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What is electrical code for installing low voltage panel lights?

What is electrical code for installing low voltage panel lights?

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  #1  
Old 08-05-16, 12:41 AM
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What is electrical code for installing low voltage panel lights?

I an remodeling and wanted to install recessed lighting. I tripped up on low voltage LED panel lights and thought I hit the motherload. Cheap, simple to install, energy efficient. What could go wrong? I bought them.

Then I started to think about requirements for normal recessed lighting. IC vs Non-IC. Just by the name these were designed for drop ceiling panels. I asked questions from the supplier (China) and kept being reassured they were great quality blah, blah, blah...

What I want to know is what is the CORRECT way by electrical code to install these in a ceiling with an attic and insulation above?

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Old 08-05-16, 02:57 AM
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I question how the 120 volt connection is made to the transformer. It must be in an accessible enclosure with a cover. Their drawing just shows a "connection". Do you have a manufacturer's name/model so we can look up the specs on the lighting? Do you have insulation on top of your drop ceiling panels?
 
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Old 08-05-16, 06:21 AM
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Recessed ceiling fixtures often have a junction box next to them up in the ceiling. Removal of the fixture itself (or sometimes just part of the fixture) gives access to the box.

Do the fixtures have the IC rating?

Low voltage wiring in the wall or ceiling needs to be rated for flammability. You can use Romex safely. Junction boxes are not needed for low voltage connections. In fact, "outlet boxes" for low voltage usually have open backs and are just sturdy enough to hold the wall plate or receptacle or fixture.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 08-05-16 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 08-05-16, 07:54 AM
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We'd need to see make & model to get the specs. Unfortunately many of the cheap direct from Asia electrical items you find on Amazon or eBay do not have approval for use in the USA due to not meeting safety specs. Hopefully this isn't the case with the ones you bought, but we may be able to find out.
 
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Old 08-08-16, 04:05 AM
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I am sorry for the delayed reply. Strangely, I received no notifications of replies to my post and I forgot to check back. Now, out of curiosity I check and there they are.

Although I bought these from a US supplier ebay, but I believe they get them direct from Asia. There is no IC rating that I can see. Here is a link to the product I bought.

Like I said in the original post, after buying them I am concerned I will not install them "to code". I don't want to create a fire hazard.
 
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Old 08-08-16, 01:27 PM
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I enlarged the label on the driver for everyone's viewing pleasure.
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The first thing that jumps out at me is no UL (or other US) listing. The pros will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe CE is acceptable in the US.
 
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Old 08-08-16, 03:49 PM
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My concern still remains. How do you connect the line voltage to the unit? It will need a junction box to house the connection.
 
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Old 08-08-16, 05:59 PM
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CE is not a testing lab. From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking

"By affixing the CE marking on a product, a manufacturer is declaring, at its sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking which allows free movement and sale of the product throughout the European Economic Area."
 
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Old 08-09-16, 04:12 AM
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Doesn't US electrical code address low voltage lighting like this?

Barring knowledge from that I would be most concerned with the LED driver/transformer. What I had planned to do was to enclose the 120v connection to the driver/transformer inside a metal junction box. The ~16v - 48v output lead would exit the metal box via a NM cable clamp connector. So the only thing touching the insulation would be this cable and the LED panel light.
 
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