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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749

[Linked Image]

Because they are a FIRE HAZARD when used with open light bulbs!!

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
They must have been allowed at some point as there seem to be millions of these around. I see the potential danger here but I can't recall hearing of any house fires caused by these. Any stats on this?

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
they are everywhere here......

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
I see similar installations all the time in England as well.

I think it comes down to common sense on the part of the homeowner to not stack stuff where it will too close to the bulb. Unfortunately, common sense seems to be a vanishing commodity these days. [Linked Image]

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 210
When I come across them, I recommend changing them. On renovation projects my local inspector requires them to be changed or removed.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 103
jes Offline
OK, here is my recollection of the history of this prohibition. There are two fundamental problems with lampholders such as this installed in closets. The first is that they are rated typically for up to 600 W or so with NO warnings as to use a certain wattage bulb. Now it is unlikely that the "average person" will put much more than a 100-200 W in there it has been established that 100 W and higher MAY develop bulb surface temperatures that can ignite light combustibles. Here you have essentially an unprotected bulb. Secondly, it is not usually predictable how the "average person" will configure (reconfigure) a closet for storage, or literally cram the space full. 100 W and some smaller wattages can easily develop bulb surface temperatures that can ignite light combustibles WHEN INSULATED, as by a comforter or other storage that falls forward from a shelf or is pushed by other storage against the bulb. (Joe, your photo is a good example of how the proximity of storage could allow this to happen!)
There were enough documented cases of fires originating from these installations to convince the NFPA committee to restrict lampholder use. The change occurred some time ago and there may be additional justification in some of the older NEC Handbooks.

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
I believe that it was the '96 code that first addressed this issue.
An easy improvement would be to replace the bulb with one of the new screw-in fluorescents. (Existing need not be updated to new code).
I often, in remodeling, install a recessed can. (Code requires less clearance for a recessed fixture). Or, I mount the light on the wall, above the closet door.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Replacing the bulb with another edison base of any kind still vioates the rule. The keyles lampholder is the issue, it is not and never has been allowed because it is not a fixture!

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
Hey Joe;

This situation is why I started the thread about closet fixtures. I have changed half of them in my house now to hard wired enclosed flourescent, and the others will be done shortly, In the meantime, I am paranoid about clearances and how long the light stays on. Only for a few minutes at a time, and only when someone is in front of the closet.
I would like to ask a question, I tried the last time, but I think the moderator thought I was flaming you, and edited my post. ( I don't mind by the way). My question is,
What makes a fixture, a fixture, as opposed to being only a lampholder?
If these lampholders were never allowed, why are there so many of them around?

Thanks for the info.


Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
And to clarify, these lampholders are only prohibited in closets, correct?

I assume they're OK to use in a bedroom or living room ceiling? I've been to places where they're used in the bathroom.

Thanks for the info. I'm just slightly confused with this also. [Linked Image]

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Joe Tedesco
Joe Tedesco
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