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Is there a requirement or 'best:' height for switches?

Posted by mark_g (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 12, 10 at 10:01

We're abt to wire our house and wd appreciate some suggestions, in addition to the separate post abt receptacles.

1) We are thinking about mounting switches for exterior lighting below (or above) the regular height for interior lighting. Will that have code issues? Our thinking is that it will logically separate the lighting around the house to reduce confusion.

2) If we go with two-tier switches, what should the height of them be (measured from finished floor to centerline of boxes)?

3) And locations that would have only one tier (just inside lights) what wd be the optimum height for them?

4) Lastly, how far away from finish jamb trim should the boxes be mounted?

Thanks for feedback, Mark


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is there a requirement or 'best:' height for switches?

I mount switches at elbow height for easy use. I've never heard of different heights for outdoor vs indoor control switches. I'd be hesitant, concerned that it might look odd or unprofessional.

As for distance from the jamb, for me it depends on where the stud is. The pros may have a different view on this, however.


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RE: Is there a requirement or 'best:' height for switches?

Electric Codes do not regulate the height of wall switches in residential dwellings. (Except if one wants to employ the maximum disconnect height of 6'6")

Accessibility Codes, however, do regulate the height of switches in commercial occupancies (even residential commercial occupancies like accessible apartments, hotel rooms, motel rooms, dorm rooms, hotel suites, etc...) to a minimum height of 15" to a maximum height of 48" above the finished floor.

Common practice for residential switches is to center them 50-52" above the floor.


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RE: Is there a requirement or 'best:' height for switches?

I mount boxes at 46", just find a height you like and stick with it.

I have mounted switches at different heights when space limited, it didn't seem odd or stand out. It may be a good solution if you have alot of switches in one area. I would put them at 46" and 52"

I shoot to keep them 2"-12" from the trim.


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