National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Thank you for your service. I enjoy reading your emails every morning.
I gave a contractor that is arguing that 210.70 does not require a switch located at or near an exterior door.
He says as long as there is lighting outside controlled by a switch anywhere in the house that satisfies the code.
I contend that every door leading to the outside must have a switch reasonably close to that door.
What is your read on this code?
Thanks, Robert Harris


Hi Robert, thanks for the comments and the question. While it may be the most logical location for an exterior lighting switch, the NEC does not require the switch to be located at or near the exterior door. The NEC just requires that a wall mounted control device to be installed, but the Code is silent on the location. From a practical standpoint, at the exterior door would probably be the most useful and effective location. Section 210.70(A)(2) provides the requirements. 

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