The colored lights aren't for the motor, they're for the people. Red means "STOP! DON'T STICK YOUR FINGERS IN HERE! THE POWER IS ON!!!" I usually get a few folks who thing that the pilot lights should be traffic signals for the motor. BTW, when I was working for GE, I went through their training program for 12 weeks. We had 1 guy who INSISTED that the pilot lights should be like traffic signals. After a few instances of "fixing" the training equipment to match his interpretation of reality, he got dragged into the Director's office and was told: 1. You're wrong; everybody needs to be on the same page. 2. Changing the colored bezels is dangerous to the other students and can get someone killed. 3. If I hear about ONE more incident, you're fired before you even graduate. I don't necessarily have an issue with any convention, but everybody needs to respect it when it's made. Electrons go the wrong way, 3-way switches go in 2 places, single phase can have 1 hot or 2; we don't need to be 100% correct, but we need to agree to disagree or someone will get hurt.
It's similar to the color codes of wiring...there are many different standards.
Pilot light len's colors differ according to industry. See NFPA-79 for some examples. It has a complete list. Ones I can think of are: Amber = Running Red = Stopped or abnormal condition White = Status
The equipment built where I work (HVAC equipment) uses green for run and red for fail. We also tag all lights and put the lens color on the prints. I guess it comes down to paying attention to what you are working on.
Dr. Electron,I know exactly what you mean.We have a new plant with Square D Model 6 mcc's Just the standard manual/off/auto selector switch and one red pilot light that comes on when the starter closes.If you press the pilot light cover with the selector switch in the off position it will light up for a self test.I haven't checked to see if can be wired as a momentary contact but thats what people take it for and believe they jogging the motor when they press it.Also a burnt out light can easily be mistaken for a stopped motor. I'm almost positive that Allen Bradly at one time or still does used Green for start and red for stop.Could be Westinghouse though. When i worked in a panel shop we color coded the lights as bill described but if we had more than one light they all got permanently tagged. I have to agree with amber or green for running and red for stopped simply because every operator/maintenance guy knows a red button means stop and logically surmises a red light to be stopped.Green means go and amber caution so...In fact i have seen fwd/rev motor starter buss pluggs come factory wired like a stop light ready to be racked and wired. It's not so much for us as them because the day you trust idiot light could be your last when trouble shooting an unfamiliar machine. Just MHO. cheers
[This message has been edited by frank (edited 02-22-2006).]
They aren't always that way. It's not too unusual for the colors to be reversed. In our system we have them both ways. I've seen the plans and the dern engrs have speced them both ways. Plans approval people approve them and the confusion begins. Same for lighting contactors.
I seem to recall reading several threads elsewhere (maybe the Engineering Tips forum?) on this subject, and the conclusion being that there is no particular standard for red and green equating to run and stop/on or off. Different industries and plants seem to use different schemes.