I live in California. I have an attic that is accessible via a ceiling hatch. The attic is not big enough to stand up in. I added some storage to the attic by laying down a few small sheets of plywood. I'd like to add a light. I'm getting conflicting advice from a few home inspectors I know on if a pull-chain light is allowed. I just want a simple, basic light. Does the light have to be connected to a switch? Or, can I just get a simple circular lampholder that holds an LED bulb with a pull string?

  • I do not know why a pull chain would not be allowed. That's what I have in my attic, but that installation goes back many years. One reason it might be frowned upon is wasted electricity if the light is left on and turning it off is an inconvenience.
    – SteveSh
    Jan 13, 2023 at 17:08
  • In attics and other cramped spaces be mindful that you might need a protected light fixture. The idea is that you might bump into the light, break it, get electrocuted.
    – Matthew
    Jan 13, 2023 at 18:03
  • 1
    You could use battery powered lights that attach with a screw or two.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 13, 2023 at 18:21
  • I want to order a light like this but it says it's not "Title 24 compliant" amazon.com/Leviton-9850-LED-Ceiling-Holder-Guard/dp/B071S6GYQM/… Jan 13, 2023 at 20:36
  • Not Title 24 compliant? That's a pretty broad brush stroke, Title 24 is pretty big, I have no idea what aspect it doesn't comply. Energy use? Wall switch in bedroom? Occupancy in office space? Jan 14, 2023 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


It appears that California 2022 Title 24 Electrical requirements are based on the 2020 NEC which says:

210.70(C) All Occupancies. For attics and underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch or other listed wall-mounted control device shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing. At least one point of control shall be at the usual point of entry to these spaces. The lighting outlet shall be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing.

So it looks like if your chain controlled light is accessible at the point of entry it would be compliant.

California laws allow local amendments by cities and counties.

  • That makes sense. And in my comment above about my attic, the pull string is right at the top of the pull down stairs. So that's compliant.
    – SteveSh
    Jan 13, 2023 at 17:21
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    "Lighting outlet containing a switch or..." is the key wording here which the people claiming you need a wall switch have failed to read properly. I've both seen and implemented, having seen, setups with a pull string extended from a light not near the opening so the end of the string is near the opeing and can be used from there.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 13, 2023 at 17:31
  • In my attic there is an air handler that requires occasional service (air filter change) and possibly other work/repairs. I was required to install an outlet and light. Since you don't have equipment there the outlet isn't required, Opinion based: BUT since a single gang box and a switch can be had for probably less than $4, why not?. It's just more convenient to have the switch next to the opening, then you can put the light (or more than one) where ever makes the most sense. Jan 13, 2023 at 17:53
  • What about this kind of light? This was recommended to me by an electrician, but Amazon won't ship it to California because " This product is not compliant with Title 24 code in California" amazon.com/Leviton-9850-LED-Ceiling-Holder-Guard/dp/B071S6GYQM/… Jan 13, 2023 at 20:35

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