My front door opens directly into the living room (no formal entryway) and there's a single potlight directly over the door with a dedicated switch. I'd like to add three more cans to the living room and tie them into the same switch, but I wasn't sure if that violated any codes requiring an independent entryway light?

I'm located in Arizona if that alters the code requirements any. Here's a diagram of what I'm looking to do:

enter image description here


[see my edit below] No, Arc Fault Circuit protection is not required on lighting circuits. Article 210.12 reads in part:

210.12(A) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (6):

You are good as long as you are not overloading a circuit and I would be very surprised if adding 3 lights overloads your circuit.

Your plan is good. Carry on.

[Edit] After re-reading that section and the definitions I believe @Paul Logan is correct. Switches are devices and luminaires are fed from lighting outlets. This is probably why my state has elected not to follow 210.12 in single and two family dwelling. The requirements are quite onerous for just about every circuit in the house. Your inspector may enforce this section for lighting and require AFCI protection on this modified circuit.

  • I thought light switches and lights qualified as "devices" in this section, no? – statueuphemism Nov 20 '17 at 0:05
  • "circuits supplying outlets or devices" .. Are there other kinds of circuits? – agentp Nov 21 '17 at 1:41
  • Not that I can think of. The Code definitions of outlets and devices pretty much covers everything for those rooms. It's quite expensive to cover practically every circuit in the house. – ArchonOSX Nov 21 '17 at 1:45

All is good safety wise and I would say common sense code wise you are good as well. However, you have now altered that circuit and technically speaking the code says the you, because you have altered this circuit, now you have to bring the entire circuit up to code. Which means you have to replace the circuit breaker in the panel that feeds that circuit with an ark fault breaker; $40 to $50.

  • is arc fault now required on fixed lighting (no outlets)? Anyway too bad you didn't make this mod like 3 years ago...... – agentp Nov 19 '17 at 23:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.