abode. Well going by the NEC {the true electrical code, IMO} the requirement is very basic. NEC 210.70{A}{2} states lighting required on all personal entrances. Meaning all walking entrances but not say overhead garage doors.
And what Jaybee stated is all you need to know so really no reason for any addendum here. Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jun 25, 2014, 10:25 PM
SturdyNail
Thanks Jaybee & CWSparky.
I was guessing about location of the lights and code based on a conversation with the inspector about windows. He said that, if I had a window that could be hit by a swinging door, it needed to be tempered glass.
So, I was thinking that, if a swinging door could hit and break a light, that would be a hazard that might be restricted by code.
Jun 26, 2014, 09:50 AM
Sparky617
SN,
Your doors have to have tempered glass. If your outswing doors can lay flat against the walls you'll want to move the lights outside their swing. However most storm doors have a closer device that limits how far they can open, I've never seen a closer that allowed a door to open 180 degrees.

My own patio door has a storm door on it. It swings against the perpendicular wall to the door with a light in the swing zone. The door can open about 100 degrees and doesn't hit the light. I suppose if I had a really large fixture it could be hit by the door but the one I have safely clears the door in the full open position.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Jun 26, 2014, 09:16 PM
CommonwealthSparky
The inspector may have meant that the window sash has to be tempered glass. But never saw a situation where a door would swing and hit a window unit. But never say never. Just adding my 2ยข.
Easiest way to get on the bad side of an inspector. Ask to see the code listing for whatever he may have red tagged {failed}, no matter what trade involved. Always a fun time after that.
I would think the OP {SturdyNail} and all on board realizes that installing a light fixture that could be hit by a swing out door is unwise to begin with.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jun 26, 2014, 10:01 PM
SturdyNail
Sparky617, Good point. I'll need to make sure that those storm doors are tempered glass. If we didn't have a chair or something next to the doors they could slap against the wall. No closures are attached. They're the same doors that were there when we bought our 1960's house over 20 years ago.

CWSparky, yes the inspector was talking about the window needing to be tempered glass if a door could hit it.

Now I'm thinking of putting the light or lights up in the soffit.
Jun 27, 2014, 01:19 PM
CommonwealthSparky
Obviously all entrance and storm door glass in today's world is tempered as you stated. But when dealing with older units it may be wise to check the info printed on the glass or typed in the swizzle stick between panes of glass when insulated glass is present. You never know.


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jun 27, 2014, 01:25 PM
CommonwealthSparky
quote:
Originally posted by SturdyNail:
Sparky617, Good point. I'll need to make sure that those storm doors are tempered glass. If we didn't have a chair or something next to the doors they could slap against the wall. No closures are attached. They're the same doors that were there when we bought our 1960's house over 20 years ago.

CWSparky, yes the inspector was talking about the window needing to be tempered glass if a door could hit it.

Now I'm thinking of putting the light or lights up in the soffit.


Never heard the code requirement that your inspector speaks of, but he must know of it. Big Grin

Realize it may present way to much of a commercial look but a small fixture above the door is an option. May not be the best look, but sometimes the situation dictates your limited options.


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...