Electric Code when Bypassing Switches

While replying to this thread, a question popped up in my mind. I have smart bulbs in a flood light fixture for my back yard. Since I no longer wanted the switch to disconnect them from my hub, I removed the load wire from the switch and tied it directly to line. Then I used the Smart Lighting Smart App to turn the floods on and off when the switch is pushed. I’m wondering if this creates any code violations. I wouldn’t even know what search terms to put in to research it in the NEC.

I’m guessing someone unfamiliar with my setup could turn off the switch, see that the lights are off and remove the bulbs and stick their fingers in there. Not a smart thing to do, but you never know.

NEC allows for automated control of most single-family home lighting for hallways, and outdoor lighting, without a switch.

Exception: Lighting outlets for hallways, stairways, and outdoor entrances can be switched by a remote, central, or automatic control device.

However, the code also requires that “habitable rooms“ (bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, etc.) have at least one wall switch. (210.70(A)(1) )


There are some jurisdictions which do require that there be a switch for every fixture because they do worry about someone trying to replace the fixture while the line as hot. But in most places outdoor lights are exempted from the switch requirement all together.

And some jurisdictions do allow for fully automated lighting, no switch even in bedrooms and kitchens.

But again, check with your local township.


My jurisdiction (county) simply uses the NEC 2011 code right now. Doesn’t seem to add many requirements.

Maricopa County Codes

Electrical stuff starts on page 32. Maybe I’ll just put a label on the fixture that says “Always Hot” just to be safe.

Yes, I’m adding such labels to my switches & bulb sockets as well. Including the circuit number listed on the breaker panel makes it even easier.