The NEC ensures safety of electrical installations

The National Electrical Code (NEC) published by the NFPA 70 is the guiding force for electrical safety in the US. It has been shaping regulations since 1897. The NEC is crucial for electricians in the US, ensuring safe electrical practices across residential, commercial, and industrial spaces.

2023 NEC update challenges battery-powered switches

However, the 2023 NEC update brings new challenges, specifically regarding wall-mounted devices. The code now mandates a fail-safe mechanism in case of battery failure in switches or control sensors, emphasizing safety in habitable rooms and hospitality spaces. It mandates that wall-mounted switches must have a constant power supply to ensure functionality even if the primary battery fails. This seemingly paradoxical requirement, demanding additional wiring despite the fire hazards associated with it, presents a conundrum for traditional battery-powered switches.

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire deaths. Conditions that make these fires possible can occur long before a fire presents – largely as a result of wiring being installed or repaired incorrectly, or when receptacles, power strips or cords are overloaded.

Energy harvesting as wireless solution

In response to these stringent requirements, energy harvesting-powered light switches emerge as the only compliant wireless solution. These devices not only meet safety standards but also offer enhanced efficiency and sustainability. That´s why they are a wise choice for any building. They harvest energy from various sources, including room light, temperature differences, and magnetic fields. By reducing the reliance on copper and PVC in walls and minimizing power consumption, energy harvesting-powered switches contribute to enhanced sustainability and a reduced environmental impact.

Pioneering energy harvesting

EnOcean, the pioneer in energy harvesting technology, has been producing maintenance-free wireless switches and sensors for over 20 years. The combination of miniaturized energy converters, ultra-low power electronics, and robust radio technology forms the foundation of safe and sustainable light switches. EnOcean products are available with different radio standards (EnOcean, Bluetooth®, Zigbee). They can be integrated into open multi-protocol connectivity solutions based on open standards.

A solution for safety and sustainability

EnOcean energy harvesting technology is not just a solution to meet the 2023 NEC requirements. It’s a gateway to a sustainable and efficient future in smart homes, buildings, and spaces. Embracing this technology ensures compliance, safety, and a reduced carbon footprint, marking a significant step forward in the realm of electrical devices.

About The Author

Bent Soerensen is Senior Vice President Sales for the Americas at EnOcean. He has in-depth experience as IoT advisor to both start-ups and big OEM/ODMs, security, insurance and property management companies, software platform providers and international service providers in the Americas and EMEA looking to offer customized commercial or residential automation. Prior to joining EnOcean, Bent was Vice President of sales at Ezlo Innovation, General Manager Americas at Danalock, and Senior Sales Director at Sigma Designs Z-Wave low-power wireless technology in both Europe and the Americas from 2007-2018. Bent holds an MBA in International Management, an MA in International Business Communications and a Certificate of Management Practices from New York University.