LED Lights not NEC Compliant

busman

Senior Member
Location
Northern Virginia
Occupation
Master Electrician / Electrical Engineer
I'm trying to replace a 4 ft. fluorescent light in a customer's kitchen with a 4 ft LED light. Problem is, they all seem to have the wires exit the back of the fixture thru a 7/8" or even smaller hole for connection to the JB, which seems to be a clear violation of 410.24B (2014 NEC). How are these things getting UL listed. Am I missing something?

Please let me know if I need to add a photo to make this clear.

Thanks in advance. You are all a great resource.

Mark

410.jpg
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The fixtures is meant to be direct wired. If you try and install the fixture over a JB then IMO a 2" hole or larger is needed to be compliant.

Usually we just replace the bulbs and take out the ballast and install LED Tubes that don't need any drivers
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I think busman is referring to lights similar to this one available at the big box stores :


I've run into this before and have done as Buck Parrish has suggested. If you use a remodel plastic box on the fixture it's not enough to support the fixture. You'll have to try and hit a rafter or use toggle bolts to hold up the fixture as well.
I just installed one of those. They come with anchors & screws to use on the ends for support.
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
I'm trying to replace a 4 ft. fluorescent light in a customer's kitchen (without violating) 410.24B (2014 NEC). How are these things getting UL listed.
Suspension chains, or spacers may be provided with LED fixtures, which allow access to box with offset mounting.

Unlike florescent ballasts, linear LED listings max out @ 113°F ambient. To meet operating warranty periods linear LED installation instructions often prohibit surface mount, since full circulation is required to cool the drivers.
 

busman

Senior Member
Location
Northern Virginia
Occupation
Master Electrician / Electrical Engineer
The fixtures is meant to be direct wired. If you try and install the fixture over a JB then IMO a 2" hole or larger is needed to be compliant.

Usually we just replace the bulbs and take out the ballast and install LED Tubes that don't need any drivers
I think busman is referring to lights similar to this one available at the big box stores :


I've run into this before and have done as Buck Parrish has suggested. If you use a remodel plastic box on the fixture it's not enough to support the fixture. You'll have to try and hit a rafter or use toggle bolts to hold up the fixture as well.
Did it have a hole in the back to access the JB?

Thanks,

Mark
 

busman

Senior Member
Location
Northern Virginia
Occupation
Master Electrician / Electrical Engineer
The fixtures is meant to be direct wired. If you try and install the fixture over a JB then IMO a 2" hole or larger is needed to be compliant.

Usually we just replace the bulbs and take out the ballast and install LED Tubes that don't need any drivers
That was my plan, but the Fluorescent light that was there had no wiring cavity to make the splices.
 

jimport

Senior Member
Location
Maryland
Looks like the loophole is if the fixture is solely supported by the junction box skirts the requirements for access.

Some of the fixtures are not even wide enough to cover a junction box.
 

busman

Senior Member
Location
Northern Virginia
Occupation
Master Electrician / Electrical Engineer
So, I think the only answer, but not UL compliant, would be to punch a trade size hole and install one of these nylon bushings. Thanks for the responses. I found them up to the 2.5" trade size on amazon.

41kMWo7MyXL._AC_PIbundle-25,TopRight,0,0_SH20_.jpg
 

jap

Senior Member
I never understood this rule.

Most times the ballast or driver on a linear fixture covers the center of the fixture itself, and, oddly enough the center of the fixture is exactly where most want to mount a fixture over a box.

Cutting a 2" gaping hole in the back of a linear fixture to access a recessed box in the ceiling, if you actually can, never made a whole lot of sense to me either.

I can't think of lighting fixture that you don't have to remove some part of it to access the wiring in it, or behind it.

With all that being said, this is one area I'd have to say I'm guilty of violating at times with a simple 1/2" chase nipple and pigtail wiring from the recessed box down into the fixture.

If the wiring in the covered box ever needs to be accessed, I see it more as an inconvenience to take the fixture down than an electrical safety issue.

The real safety issue is the cuts you get by getting sliced open on the sharp metal edges that those who do cut the big hole in never bush.

JAP>
 

busman

Senior Member
Location
Northern Virginia
Occupation
Master Electrician / Electrical Engineer
I never understood this rule.

Most times the ballast or driver on a linear fixture covers the center of the fixture itself, and, oddly enough the center of the fixture is exactly where most want to mount a fixture over a box.

Cutting a 2" gaping hole in the back of a linear fixture to access a recessed box in the ceiling, if you actually can, never made a whole lot of sense to me either.

I can't think of lighting fixture that you don't have to remove some part of it to access the wiring in it, or behind it.

With all that being said, this is one area I'd have to say I'm guilty of violating at times with a simple 1/2" chase nipple and pigtail wiring from the recessed box down into the fixture.

If the wiring in the covered box ever needs to be accessed, I see it more as an inconvenience to take the fixture down than an electrical safety issue.

The real safety issue is the cuts you get by getting sliced open on the sharp metal edges that those who do cut the big hole in never bush.

JAP>
I'm planning to use a slug buster and the nylon bushing shown above.
 
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