NEC defines a luminaire as a complete lighting unit consisting of a light source such as lamp or lamps, together with the parts designed to position the light source and connect it to the power supply.*
Luminaire is the international term for “lighting fixture” and is used throughout the NEC.

There are literally thousands of different types of luminaries from which to choose to satisfy certain needs, wants, desires, space requirements, and, last but not least, price considerations. Whether the luminaire is incandescent or fluorescent, the basic categories are surface mounted, recessed mounted, and suspended ceiling mounted.

The Code Requirements
Article 410 sets forth the requirements for installing luminaires. The electrician must “meet Code” with regard to mounting, supporting, grounding, live-parts exposure, insulation clearances, supply
conductor types, maximum lamp wattages, and so forth.

Probably the two biggest contributing factors to fires caused by luminaries are installing lamp wattages that exceed that for which the luminaire has been designed, and burying recessed luminaries under thermal insulation when the luminaire has not been designed for such an installation.

Mountings for basic categories of luminaires.

Fluorescent                Incandescent
• Surface                     • Surface
• Recessed                   • Recessed
• Suspended Ceiling   • Suspended Ceiling

Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL) tests, lists, and labels luminaires that are in conformance with the applicable UL safety standards. Always install luminaires that bear the label from a qualified NRTL.

In addition to the NEC, the UL Electrical Construction Materials Directory (Green Book) and the UL Guide Information for Electrical Equipment (White Book), and manufacturers’ catalogs and literature
are excellent sources of information about luminaires.

NEC 110.3(B) states that Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.* It is important to carefully read the label and any instructions furnished with a luminaire.  Most Code requirements can be met by simply following this information. Here are a few examples of label and instruction information:

• Maximum lamp wattage
• Type of lamp
• For supply connections, use wire rated for at
least 8C
• Type-IC
• Type Non-IC
• Suitable for wet locations
• Thermally protected


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  3. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.