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alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

Minimum lighting requirement for stairs

Sorry about the glare and overall low quality, my wife has the good camera.

Anywho, this is the current lighting that is controlled from the top and bottom of the stairs. It's basically 2 recessed lights at the bottom of the stairs giving this amount of light.

Would this be enough (code) for stairs (11 steps)?

I COULD put a sconce but it would be quite in the way since the staircase is only 36 inches wide.
I can't put anything in the ceiling as it is flush against the stairs on the floor above, so I have no joist cavity up there.
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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo

Re: Minimum lighting requirement for stairs

I believe there should be a light for the landing. Why are we talking minimum and not what is safe?



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by robbin:

I believe there should be a light for the landing. Why are we talking minimum and not what is safe?

Because the stairs are not hard to see due to the strength of the light, but the code might say something different.

Are you talking about the upstairs landing?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I'm thinking there may need to be a light at every landing.


telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by robbin:

I believe there should be a light for the landing. Why are we talking minimum and not what is safe?

Because the stairs are not hard to see due to the strength of the light, but the code might say something different.

Are you talking about the upstairs landing?

I know you are supposed to have one over every landing, which is silly when doors are added at the top and block the light. The sconce idea is good but keep in mind moving large objects to the basement ie new furnace, washer dryer.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to alkizmo

Forget the lights, those cords on the stairs will kill you faster.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by telco_mtl:

I know you are supposed to have one over every landing, which is silly when doors are added at the top and block the light. The sconce idea is good but keep in mind moving large objects to the basement ie new furnace, washer dryer.

I know, there was a sconce light at the bottom landing that got massacred when we took down the insulation batts.

However, upon further thinking and observing, I think I can fit a tiny sconce light right above the top stairs light switch. It wouldn't protrude too much from the usable width at the top of the stairs since the door hinges is on that side.


Don't ask about the wiring. I had no 3-wire romex on hand for that 3-way switch and the old romex is only going in there to be terminated (dead end) since the previous switched used a different circuit. --- edit: /Facepalm, looking at the picture, I realize I can just open up that switch box hidden behind the piece of wood and disconnect the old romex. Tomorrow's task

edit 2 - Just for the hardcore posters: Yes that romex coming up the top of the switch will be tied to the stud within 6 inches of the box. I don't secure anything until just before the drywall comes up (just in case I need to pull).

said by Juggernaut:

Forget the lights, those cords on the stairs will kill you faster.

Yeah, temporary hazard (along with all the junk I tend to leave on the stairs). All receptacles are not hooked up (not even the actual receptacle inside) while I put the drywall. I had to bring in extension cords through the utility room.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL

I would consider adding a light or two closer to the treads. I have thought little LEDs in the side could make stepping up and down safer.



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit
reply to alkizmo

You don't need enough light to read by. All you need is enough light to define the edges of the steps. How about a couple of these:
»www.pegasuslighting.com/xenon-ni···NLS_d_2A



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to alkizmo

Ideas:

»tinyurl.com/bcgrr5p



Headrush

@start.ca
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

Don't ask about the wiring. I had no 3-wire romex on hand for that 3-way switch and the old romex is only going in there to be terminated (dead end) since the previous switched used a different circuit. --- edit: /Facepalm, looking at the picture, I realize I can just open up that switch box hidden behind the piece of wood and disconnect the old romex. Tomorrow's task

I don't know about QC, but in Ontario code requires a switch at both ends of the stairs.

(based on 23rd ED. of Ontario Electrical Safety Code)


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to alkizmo

I added one/two of these to each set of stairs in my house. Does a great job!
»www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00196···c=1&s=hi
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo

The step lights are either very expensive (if okay looking and wired up) or too cheap.

Anyway, the sconce above the top stairs light switch will do, it just needs to be flush to the wall. If ever I bring something big down the stairs like a water heater or a furnace, I can remove it temporarily (like the door would be unhinged).


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

basically 2 recessed lights at the bottom of the stairs giving this amount of light.

When my son was younger, he was scared of the shadows when he was going down the main stairs (single wall lamp at top landing) or coming up the basement stairs (single recessed lamp at the bottom) ... so maybe having light on both ends of the stairs makes common sense.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to alkizmo

Code specifies the number of foot candles are required, not the number or type of fixtures.

The stairs in our unit have a flush mount ceiling fixture at the top with switches for the top and bottom. The fixture uses one bulb (which is a CFL) and it has a clear globe shaped like an acorn.


telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to alkizmo

i say forget it, go buy a load of phosphorus paint and paint the whole thing!


Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

Anywho, this is the current lighting that is controlled from the top and bottom of the stairs. It's basically 2 recessed lights at the bottom of the stairs giving this amount of light.

The stairs should be lit (usually from the top) with functionality in mind. Does your current config cause you to walk in shadows on the way up and/or shine in your eyes on the way down?


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo

Guys, as I said, I'm gonna stick a light right above the top stairs switch. I already installed a fixture box wired up and all. When the stairs will be finished (drywalled, painted, etc) I will put a flush mount sconce and it will take care of the top part of the stairs that is darker.


Speedy Petey

join:2008-01-19
reply to Anon

said by chamberc:

Forget code, it's your house, not the government's.

Codes are in place for a reason. There is no conspiracy here.

Let me guess. You're a prepper too?


JustBurnt

@rr.com
reply to alkizmo

You will need to add a railing too.

On stairs, you really never have too much light(within reason of course), I would put one at the top and another at the bottom.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by JustBurnt :

You will need to add a railing too.

FIY this staircase is FAR from finished.
Railing goes in last, along with the sconce.
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LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

2 edits
reply to alkizmo

Re: Minimum lighting requirement for stairs

Code is 10 lux (so about 100 1 foot-candles) at tread height...

EDIT 1 - Thanks to John Galt See Profile for catching my math error - converting between Metric and Imperial units kinda went sideways on me...

EDIT 2 - I should add the above is per the Canadian Building Code for emergency lighting - I don't have 'normal' lighting specs; other then a switch must be provided top and bottom... I agree with others that 'more' lighting is probably better then 'less' on stairs.