Crystal light fixtures


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Old 05-08-17, 08:27 AM
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Crystal light fixtures

My wife and I are having a discussion about placing a "crystal" flush mounted fixture for her closet. I say the crystals diffuse the light too much that you might want to choose something else. She disagrees.

I've been married for a long time so I know I'm "wrong" but I would like to know why . Any thoughts?
 
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Old 05-08-17, 08:57 AM
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Probably just a difference in terminology/definitions but the problem with a "crystal" lens is it refracts the light all over, causing hot spots & shadows. It'd be like illuminating your closet with a disco mirror ball. Diffusion from a frosted or white lens would be preferred where you want even illumination.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 08:59 AM
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There are strict rules regarding light fixtures and their placement in a closet. Will the bulb be inclosed?
  • Recessed incandescent light fixtures in a closet should always be closed or covered.
  • Recessed incandescent light fixtures should be at least 18 inches from the back and side walls of a closet. That distance increases to 24 inches for surface-mounted incandescent fixtures.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 11:25 AM
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Now you see why I lose all the arguments... I don't know what I'm talking about!

Of course I am talking about refraction and not diffusion. Thanks Guy48065. So that is a problem with those crystal fixtures.

Ray2047 it is a walk-in closet of about 5x7' so I think the clearances shouldn't be a problem. It is wired for a surface-mounted fixture so that is the way I'll be going. Given that I don't know what style of fixture we'll be getting, I don't know if the bulb will be enclosed or not. Also, kind of bought in on the whole LED bulb thing so I will be using LED lamps instead of incandescent. Does that change the placement issues you raised?
 
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Old 05-08-17, 03:46 PM
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Does that change the placement issues you raised?
No, because the fixture has standard Edison sockets, so anyone can replace the LEDs with incandescents. It drops to 12" if the fixture is manufactured with an LED and 6" if it's a fluorescent.

Exposed bulbs surrounded by crystals are not 'enclosed'. A surface-mounted fixture must have a glass "fishbowl" cover that completely encloses the bulb. So can simply tell her that the fixture she wants is both a code violation and a fire hazard and that's why she can't have it. If she argues, show her NEC 410.8 - "Incandescent fixtures with open (exposed) or partially enclosed lamps, and pendant fixtures or lampholders are not permitted to be installed in a clothes closet." (and again, any fixture with an Edison, bi-pin, or GU-10 socket is considered to be incandescent, even if you intend to put LED bulbs in them).
 
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Old 05-09-17, 06:03 AM
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Thank you for the NEC reference and explanation taz420. I am in Canada so I'll have to check what our codes have to say about that. It might be different because I kind of recall (before a remodel) that there was an exposed bulb in that closet. The house was built in 1985 so things may have changed since then.
 
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Old 05-09-17, 02:43 PM
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Sorry I missed that you're in Canada.. It was added to NEC in 2008.. I only have a 2012 CEC book and it has Rule 30-204 (2) so I don't know when it was added, but it was most likely around the same time. The rules were added in response to the large number of fires that started in closets due to contact between soft items and bare bulbs (don't we all have that one closet where the top shelf is piled high with the winter comforters and such? )

30-204 In clothes closets

(1) Every luminaire installed in a clothes closet shall be located on the ceiling or on the front wall above the door of the closet, unless mounted on the trim or sidewall of the doorway and approved for the application.

(2) Lampholders and luminaires of the pendant or suspended type, and lampholders and luminaires of the barelamp type shall not be installed in clothes closets.
 
 

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