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Thread: Does it have to be a Lighting Contactor?

  1. #1
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    Does it have to be a Lighting Contactor?

    Supermarket. The lighting is all being upgraded from Fluorescent to LED. Also the lighting is now going to be controlled using a program, (they were turning them off via breaker), so I am installing contactors. Don't see why I can't use general purpose contactors. The loads are significantly reduced due to the LED retrofit, it is a small grocery store (aprox. 40k square feet), and lighting contactors are way more expensive!
    I have flipped around the code book and cannot find where it says anything about having to use lighting contactors. Anyone know of a place in the code book where it says I have to use a lighting contactor for lighting?-as stupid as that sounds! haha

    Any input on this would be welcome
    Thanks
    Very adaptable, but mostly inconsistent.

  2. #2
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    It does not actually say it out loud. However, 110.3(B) requires that listed products be used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing. It is not all that easy to find out what instructions are "included" and which are not.

    My inclination would be to look at what the contactor manufacturer says the contactors are suitable for.
    Bob

  3. #3
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    Things that met the code and local regulations is the lowest common factor.

    You still have legal obligations to meet specifications that go beyond legal requirements.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric-Light View Post
    Things that met the code and local regulations is the lowest common factor.

    You still have legal obligations to meet specifications that go beyond legal requirements.
    yea. if the specs say to supply a lighting contactor I don't see how a GP contactor meets that requirement. OTOH, as best I can tell, the cheap IEC contactors are a better contactor than the expensive lighting contactors.

    As a side note, it appears to me that at least some manufacturers are changing their old style lighting contactors to be IEC style contactors and calling them lighting contactors while raising the price a lot.

    It is sort of like what AB has done for their smaller NEMA rated motor starters. They are just IEC contactors that are over sized a little and 5X the price of the IEC contactor.
    Bob

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    yea. if the specs say to supply a lighting contactor I don't see how a GP contactor meets that requirement.
    No Specs. It is a design build by us.
    Very adaptable, but mostly inconsistent.

  6. #6
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    It's what we don't know we should fear about rather than what we know.

    Please remember this has nothing to do with specific lamp technology. It is just how they end up in the market. Screw-in CFLs are usually the most brutal. Some LED ballasts are also pretty close there while many consumer grade dimmable LEDs can be ignored inrush wise.


    Alley-Brandley says some lighting panels are not listed for general type contactors and...

    UL 508 requires:
    Ballast (electric discharge lamps)
    Endurance:
    6,000 cycles of operation at two times rated current (40 A), 0.4...0.5 power factor,
    480V AC. Overload: 50 cycles of operation at three times rated current (60 A), 0.4...0.5 power factor, 480V AC.

    General Use
    Endurance: 6,000 cycles of operation at rated current (20 A), 0.75...0.80 power factor, 600V AC.
    Overload:50 cycles of operation at 1.5 times rated current (30 A), 0.75...0.80 power factor, 600V AC.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibloafer View Post
    Supermarket. The lighting is all being upgraded from Fluorescent to LED. Also the lighting is now going to be controlled using a program, (they were turning them off via breaker), so I am installing contactors. Don't see why I can't use general purpose contactors.
    I don't see why you can't either.
    If Billy Idol or John Denver is on your play list go and reevaluate your life.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    I don't see why you can't either.
    A general purpose contactor may be rated for a particular inrush current of tungsten lighting or the surge on start and inductive kick on break of a particular HP motor, while a lighting contactor may not also be suitable for motor or other use.
    IMO the limitation is the other way around, I agree.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibloafer View Post
    Supermarket. The lighting is all being upgraded from Fluorescent to LED. Also the lighting is now going to be controlled using a program, (they were turning them off via breaker), so I am installing contactors. Don't see why I can't use general purpose contactors. The loads are significantly reduced due to the LED retrofit, it is a small grocery store (aprox. 40k square feet), and lighting contactors are way more expensive!
    I have flipped around the code book and cannot find where it says anything about having to use lighting contactors. Anyone know of a place in the code book where it says I have to use a lighting contactor for lighting?-as stupid as that sounds! haha

    Any input on this would be welcome
    Thanks
    I'm one of a few foreigners here.
    I don't know what your rule books say but, from a practical perspective, I would have thought not. We have classifications of AC1 (resistive) to AC4 which I would use for PFC. LED lighting? I'd use AC1. But my background is mostly industrial.
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibloafer View Post
    ... Don't see why I can't use general purpose contactors. The loads are significantly reduced due to the LED retrofit, it is a small grocery store (aprox. 40k square feet), and lighting contactors are way more expensive!
    I have flipped around the code book and cannot find where it says anything about having to use lighting contactors. Anyone know of a place in the code book where it says I have to use a lighting contactor for lighting?-as stupid as that sounds! haha

    Any input on this would be welcome
    Thanks
    I surmise that in decades past, a lighting contactor was called such because it is rated for inductive lighting. Fluorescent and HID are inductive lighting applications. Convention is slow on the take-up.
    I will have achieved my life's goal if I die with a smile on my face.

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