Code Clusters 3: Homemade "Can" Light


Code Clusters is a fond look back at some of the most interesting and outlandish Code violations published in the pages of EC&M magazine over the past 15 years — the item below is the ninth in a series of 10. Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear your feedback! Post your thoughts in the box below.


Homemade "Can" Light

All references based on the 2005 edition of the NEC.

NEC Violations Illustrated - Can Lamp

Rich Romero, president of Assured Electrical Solutions, Inc., Sunrise, Fla., ran across this homemade light fixture while rewiring a bathroom at a residential property. The 1-lb coffee can unit was installed in the attic space directly above the shower stall supported by its own lamp cord. The crafty installer had also cut a 2-ft × 2-ft hole in the ceiling of the pre-molded shower unit and placed a piece of frosted plastic over the top of this opening to serve as a lens for the homemade light fixture.

“The amount of work that went into this installation is amazing,” Romero says. “Note how the installer spent the time to drill vent holes in the bot­tom of the can for heat dissipation. He even cut and bent in two sections of the top of the can to serve as mounting flanges for the keyless light fixture.”

As per 110.8, “Only wiring methods recognized as suitable are included in this Code.” Obviously, this installation doesn’t meet this requirement. In addition, Part VII of Art. 410 outlines the construction requirements of luminaires (fixtures), including fixture marking, electrical rat­ing, and design and material criteria. This homemade luminaire doesn’t even come close to meeting the criteria set forth in these Code sections. This so-called “can” light also violates the temperature requirements noted in Part XII of the same Article (Sec. 410.68).

See next violation: Lack of Working Space and Missing Knockouts


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