Q. Is a switch that is located in a bedroom but controls an outside light required to be AFCI protected?

A. No. The requirement of 210.12(B) is that all 15 or 20A, 120V branch circuits that supply outlets in dwelling unit bedrooms must be protected by a listed AFCI device. However, the circuit conductors for a switch controlling a lighting outlet, that is not located in the bedroom, is not required to be AFCI protected.

According to Art. 100, an outlet is defined as a point in the wiring system where electric current is taken to supply a load. This would include receptacle outlets, lighting outlets, as well as outlets for paddle fans and smoke detectors, but not switches.