Attic Lighting + Timer Switch

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PETER-S's picture
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Joined: 2017-01-01

What are the least expensive, but still safe attic light fixtures for incandescent bulbs?

Is it prudent to use a timer switch?

Peter

sparky377's picture
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Joined: 2013-10-07

Ahh... let's define expensive and safe.

A lamp base with a pull chain is most likely your least expensive option for controlling the light. That assumes the light is installed at the point of entry to the attic. And that is only required by Sec. 210.70(A)(3) if the attic is being used for storage or equipment. A better solution may be a wall-mounted switch at the entrance to the attic controlling light(s) throughout the attic space.

The lamp base mounted to an outlet box will be relatively safe, if you do not hit the lamp when moving yourself or boxes about the space. If lamp breakage is possible, you may want to consider a "jelly jar" light. While such a light can be purchased at your local hardware store for around $5, it will give only marginally more protection than a bare lamp. True safety would lean toward an industrial-grade jelly-jar, but those cost approximately $25.

As for a timer switch, NO. Think about the situation. You are looking for something in the attic late in the evening (to preclude any natural light entering the space) and you take too long. The light turns off leaving you in darkness. Now you have to stumble your way back to the entrance or switch in the dark. I consider that to be NOT safe.

As with all electrical installations, the least expensive option is seldom the best or safest solution.

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