In my house built around ~1970 all ceiling lamps are wired in a way where 120VAC power first enters light fixture and then hot wire proceeds through switch and return back to fixture as load wire. If I understand correctly, then somewhat newer houses built around ~1990 are wired the opposite way where 120VAC power enters first into the switch and then load wire makes a loop through light fixture. Also, there is 3rd option where 12/3 Romex extends neutral to both light switch and light fixture box.
All this time I thought it was a disadvantage to have wiring like mine, because I could not install smart light switches that usually require neutral.
However, it just occurred to me that maybe the future of smart lighting is not smart switches, but rather smart fixtures? Especially for retrofits? If I would switch to smart fixtures instead of smart switches, I could:
- eliminate almost all physical light switches in my house (currently I have to upgrade them to CO/ALR rated switches anyway)
- simply pull out some old aluminium wiring that runs behind walls as it would not be necessary anymore and my house will have less wiring in attics overall (currently I would have to trace all this wiring and replace splices with AlumiConns)
- still be able control my lights with help of voice, motion, phone or with a smart hub touchscreen as I would with smart switch. But I would not be able to have easily accessible physical switch that can turn light on or off.
I am wondering what NEC or any other electrical standards in USA have to say about this? Would it be fine to remove wall light switches altogether if the light fixture can be controlled through WiFi?