Title 24 and Current limiter...

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Old 10-08-18, 11:26 PM
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Title 24 and Current limiter...

To try to make a long story short, I have recently (2 months ago) taken on the lease of a building for my up and coming restaurant. I have a strong understanding of high voltage and low voltage at residential level, and an ok understanding at commercial level.

The building we have leased and started renovating, started as a "nearly turnkey" restaurant and has ended with a "OMG, how many times can you put a bandaid on a bandaid?!?!". From light fixtures running with 18 gauge wire, to 220v circuits connected to dual 110v outlets, to 30 amp breakers connected to 15 amp outlets. The "WTF factor" has surpassed my wildest dreams. I've even found 14 gauge wire in the breaker panel, and in Commercial in California, the minimum circuit is 20 amps. There is no reason for 14 gauge wire in that panel!

In trying to bring everything to code, clean up the disaster in plumbing, wiring, and so on, I found that the most recent lighting update, only done a year or two prior to us taking over by Lamps Plus, had never been permitted, and the light fixtures that we expected to re-use after removing the drop lid, and re-wiring to hang from the physical drywall lid, are not title 24 compliant, it's put me in a bit of a pickle. They currently are all LED fixtures, but they are medium base bulb LED fixtures, meaning, I could technically remove the LED lamps and replace them with 60w Incandescent. Therefor, they do not comply.

In addition, I've also purchased 15 track light fixtures with LED lamps to match, also Medium Base lamps. From what I understand by Title 24, I can not use medium based lamps in pendants, but I CAN use them in track lighting, provided I install a current regulator.

This is where the confusion strikes. From everything I understand of LED, they are much like Fluorescent in the mindset that they require a current burst to "ignite", then drop to a low power level to maintain. This is why the average dimmer that can handle 1000W+ of incandescent lights can only handle 150W of LED lamps. If a 150w of LED circuit requires a 1000W Dimmer to accommodate the current spike, wouldn't a current limiter prevent them from getting the current they require to properly power up, as well as dim smoothly rather than jerky/obvious steps? How can I properly install a current limiter on each of my 15 track lights that have 13w per fixture, 3 fixtures per track light, without causing issues with their ability to perform as designed?

Any info would be appreciated!
 
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Old 10-08-18, 11:31 PM
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BTW, the plan to resolve the non-compliance with the exiting pendant fixtures is to have the bases changed out from screw in medium bases to 2 prong LED only bases. The reduced heat and rating of fixture should easily conform to the fixtures' existing UL requirements, and if I don't say anything to the inspector, the blatantly obvious 2 prong connectors should be enough to move forward. It still doesn't tell me how to deal with the current limiter situation etc.
 
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Old 10-09-18, 04:29 AM
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What is the current limit for one individual track light fixture or system?

Depending on the technology, current limiters may allow a somewhat greater current flow for a few seconds at turn on and/or at isolated times during operation. Those that cut off the power immediately upon being overloaded are the more advanced and expensive one. If there is an absolute current limit at any point in a circuit then you could install multiple current limiters, possibly one per fixture.

A local inspector should be able to tell you whether a light fixture or system may be modified with different style of lamp socket.
 
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Old 10-09-18, 09:54 AM
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I haven't been able to confirm, but from what I've come across, it sounds like the requirement is a 45w current limiter per track light, though I could be wrong. Also, do these current limiters fit in the jbox with the light fixture, or do I need a separate jbox next to it to put the current limiter inside? If I require a current limiter for every fixture and it requires a separate box for each, is there any rule that says it has to be within X number of feet of the device? Due to the old design on the lid for this building, I can't drill the cross beams, so I have to run a line down every stud bay for each individual light fixture. My plan was to have a jbox mounted at the starting point for each stud bay to save a little in wire, and I could have the limiter at those jboxes.

The other issue is we plan to dim these lights. Will the current limiter effect our ability to dim?

As for the light fixtures, changing of the socket, a Title 24 rep told me they didn't see a problem with it, and the light store I spoke with said they've done this in the past to meet Title 24 requirements, but the city was apprehensive as they were stating that it would then make the fixture no longer UL rated. Being that we are reducing the max power draw, and the max heat generated by forcing a max of 10w or 13w LED lamps, I figured this would be a moot point.
 
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Old 10-09-18, 09:35 PM
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As for the light fixtures, changing of the socket, a Title 24 rep told me they didn't see a problem with it, and the light store I spoke with said they've done this in the past to meet Title 24 requirements, but the city was apprehensive as they were stating that it would then make the fixture no longer UL rated.
Technically the city is right. A light fixture is presented to UL for certification. ANY change in that fixture negates the UL listing. It's a small thing but if that fixture caused a fire and the insurance company investigated.... could be cause for no coverage.
 
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