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Grounding permanently mounted portable luminaires

Posted By Underwriters Laboratories, Friday, May 01, 2009
Updated: Thursday, February 07, 2013

Question: Grounding permanently mounted portable luminaires

Are permanently mounted portable luminaires required to be grounded? I have seen some wall-mounted portable luminaires that are cord connected with a polarized plug, even though these products often have quite a bit of exposed metal.


Actually, there is a requirement for permanently mounted portable luminaires to be grounded. The requirement for grounding permanently mounted portable luminaires became effective on February 18, 2006, so it may have taken some time for stock to clear on products manufactured to the previous requirements prior to the effective date.
UL lists portable luminaires under the product category "Luminaires, Portable, (QOWZ).” Guide Information for this category can be found in UL’s Online Certifications Directory at and on page 273 in the 2008 UL White Book. UL listed portable luminaires are evaluated to the Standard for Safety for Portable Electric Luminaires, ANSI/UL 153.

UL 153 requires a wall-mounted unit that has accessible metal parts to be provided with a grounding attachment plug. However, there are exceptions to the grounding requirement for products that employ non-permanent means (removal without the use of tools) to mount them to the surface. These include units that include a separable bracket for mounting that does not contain wiring and does not require tools for attachment to the luminaire, and luminaires with ring hangers, keyhole slots, or notches in the luminaire that permit removal from the mounting hardware without the use of a tool.

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Tags:  May-June 2009  UL Question Corner 

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