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#189033 09/16/09 04:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,462
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
I was at a picnic recently, in a very nice park. The picnic shelters were particularly nice, with glulam and structural tubing for the framing. I noticed these lights under the canopy:

[Linked Image from]

Personally, I think it's a very neat and professional installation. Yet, I also see two issues that are worth discussing.

First, note the screen added atop the light, to prevent birds from nesting. I concede that bird nests are an issue that needs to be addressed, for a variety of reasons .... but I also guarantee that some bird-brain will peck away, claiming that this modification will conflict with the listing. What say you?

Second, These lights typically call for 105 degree wire, and are marked 'not for use inside dwellings,' or some such. The reason for both stipulations is that they get HOT. Would you consider installing them, surrounded by wood as they are, to be a fire hazard?

Horizontal Ad
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 943
Likes: 2
If they get hot enough to cause a fire, the polycarbonate refractor will melt, I have the same Hubbell fixtures on my shop mounted to plain T-1-11 fir siding w/ no problems w/ them...

For those who are not familiar with those wallpacks, the back is cast aluminum, the refractor is plastic, & that model has a vert. mounted lamp.

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 13
Being in the UK, I'm not familiar with US codes and the whole "listing" thing. Could somebody explain how the piece of mesh, which does not appear to be attached to the light, could be a modification that conflicts with the listing?

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,294
I don't think that the mesh could be construed to be a problem by any inspector. There's plenty of air circulation around the fixture. There are many "bird spikes" atop outdoor fixtures.

'not for use inside dwellings' Means just that..

Plenty of Commercial buildings have wood siding.

as for the 105C wire..... I wonder just how many installers wire them with 90C rated THHN/THWN-2 and call it done?


Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,959
Likes: 34
Since this does not actually modify the luminaire and it doesn't affect airflow I can't see how it affects the listing. My only question, from a maintenance standpoint, is if it affects relamping.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Well, something has 'nested' on that conduit. Looks like a solitary wasp or spider nest. There is not enough room above that fixture for birds to nest in. My guess is it's to deter certain 2 legged beasts from hinging the cover down and....

As to a fire risk, the mesh does not interfere with air flow, so I doubt it would have any effect on the temperature.

Wood work but can't!
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Maybe a potter wasp?

A paralysed caterpillar is stuffed in through the hole, & injected with a wasp egg & sealed. It then hatches & eats the prey alive...
Some of these wasps are huge, but rare. I saw one in the Charante Maritime a couple of years back, it was at least 2" long!

Last edited by Alan Belson; 09/16/09 07:28 PM. Reason: clarify

Wood work but can't!
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,462
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Adamh, "listing" refers to the approval of an item by some testing agency. Here, UL (Underwriters' Lab) is the 900lb gorilla of the electrical business.

UL will write its' own standards, then test products "for public safety." They then license the use of their marks on the product. As a point of grammar, UL will insist that it doesn't 'approve' products, it simply 'lists' them. So, we will say a product is "UL listed." In many places of our electrical code, we are limited to using 'listed' products.
Now the fun begins. UL, naturally, can only speak as to the conditions under which a product was tested. Whenever a product is used in an unusual way, or the product is modified, an argument can start as to whether or not the use is contrary to the intended, or 'listed' use of the product.
Some ninnies will even question the practice of twisting the wires under a wire nut, as UL does not twist them in their evaluation.

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