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I'm building a new home with quite a few pocket doors and would like to know if there is a way for the pantry and utility room lights to come on when the pocket door slides open.

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This question might be useful. –  Tester101 May 9 '13 at 12:36

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There are some very sophisticated kits that actually use a motion sensor on the slider. These are very very expensive and if you have a problem down the road you are taking out a bunch of drywall. You can go this route.

However a pantry and utility room are closed off smaller spaces. I would just put an occupancy sensor near the door in each room. This will turn the lights on when you open and walk in.

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Install a normally open switch that closes when the door no longer presses on it as it starts to open. If you want to avoid the NEC hassle use a 12 VAC system.

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I'm fairly sure 12 VAC systems are covered by NEC. –  Tester101 May 9 '13 at 13:32
    
"NEC hassle" means a permit and inspection? –  Niall C. May 9 '13 at 13:32

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