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Thread: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

  1. #1
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    Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    110.26(D):

    "In electrical equipment rooms, the illumination shall not be controlled by automatic means only"

    What does "automatic" mean?

    Does everyone agree a motion sensor is automatic?

    Would a programmable lighting control panel be considered "automatic only"? It has a low voltage wall switch that signals the panel to turn the light on or off. The panel would also be programmable to turn lights off at a set time, but the switch could turn them back on (last command wins).

    Steve

    [ March 04, 2005, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: steve66 ]

  2. #2
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    Originally posted by steve66:
    110.26(D):

    "In electrical equipment rooms, the illumination shall not be controlled by automatic means only"

    What does "automatic" mean?

    Does everyone agree a motion sensor is automatic?

    Would a programmable lighting control panel be considered "automatic only"? It has a low voltage wall switch that signals the panel to turn the light on or off. The panel would also be programmable to turn lights off at a set time, but the switch could turn them back on (last command wins).

    Steve
    I've come across the same problem. I consider an occupancy sensor or a Lighting Control Panel an "automatic" means. But since Title 24 in California is becoming more strict in 2005, it might be required regardless.
    Robbie, P.E., LEED AP

  3. #3
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    I think the intent is to prevent the lights from going off while you are working in the room. So long as there is a mechanism that allows you to override any automatic features, and to keep the lights on while you are working, you will satisfy this requirement.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  4. #4
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    Charlie:

    I agree 100% with the intent, but I'm not sure my lighting controller qualifies.

    The local switch in the room can't stop the lights from shutting off, but can only turn them back on after they are off. I don't see any difference between that and a motion sensor.

    OK, I do see one difference. Someone could program the panel not to turn off the lights. But that's not really accessible to the electrician working in the equip. room.

    Steve

  5. #5
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    Steve a easy way to fix this is to use a 3-way switch. Connect the common from the 3-way to the fixture(s) ungrounded conductor, connect one travler to the controled source, connect the other to the same source before the controler. If you have the travler terminals correct when you flip the switch up it removes it from the "controled" source and connects it to a continous source. This give the person in the power room full control of the lighting.

    Just a idea.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  6. #6
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    It's a good idea, but one problem would be that if the lights are on when someone walks in, they're not going to flip the switch to turn the lights on. Midway through the servicing, the lights might shut off, leaving the person fumbling back to the door to turn the lights back on.

    A motion sensor would actually be superior to this, as when the person starts fumbling back over to the door, the lights would come back on.

  7. #7
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    Most wall mounted motion sensors have a manual override switch (as required), so they will not be as concerned with the lights going out while working in the room.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    i believe the intent is to have some lighting that is locally controlled only! like the "night lights" of some portion to prevent all the lights from being turned off without warning

  9. #9
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    I have been dealing with a similar problem: ASHRAE90.1 which is used as the energy code in many states requires an override of automatic lighting controls in EVERY SPACE. This is a commercial requirement that has been overlooked by many folks for a long time. We are looking at specifying a $50.00 wall switch in every room instead of a $1.00 switch to meet the code. Owners are gonna flip out when the electrical numbers come in on bid day. Has anybody else delt with this? (Californians need not respond, the use of electricity was banned by your energy codes a while back )

    [ March 07, 2005, 06:22 AM: Message edited by: sceepe ]
    "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - H. Simpson.

  10. #10
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    Re: Lighting control in electrical equipment rooms

    I do like Hurk's idea. Even better if the switch can be labeled with "manual on" or something like that. The lighting control panel can be programmed to flash the lights as a warning before turning them off. That might eliminate the problem George mentioned.

    Sceepe:

    I haven't had to deal with ASHRE 90.1 yet (but its coming). but, Triatek lighting control panels work on "last command" wins. So you could use a 3 position momentary contact switch, and the user would have full capability to overide the controller.

    Steve

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