How to install a pull-chain light in a closet?


Old 05-29-07, 06:44 AM
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How to install a pull-chain light in a closet?

I need to find instructions for installing a pull-chain light fixture inside a bedroom closet. I would prefer to run the wire up through the floor of the closet. The basement below is unfinished, and I don't plan on trying to fish the wire up through the wall. I don't care if you can see the wire inside the closet itself.

I also need instructions for how to add the electrical wire to the switch box. The box was added about 6 years ago and was inspected two years ago when I purchased the home and it is up to code. Does anyone know where I can find instructions for installing a simple light fixture like this? I am hoping to find some online source with step-by-step instructions including photos/sketch of what to do.
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Old 05-29-07, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Rules for lights in closets are strict, for good reason. Clothes and other items stored in bedroom closets are flammable.

The short answer is that a simple light cannot be installed in a bedroom closet. Nor can you run wire (or more properly cable) along the walls or ceiling.

Lights in a closet must be covered. A bare bulb with a pull chain is not allowed. There are lights with pull chains that are allowed, but a better installation is to install a light switch. There are further restrictions on distance from the walls.

As for the wiring, you can either run NM cable inside the walls and ceiling (if such cable is allowed where you are) or you can run conduit on the surface of the wall. A popular choice for residences is a product called wiremold, or something similar.

Any book on home wiring will discuss lights for closets and adding circuits to panels. A good one to start with which is inexpensive is "Wiring Simplified." There are others, and I recommend you find one with pictures.

After reading the books, you can decide if this is a project you want to tackle, or if it one you would prefer to hire an electrician for. Either way, please do the job properly so that your installation is safe and up to code.
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