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Home > Ideal Electrical > Luminaire Ballast Disconnects

Ideal Power Plug Flourescent Luminaire Retrofit & OEM Lighting Ballast Disconnect


  • Meets CEC and NEC code changes for non-residential fluorescent luminaires with ballasts
  • Perfect for OEM or retrofit ballast lighting fixture applications
  • Patented push-in technology quickly locks wires in luminaire disconnect connector 
  • Passes UL 2459 & CSA 182.3 finger probe requirements
  • Fits through 1/2 in. knockout in lighting fixtures
  • Luminaire Disconnect pieces pull apart safely and easily
  • 3/8 in. strip length indicator
  • Thumb ridges provide superior grip
  • Power Plug Luminaire Disconnect Specifications
    Wire Range
    Copper Alloy
    Solid: 12 AWG - 18 AWG
    Ratings Stranded: 12 AWG - 14 AWG
    (19 strand or less)
    Temperature: 105°C(221°F) Stranded Tin-Bonded 12 AWG (19 strand or less)
    14 AWG (19 strand or less)
    16 AWG (26 strand or less)
    18 AWG (16 strand or less)
    Flammability: UL 94V-0
    Current Interruption 10 Cycles Min.
    Max. Current Rating Agency Approvals
    120V 3 Amps UL 2459 CSA 182.3
    277V 1.3 Amps Physical
    347V 1 Amps Strip Length: 3/8" ± 1/16"
    480V 0.75 Amps Number of Circuits: 2 (3 circuit coming soon)
    600V 0.60 Amps Color: Orange and White
    Patents Pending Mating/Unmating Force: 3-8 Pounds


    Fluorescent luminaires are sometimes serviced while energized to avoid removing illumination from an area. This includes the full replacement of ballasts, often requiring individuals to work while on ladders, allowing limited mobility and/or ability to react to shock incidents where the worker may come into contact with energized parts. One leading cause of fatalities for electricians is electrocution while working on 277-volt lighting systems. When the electrician gets to the wire nut with three white wires (neutral), the thought is that these are grounded conductors and aren't hazardous.

    In fact, these white wires carry the unbalanced load current from all phases of the white wires. When the electrician opens the wire nut and gets between two of the white wires, shock or electrocution can result.

    New requirement - Article 410.73(G) - is an effort to provide safer conditions for those performing this type of service.
    Disconnecting Means for Electric-Discharge Lighting Systems—has been added. This article requires a disconnecting means to be installed either inside or outside the luminaire that can disconnect all conductors of the ballasts. The type of lighting equipment involved in this code include fluorescent luminaires that use double ended lamps and/or contain ballasts.

    Included are (5) five exceptions that cover installations or conditions where variations of the rule are needed or where it is not considered practical to apply this requirement, such as in emergency lighting ,and in hazardous locations.

    The article reads as follows:

    410.73 (G) Disconnecting Means: Other than dwellings and accessory structures, all indoor locations with fluorescent lighting (fixtures) which contain ballast(s), use lamps that can be serviced in place or reballasted luminaries that are supplied from multiwire branch circuits and contain ballast(s) which can be serviced in place shall have a disconnecting means either internal or external to each luminaire (fixture), to disconnect simultaneously from the source of supply all conductors of the ballast, including the grounded conductor if any. The line side terminals of the disconnecting means shall be guarded. The disconnecting means shall be located so as to be accessible to qualified persons before servicing or maintaining the ballast. This requirement shall become effective January 1, 2008.

    Exception 1: A disconnecting means shall not be required for luminaires (fixtures) installed in hazardous (classified) location(s).

    Exception 2: A disconnecting means shall not be required for emergency illumination required in 700.16.

    Exception 3: For cord-and-plug-connections, an accessible plug and receptacle or an accessible separable connector shall be permitted to serve as means for disconnecting.

    Exception 4: A disconnecting means shall not be required in industrial establishments with restricted public access where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the installation by written procedures.

    Exception 5: Where more than one luminaire is installed and supplied by other than a multiwire branch circuit, a disconnecting means shall not be required for every luminaire when the design of the installation includes locally accessible disconnects, such that the illuminated space cannot be left in total darkness.

    By installing a disconnecting means for each ballast allows the building owner a superior safeguard in preventing eloctrocutions during servicing.  For a small office building, cost may become an issue and this scenario would not affect the budget. However, a high-rise or commercial building, installing a disconnect at each ballast becomes very costly. This is when the exceptions have their merit. For example, Exceptions 3 and 5 can keep the area safe for servicing while staying within budget. Exception 3 allows the installation of a plug type disconnect, so that the individual ballast can be unplugged and serviced safely. Exception 5 allows multiple luminaires to share one disconnect or plug. Now, a design with 50 luminaires can perhaps have two disconnects means or plugs, having every other luminaire or a series on one branch, and the others on a separate branch. This way only one branch would be disconnected at a time to service the illuminated space and not be left in total darkness when doing so.

    This new requirement will allow servicing electricians to de-energize ballasts without removing light from the affected work area. This way they can safely change out the ballast without being exposed to any unnecessary electrocution hazard(s). This change has been given an effective date of Jan. 1, 2008, to allow manufacturers time to develop products for this application and allow sufficient time for the industry to prepare to include switches for this type of lighting.

    Ideal Industries Power Plug Luminaire Disconnect allows safe disconnection of fluorescent luminaires

    Ideal Industries has introducted the Power Plug Luminaire Disconnect, a connector that enables fluorescent lighting fixtures (ballasts) to be disconnected without exposure to live wires.

    The Luminaire Disconnect was developed in response to a new National Electrical code requirement that will go into effect on January 1, 2008. A similar industry requirement is currently in effect via the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1, Canada, 2006 Edition.

    The PowerPlug Disconnect is CSA certified for this application and is UL listed. It complies with NEC 410.73 (G), 2005 edition, and CEC part 1, rule 30-308(4).

    The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has stated that 277-volt lighting circuits are the most lethal to electricians. Connected between a fluorescent lighting fixture or ballast and incoming power, the Luminaire Disconnect is a cost-effective solution that enables the electrician to service the luminaire without exposure to dangerous voltage.

    The Luminaire Disconnect consists of a male and female disconnect body with pre-stripped wire connected to the male and female contacts. The contacts, similar to Sta-Kon's male and female terminal disconnects, are made of tin-plated brass. The disconnect terminals are housed in abrasion-, impact, and crack-resistant polycarbonate.

    The disconnects features also include a finger-safe female line side with wire connectors that prevent the installer form touching hot contacts, eliminating the need to disconnect power to service the fluorescent luminaire. The male side is connected to the fluorescent luminaire ballast ? not to active power.

    Other features include No. 18 AWG copper insulated wire leads, fully compatible with a multitude of copper or aluminum wire sizes, to simplify installation, as well as an integral latch in the polycarbonate housing, providing a visible and audible verification that the contacts are secured and preventing nuisance outages by not disengaging under small amounts of tension on the wires. An additional benefit of the integral leads is the ability to provide a safe disconnect for a single luminaire that holds a multitude of ballasts. A single disconnect removes the existing voltage from all the ballasts within the luminaire.

    Beginning in 2008, all new luminaires must be installed with a luminaire disconnect.

    When replacing a fluorescent luminaire in a commercial building, for example, the code will require the installation of a luminaire disconnect between the ballast and the power line. Once installed, the disconnect will allow the servicing electrician to disconnect power to the ballast without handling live wires.


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