skip to Main Content

Inspecting Light Fixture Type & Location

There are certain areas that light fixtures should be installed. Clients always ask me; “should a light be there”. As I always state we are not conducting a code inspection, however there are areas that should have lights and some of these areas require a specific type of light. A wall switched controlled light should be installed in every habitable room, including bathrooms. It should be a permanently installed light fixture on a ceiling or wall in kitchens and baths. Other rooms may have light fixtures controlled by a switched receptacle. Exterior stairways should have a light near the top of the landing. Exterior stairways to a basement should have the light at the bottom landing. Exterior light switches should be located on the interior.

Other places and specific type of lighting and fixtures should be in the following locations

  • Interior stairway lights should be capable of lighting all steps and landings
  • There should be a light switch controlling the light at the top and bottom of the staircase if there are six or more steps.
  • There should be a light in all basements, attics, and crawl spaces if the area is used for storage or if there is equipment that may require service. The switch should be at the opening to the area. A pull chain can be used if the light is located near the opening. The light fixture should be located near the appliance for service purposes
  • Any light fixture, or part of (fan blades, etc.), should not be within 3 feet horizontally or and 8 feet vertically from the tub rim or shower threshold
  • Any fixture in the shower / tub area should be rated for damp or wet locations locations. Many of these fixtures have glass covers and rubber seals
  • Light fixtures with exposed incandescent bulbs should not be located inside a closet
  • Surface mounted incandescent and LED fixtures should not be located within 12 inches from the closet storage areas
  • Surface mounted fluorescent fixtures and recessed incandescent, LED, and fluorescent fixtures should not be located within 6 inches from the closet storage areas

Related Articles:


Want To Learn More? Click HERE to Search Our Full Database Of Home Inspector Newsletters.


Brought to you by InspectCheck

Try InspectCheck for free at

Back To Top