under-cabinet lights

Status
Not open for further replies.

jwelectric

Senior Member
Location
North Carolina
Re: under-cabinet lights

Jumping in and out of this between classes as I think that this needs to be settled fast before we have a bunch of people sticking pluck lighting under a cabinet and plugging it into the small appliance receptacle and crying this is the lighting outlet.

First we look at the piece of equipment that is being installed and what is its purpose. In the case of this post it is task lighting and not a piece of equipment that would be used in normal operations of cooking.

In the realm of the definition this is a light fixture so there fore it is a lighting outlet. It is used for the sole purpose of lighting. Call it anything you like but its purpose is still for light. If this light was in a magic bake oven then we might call it a cooking appliance or if it was to be used to keep the pipes or baby chicks from freezing then maybe a heating appliance. No, it is used for task lighting so there fore it is a light fixture.

This fixture is attached to the underside of the cabinet so I would call this a permanently installed lighting outlet. As outlined in 210.52 (B) (2) this would be a violation. Now should the contractor decide to bend a 16 penny nail over and tie a short piece of bailing twine to the light so it could be hung under the cabinet then I don?t have a problem.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Re: under-cabinet lights

Nothing in the code requires device to assist in the preparation of food, in order for it to be called an ?appliance.? A vacuum cleaner is an appliance. So is an iron. So is a washing machine. The first definition that appears in the dictionary I keep at my desk tells me an appliance is, ?An apparatus for a particular purpose or use.? That definition does not exclude a task light in general, and an under-counter light in specific. It does not even exclude a floor lamp or a table lamp, though I generally don?t hear the word ?appliance? used in connection with these devices.

I stand by my code references, and my conclusion. My (intentional, by the way) tricky use of logic was merely to presume you would all agree with me that this device is an appliance. So I?ll withdraw that step the logical process. What remains is this: I believe that the under-counter light is an appliance. I submit, therefore, that it can be screwed into place and plugged into a SA circuit. I offer 400.7(A) and (B) as my basis.

Originally posted by jwelectric: In the realm of the definition this is a light fixture so there fore it is a lighting outlet.
I definitely can?t agree with this statement. A light fixture is never an ?outlet,? even if it connects directly to a 4x4 box in the ceiling. The thing that is an ?outlet? is the 4x4 box. In the case of the puck light, the ?outlet? is whatever receptacle outlet into which it is plugged. I make this distinction because I do not agree that plugging a puck light into an SA receptacle violates the ?no other outlets? rule.

Once again, nothing in the code tells us what may, and what may not, be plugged into an SA receptacle.
 

jimwalker

Senior Member
Location
TAMPA FLORIDA
Re: under-cabinet lights

Ok install with velcro.What else would you suggest ? install an outlet to plug the light in ? would it need to be gfci protected since it does not serve the counter ?H ow will we keep appliances from being plugged into it ?
Yep we are going for 300 again :D
 

jwelectric

Senior Member
Location
North Carolina
Re: under-cabinet lights

Charlie
When I think about the small appliance this is what I think about.
Appliance. Utilization equipment, generally other than industrial, that is normally built in standardized sizes or types and is installed or connected as a unit to perform one or more functions such as clothes washing, air conditioning, food mixing, deep frying, and so forth.

When I think about a lighting outlet this is what I think about
Lighting Outlet. An outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder, a luminaire (lighting fixture), or a pendant cord terminating in a lampholder.
Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.

When I think about a light fixture I think about
410.1 Scope.
This article covers luminaires (lighting fixtures), lampholders, pendants, incandescent filament lamps, arc lamps, electric-discharge lamps, decorative lighting products, lighting accessories for temporary seasonal and holiday use, portable flexible lighting products, and the wiring and equipment forming part of such products and lighting installations.

When I think about a fixture being installed under a cabinet with screws and being plugged into a receptacle I can?t help but think that I have a light fixture (not a lamp) that is connected to a small appliance outlet.

Or I could have this installation with out problem should this permanently installed light fixture (not a lamp) be plugged into a lighting receptacle outlet.

Seeing that the NEC makes a very clear distinction between an appliance and a light fixture I can?t help but look at 210.52 (B) (2)
;)
 

allenwayne

Senior Member
Re: under-cabinet lights

No where in the nec does it say a SA has to be a toaster.coffe maker,broil oven just theat is has to be a 20 sa receptacle and it will serve no other outlets as defined in the NEC.
As long as the countertop receptacles spaced to code are 20 amp gfci protected then what you plug in is your choice either a toaster or a U/C/L.I defy anyone to show me where you can`t use a countertop receptacle for other than sa`s.If that was true then you could not use the receptacle for a phone where there is a jack next to the 20 a receptacle.The purpose in 210 52 for countertop receptacles was just to take them off the allowed 15 amp circuits in a home.
Stop beating a dead horse and get back to basics ;)
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
Re: under-cabinet lights

Originally posted by electricmanscott:
True. BUT, I have no doubt that this group can find some way to twist this around so bad that there would be no answer that we could all agree on. :D Three replies, going for 300!
This here is a guy who knows a thing or two! You guys are way too predictable! :D

[ April 28, 2005, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: electricmanscott ]
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
Re: under-cabinet lights

Originally posted by luke warmwater:
Scott,
I thought that prdictable was purpopsely spelled like that so we could get the feel of your accent. :D
Ha! Got you with the spell check! I would think "prdictable" would sound like "purrr-dictable" which would be more of a southern accent. I am always trying to control my accent which given the area I was born and raised in can be like trying to pahk a cah in Hahvahd Yahd"! Sadly there has never been and probably will never be a hollywood actor that can accurately reproduce a Boston accent on the big screen. Many have tried most have failed. This might actually be a good thing.
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Re: under-cabinet lights

JW, you are drawing a conclusion that the book doesn't support. Look at the definition of Branch Circuit, Appliance. "...that has no permanently connected luminaires..."

"Permanent" vs. "Cord-and-plug" connection is a basic principle touched on over and over again in the NEC, and gets flatly overlooked.
Originally posted by Dana1028:
I think I'm going to agree with jw on this one; once you fasten the luminaire to the cabinet it becomes permenant and not allowed on the sm. appl. br. ckt.
Where in the NEC do you find this? Who cares if it's permanent? This idea has no basis.

I believe it stems from a hasty reading of the definition I referenced above. People see "permanent", nod their head and move on, without realizing that the electrical connection is what can't be permanent.

JW wrote:
In the realm of the definition this is a light fixture so there fore it is a lighting outlet...

This fixture is attached to the underside of the cabinet so I would call this a permanently installed lighting outlet.
With all due respect, you have a bad principle stuck in your head, sir. It can be called a luminaire, it can be called an appliance, but in no way does it remotely resemble a lighting outlet:
An outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder, a luminaire (lighting fixture), or a pendant cord terminating in a lampholder.
How do I directly connect a keyless to an undercabinet light? :( :mad:
 

paul

Senior Member
Location
Snohomish, WA
Re: under-cabinet lights

Originally posted by georgestolz:
JW, you are drawing a conclusion that the book doesn't support. Look at the definition of Branch Circuit, Appliance. "...that has no permanently connected luminaires..."

"Permanent" vs. "Cord-and-plug" connection is a basic principle touched on over and over again in the NEC, and gets flatly overlooked.
Originally posted by Dana1028:
I think I'm going to agree with jw on this one; once you fasten the luminaire to the cabinet it becomes permenant and not allowed on the sm. appl. br. ckt.
Where in the NEC do you find this? Who cares if it's permanent? This idea has no basis.

I believe it stems from a hasty reading of the definition I referenced above. People see "permanent", nod their head and move on, without realizing that the electrical connection is what can't be permanent.

JW wrote:
In the realm of the definition this is a light fixture so there fore it is a lighting outlet...

This fixture is attached to the underside of the cabinet so I would call this a permanently installed lighting outlet.
With all due respect, you have a bad principle stuck in your head, sir. It can be called a luminaire, it can be called an appliance, but in no way does it remotely resemble a lighting outlet:
An outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder, a luminaire (lighting fixture), or a pendant cord terminating in a lampholder.
How do I directly connect a keyless to an undercabinet light? :( :mad:
It is a luminaire. Once the luminaire is fastened in place, it's called a fixture. Now that it's no longer portable and it's fastened in place it has to abide by article 410. A light fixture doesn't fall into the definition of appliance, no matter how you wish to stretch that definition.

[ April 28, 2005, 11:08 PM: Message edited by: paul ]
 
Re: under-cabinet lights

We can debate this until the end of time, which i wouldn't mind because i find it very amusing, but it all comes down to this:

Say it was a violation of NEC, how would it be enforced? It cant. Would the violation be in the design or when the homeowner plugs the light in? Say the inspector comes in for final, what is he going to say, "you cant plug that light in there"? The only other thing he can do is claim that you the electrician new the homeowner was going to want a under cab light there. Both cases are just rediculous. I'm going with its not a violation, but i already fed a plug from a lighting circuit, in addition to 4 SA circuits, for the light :D
 

jimwalker

Senior Member
Location
TAMPA FLORIDA
Re: under-cabinet lights

So if this light fixture is permanent then we have another issue.We can not use this method of wiring to a fixed fixture,it must be hard wired.
 

jwelectric

Senior Member
Location
North Carolina
Re: under-cabinet lights

There have been a couple of debates about installing a light fixture and feeding them from a small appliance circuit. This is a violation on 210.52 and no matter how it is construed is still a violation.

One defense to allowing this has been, ?how is it to be enforced? What is to stop the home owner from doing this?

When a home owner posts a question here he is blocked or locked out. Why is it then that we try to defend a violation by asking, how are you going to stop a home owner from doing something like this?

The replies that I make to these post will be with the thought in mind that what is being done will be inspected. Another point of confusion is what makes a lighting outlet. An outlet is any point that that current is taken to operate a piece of equipment. This could be a box with a cover or a box with a receptacle. If a receptacle has a lamp plugged in it then at the point of plugging in the lamp that receptacle becomes a lighting outlet. Is it still a receptacle outlet? Yes it is still a lighting receptacle outlet.

As far as to what a home owner will plug into any receptacle the code does not address. What the electrical contractor plugs into a receptacle the code directly address. Now is the original post directed at the home owner or the contractor? If it is directed to a contractor then it is a violation short and simple.
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Re: under-cabinet lights

Originally posted by jwelectric:
Another point of confusion is what makes a lighting outlet.
Only when we refuse to accept the definition provided. :D
An outlet is any point that that current is taken to operate a piece of equipment.
That's correct, according to the NEC definition of outlet.
This could be a box with a cover or a box with a receptacle.
An outlet can be either of those, yes.
If a receptacle has a lamp plugged in it then at the point of plugging in the lamp that receptacle becomes a lighting outlet.
Show me a reference to back that up. Unless there is some other section that modifies the definition of "lighting outlet", that statement is false.

You can't put on your wizard hat, wave a magic wand and KAPAZOW! combine the words "lighting" and "outlet", and ignore the NEC definition of the term!
Is it still a receptacle outlet? Yes it is still a lighting receptacle outlet.
Inventing your own terms does not strengthen your position.

What the electrical contractor plugs into a receptacle the code directly address.
Really? Where does it prohibit plugging a cord-and-plug connected luminaire into a SABC. Show me that and I will believe it.
If it is directed to a contractor then it is a violation short and simple.
I have a feeling this isn't going to be short, but is is simple. :D
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
Re: under-cabinet lights

My mom has a cord and plug connected lamp in her kitchen over her table. This is one of those wall mount type that is screwed to the wall. I am heading over there now with the AHJ to shut her down. :roll:
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Re: under-cabinet lights

Originally posted by jimwalker:
So if this light fixture is permanent then we have another issue.We can not use this method of wiring to a fixed fixture,it must be hard wired.
Not by 410.30. The argument I'm waiting for, is have you ever seen an undercabinet light below on SA receptacle. :D
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Re: under-cabinet lights

Originally posted by paul:
It is a luminaire. Once the luminaire is fastened in place, it's called a fixture. Now that it's no longer portable and it's fastened in place it has to abide by article 410. A light fixture doesn't fall into the definition of appliance, no matter how you wish to stretch that definition.
Paul, your results are right, but I still don't agree with the "fastened in place" bit. I'd say 410.1 says it best. "...luminaires...decorative lighting products...holiday use..." Who screws down their Christmas lights? But they are still under the scope of 410.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top