The most recent (2008) edition of the NEC permits an LED lighting fixture to be located on a closet ceiling or on the wall above the door, subject to the minimum clearances indicated in the drawing.
The most recent (2008) edition of the NEC permits an LED lighting fixture to be located on a closet ceiling or on the wall above the door, subject to the minimum clearances indicated in the drawing.

A.George Flach, former chief electrical inspector for New Orleans, responds: The risk of a closet fire is considerable. According to some estimates I’ve seen, up to 12 percent of all house fires begin in a closet. Recognizing that risk, the NEC prohibits the use of exposed, bare, or uncovered incandescent lamps in clothes closets. It does permit the use of listed surface-mounted or recessed fixtures, but imposes strict requirements on their placement (see illustration). Previous editions of the NEC recognized only fluorescent and incandescent fixtures, but the latest edition includes LEDs as well.

According to Article 410.16 of the 2008 NEC, recessed and surface-mounted fluorescent fixtures and recessed incandescent and LED fixtures with a completely enclosed light source can be placed within 6 inches of the clothes storage area. Surface-mounted (not pendant) incandescent and LED fixtures must be enclosed and placed a minimum of 12 inches...

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