30A branch circuit for track lighting (not dwelling unit)

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Location
NYC, NY
I have 1800 watts 120V LED fixtures on lighting track in art gallery. In order to reduce possibility of nuisance circuit breaker tripping caused by LED drivers inrush current, I want to use 30A HACR breaker and 30A rated lighting track, #10 wiring. Track is UL-listed for 20A, 30A, 60A https://litelab.com/bus-08h.

Our engineer says you can’t use 30A branch circuit permitted in 210.23(B) for lighting track. 210.23(B) is for fixed lighting units only.
At same time 410.153 acknowledges use of lighting track exceeding 20 amperes.

If 30A branch circuit is permitted for track lighting, what section of the NEC can support this?

410.153 Heavy-Duty Lighting Track. Heavy-duty lighting track is lighting track identified for use exceeding 20 amperes.
210.23(B) 30-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply fixed lighting units with heavyduty lampholders in other than a dwelling unit(s) or utilization equipment in any occupancy.
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
Id say the track itself is fixed and the fixtures are adjustable.
Looking at 410.153 your individual fixtures will be fused to like 5-10 amps, sounds safe to me.
When I was in this exact same situation I swapped out to a two circuit track and a MWBC 1100W per LEG.
20A two pole breaker.
Perhaps you already are on two circuits?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
I believe you quoted the sections that apply and if the track is rated for 30 amps then I don't see an issue with the install. Show the engineer 410.153 and 210.23(B)
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Location
NYC, NY
Id say the track itself is fixed and the fixtures are adjustable.
Looking at 410.153 your individual fixtures will be fused to like 5-10 amps, sounds safe to me.
When I was in this exact same situation I swapped out to a two circuit track and a MWBC 1100W per LEG.
20A two pole breaker.
Perhaps you already are on two circuits?
The specified track is two circuits track.
According to specification of track head (https://litelab.com/C71/ 23 watts), all plug-in fitters are fused, fuse size is not shown on specification (probable below 5A).

Since all plug-in fitters are fused, I don't see problem using track heads on 30A track and 30A branch circuit, but my colleague has different opinion, saying track head does not fit definition of "heavyduty lampholders" mentioned in 210.23(B). Since he has more power in our office than me, we have to use 20A limitation.
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Location
NYC, NY
Why would there be a nuisance trip at all? The breakers are properly sized They won't trip ever
It is definitely not a problem where switching of LED loads does not happen simultaneously on entire circuit.
In commercial application when switching happens simultaneously on branch circuit at peak of 120V wave, 16A steady state current, the inrush current could be up to 1500A (theoretical, if the track is very close to circuit breaker). Many manufacturers on the market don’t follow NEMA 410 standard, so inrush current can be very high.
See the link below, inrush current of Electronic Ballast (Capacitive Load) could be up to 100 times.
Maybe I just exaggerate the possible problem, just want to be on safe side when it is possible.
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
my colleague has different opinion, saying track head does not fit definition of "heavyduty lampholders" mentioned in 210.23(B). Since he has more power in our office than me, we have to use 20A limitation.
Victor the section on track lighting has been in the code since 1984, it was proposed by IEEE.
You co-worker is misunderstanding the NEC term 'fixed' , I find the term fixed used in the NEC to mean the opposite of portable, like cord and plug connected stuff.
Lighting track is 'fixed' becasue it is not portable, yes you can re-position the track heads, but that does not make lighting track portable, its still fixed.

The way the code is arranged things in 410 can modify 210.
The section in 410 specifically mentions 'heavy duty' track.
The 'luminares' or track fixtures in a heavy duty track are not 'heavy duty' becasue they are protected by supplementary fuses.
The entire assembly should be listed by a NRTL
See the UL white book section IFFR and UL 1574
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Location
NYC, NY
Victor the section on track lighting has been in the code since 1984, it was proposed by IEEE.
You co-worker is misunderstanding the NEC term 'fixed' , I find the term fixed used in the NEC to mean the opposite of portable, like cord and plug connected stuff.
Lighting track is 'fixed' becasue it is not portable, yes you can re-position the track heads, but that does not make lighting track portable, its still fixed.

The way the code is arranged things in 410 can modify 210.
The section in 410 specifically mentions 'heavy duty' track.
The 'luminares' or track fixtures in a heavy duty track are not 'heavy duty' becasue they are protected by supplementary fuses.
The entire assembly should be listed by a NRTL
See the UL white book section IFFR and UL 1574
Thank you, very professional clarification.
 
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