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Light Fixture Grounding Wire

Light Fixture Grounding Wire

Light Fixture Grounding Wire

I am looking to replace several recessed dimming incandescent light fixtures. However, these were installed over 20 years ago and there is no equipment grounding conductor in the lighting branch circuits. Only a hot and neutral conductor.

The new fixtures will be recessed dimming CFL and the intent was to reuse the lighting branch circuits. From what I understand, NEC Art. 250 requires an equipment grounding conductor for this installation so reusing the existing conductors would not meet code.

Would this be applicable to lighting fixture replacements as well? I am not sure if the circuits need to be brought up to code if we are only replacing the fixtures.

Does it make a difference if we did a retrofit instead of fixture replacement?

Please advise.

Thank you very much.

RE: Light Fixture Grounding Wire

Whatever advice you get here, the AHJ will have the final say. There was a provision in the code that allowed a lot of leeway in adding a grounding conductor for upgrades. I don't know if this rule is still in effect.

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Light Fixture Grounding Wire


If you were to be in California, CEC 410.18(B) states:"Luminaires directly wired or attached to outlets supplied by a wiring method that does not provide a ready means for grounding shall be made of insulating material and shall have no exposed conductive parts."

There is an exception, (No 2), which states: "Where no equipment grounding conductor exists at the outlet, replacement luminaires that are GFCI protected shall not be required to be connected to an equipment grounding conductor."

I hope that is of some help.


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