The National Electrical Code (NEC) updates every three years. Here are four changes this code cycle (2023 edition of the NEC) that impact lighting:

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Horticultural Lighting

To address certain potential hazards in the horticultural lighting industry, Sec. 410.184 clarifies that GFCI protection is required where the horticultural lighting is connected with flexible cords using separable connectors or attachment plugs. A new Exception allows lighting equipment supplied with circuits over 150V to be protected with a listed special-purpose ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) that trips at 20mA instead of 6mA.

Wiring and Equipment Installed Above Hazardous (Classified) Locations

Section 511.17 went through a significant transformation as it was reorganized into a list format with additional requirements for listed fittings and equipment grounding conductors (EGCs) added to the mix. The term “Class I” was replaced by “Hazardous (Classified)” in five locations, including the title of this Section, as the zone classification system no longer uses the “Class I” designation. This Section was also reorganized from a long paragraph into nine list items for usability, and requirements were added to most of the wiring methods.

Receptacles, Luminaires, and Switches

The requirements for GFCI protection of receptacles in (A)(4) were expanded this cycle in Sec. 680.22 to include all receptacles rated 60A or less within 20 ft of a pool wall. This previously only applied to 15A and 20A, 125V receptacles. This Section also requires GFCI protection for specific equipment installed in the area between 5 ft and 10 ft horizontally from the inside walls of a pool. New language in (B)(4) expands the required protection by adding an SPGFCI requirement that will allow equipment operating above 150V to ground to also be protected.

Class-2-Powered Emergency Lighting Systems

A new Sec. 700.11 for Class 2 wiring provides the requirements for these systems. This new Section addresses technologies such as PoE and other emergency lighting systems that utilize Class 2 power. The other rules in this Article address line voltage systems, and this new Section provides requirements for low-voltage emergency systems.