Adding UPS to light circuit

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My house lighting is all LED total wattage with all on is less than 100 watts. What I want to do is to be able to connect my light circuits to the UPS during emergencies like this ice storm that is coming up. Not worried about heat or the fridge, I have gas heater backup and not enough in the fridge to worry about. Are there approved ways of connecting in the UPS that does not involve adding a transfer switch. __________________________________________________________________________
Nope - no approved ways I know of. Lots of jury-rigged possibilities though. The only way to evade the NEC on this is to use low voltage power. Install 12VDC LED lights throughout the house on a dedicated circuit that's always powered by a large (costly) deep discharge battery on a constant charging circuit. If you use a car battery you'll severely shorten its life if you deeply discharge it more than a few times.
If these are 110VAC fixtures then there's very little hope of doing what you want to do and having it approved by an inspector. But it is an interesting idea and probably will be the way things are done 50 years from now.
SH
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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:32:43 AM UTC-5, Sherlock.Homes wrote:

If he's willing to buy the right UPS, of course it can be done. From a practical standpoint, I think he wants to use a typical UPS that's cord/plug connected and that you plug loads into. And I agree, no code compliant way to take a house light circuit and put it into that.
Lots of jury-rigged possibilities

NEC covers that too.

NEC covers that too.

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On Wed, 12 Feb 2014 10:32:43 -0500, "Sherlock.Homes"

that are hardwired into the house circuitry.
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On 2/12/2014 6:31 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

120vac to power low current LED lights when the power loss converting DC to AC with the UPS unit is so wasteful. I would consider a 12vdc lighting. All the new emergency exit lights I see are LED units so the OP could get LED table lamps that plug into wall outlets which would come on automatically when the power went out. Very simple plug and play which would be a lot less complicated than any rewiring. ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 19:08:04 -0600, The Daring Dufas

it back into AC. That only happens with "dual conversion" or "online" UPS units. A standby UPS is, in effect, an automatic transfer switch, a battery charger, and an inverter. When there is power on the line in, it transfers (connects) directly to the line out. When the line in fails, the automatic transfer device shuts off the connection between line in and line out, pawers up the inverter, and connects the inverter output to the line out..
When line power resumes, the unit transfers from inverter output to line power, shuts off the inverter, and recharges the battery. This is how better than 90% of "consumer grade" UPS units work - and all "standby lighting" ups units. Dual Conversion UPS units are more expensive, less common, and less efficient - but classify as a seperately derived power source and TOTALLY decouple from line noise, harmonics, etc that can upset some very sensitive equipment.
And any UPS of ANY size runs on 36 volts or more - most on 48 and 60 volts.
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On 2/13/2014 7:18 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

and a 750w unit on the counter to my left. Both units have two 12v AGM batteries in series internally and an external connector for extra 24v battery packs. I have dealt with UPS systems that were the size of a bedroom closet and filled with a dozen batteries of the size one would find under the hood of an automobile. The UPS units I possess put out a modified square wave which computers and such equipment find acceptable. I've only had to install true sine wave UPS units to power certain phone systems. ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:28:57 -0600, The Daring Dufas

"all UPSs.. The little cheap crap runs on 12 volts. The intermediates run on 24. 1000 watts and up GENERALLY run on higher voltage. My Powerware Presige 1000 units rin on 48 and 60 volts. So do their 750 watt units.
And as far as "modified square wave" and "quasi sine wave" it's semantics. How many steps for quasi sine, and how few for modified square? True sine is different (much more costly) technology - which, as you note, is generally not required - certainly not for a lighting unit. It's one of those "cabinet style" units the OP needs to install for lighting because they have no plugs. But he does not need the dual conversion that MOST of those cabinet units run.
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On 2/14/2014 12:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

LED lamps strikes me as bizarre. It would be so much simpler to get LED lamps with built in batteries that would come on or continue to stay lit when the power goes out. If I wanted uninterpretable lighting, I can come up with several less complicated ways to do it. Heck, for many years, I installed fluorescent fixtures that had built in battery backup systems. Plug and play would be less complicated and so much easier. I found a new one that's screw and play and I'm sure there are others. ^_^
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/127019135/smartchargetm-never-be-in-the-dark-again
http://preview.tinyurl.com/mmblj76
http://www.thegreenhead.com/2007/09/8-hour-emergency-power-failure-light.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/2jmcu9
http://lizstevens.hubpages.com/hub/12-Volt-DC-Household-Fans-12-Volt-Table-Lamps-Power-Outage-Off-Grid-RV-Camping
http://preview.tinyurl.com/lx7arsf
TDD
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On Friday, February 14, 2014 2:43:44 PM UTC-5, The Daring Dufas wrote:

I agree with that. As someone else pointed out many posts ago, there are flashlight type LED lights that come with a holder that plugs into a wall outlet. They function as a rechargeable LED flashlight and if the power goes off when they are seated in the charger/holder, they light up. A few of those, plus an LED lantern or two would seem a reasonable solution to me.
Or if you want to power more, ie furnace, well pumps, more lights, fridge etc, then a portable generator with a lockout kit on the panel is what I would do.
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TDD sez:

Your often "uninterpretable" writing might actually benefit from uninterruptible lighting. If you use phone wire or twin lead or coax to power your lighting circuit then it *will* be "uninterpretable" to anyone coming after you. Especially anyone insane enough to expect phone wire to be connected to (wait for it) telephones, twin lead to TV's, etc!
(-:
The old time phone company pros I knew had two different cases of wiring they disliked (and most often just wired around or over). One was "undocumented" wiring, which was code for "professionally installed but not labeled or mapped" and the other was "customer installed supplied wiring" (which they'd say and then spit in disgust for emphasis). CIW meant "who the fu& knows WHAT it is and where it goes and what it does?" Some might even call it uninterpretable wiring. (-:
--
Bobby G.




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On 2/14/2014 11:08 PM, Robert Green wrote:

What, you never heard of Norm Crosby one of my heroes? I emulate him quite often when writing sometimes porpoisely and sometimes not. ^_^

I was in the alarm business at one time and every installer at every company uses the same type wire for alarm circuits as that used for POTS lines by phone system installers. I know this because I've done both. That's why professionals use test equipment and trust no one. On more than one incursion I've had to repair wiring molested by both trades. ^_^
TDD
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Jimmie,

It is highly unlikely that your lights are on circuits by themselves. They probably share circuits with clocks, battery chargers, TV's, computers, and other devices that draw power also. Your total load is probably much higher than 100 watts, even if you don't factor in your major appliances.
However, even if your total load is below 100 watts, you would need to isolate those circuits from your main electrical panel so you could power them from a UPS. This would require opening up your breaker panel, installing a new panel for the supported circuits, and supply power from the UPS. Essentially, you would have to follow all the same rules as if you were powering from a backup generator. This is a lot of work and expense just to power your lights during a power outage.
Unless you're planning to go off the grid or something, power outages are usually rare events. It's better to just have emergency lighting for the few occasions the power goes out.
I have a couple of these LED power failure lights:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/PowerFailureLight
They simply plug into a wall outlet so they are always fully charged. If the power goes out, they come on automatically so we can safely move around the house after things go dark. If needed, they can be unplugged from the wall and carried around like a flashlight. They supposedly provide light over 8 hours, but I've never left them on that long to know if that is accurate.
If the power goes out for more than few minutes, the power failure lights provide light so that I can get my LED lantern:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/LEDLantern
This is a great little lantern that is rated for 40-90 hours of light depending on the brightness level. I've never left ours on more than a few hours, but it works well.
Usually, when the power goes out we light some candles and turn off the bright LED lights. Build a fire in the woodstove to stay warm, turn on a small battery powered radio, open a bottle of wine, and it becomes a romantic evening with the wife. :) We actually look forward to power outages. :)
In the last 20+ years, we have only had a couple extended outages that lasted more than a few hours. Both were in the middle of winter, so we bagged up the food in our refrigerator and put it outside where it was already cold. If you have raccoons or other critters, you might want to use a cooler or something you could tie shut. It worked well to keep our food safe despite an outage that lasted more than a day.
I do have a small Cyberpower UPS for my computer:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/mgxkhyx
If the power goes out I can run my computer and monitor about an hour before I have to shut down. That's long enough to cover the vast majority of short outages we do have. It's nice not to lose everything I'm working on if the power blips off for 2 minutes.
Hope this helps!
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:56:15 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

That's a good point. But he could unplug or not turn on those other devices during a power failure. However it would probably be easy to miss something and have it drain the UPS.

That's one way to do it. But for most newer panels there are lockout kits avaiable so you don't need a separate panel. It's just a slide that prevents the main breaker and a double pole breaker in the first slot from being on at the same time. The alternate power source gets connected to that breaker. Then you can choose what to power by using the regular breakers.
Essentially, you would have to follow all the same rules as if

Agree.
This is a lot of work and

Agree. If I was going to that much work, I'd want to power more than just some lights. For some lights, you could just plug some extension cords and floor lamps into the UPS, plus a couple LED lanterns, I would think.

I have those too.

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JIMMIE wrote:

Is your light only on one circuit throughout the house? I just have emergency rechargeable light pack located on every level in the house. And candle sticks/match box for back up. In the past 43 years since we relocated here total power outage was may be ~5 hours top. I think that is pretty good record.
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My house lighting is all LED total wattage with all on is less than 100 watts. What I want to do is to be able to connect my light circuits to the UPS during emergencies like this ice storm that is coming up. Not worried about heat or the fridge, I have gas heater backup and not enough in the fridge to worry about. Are there approved ways of connecting in the UPS that does not involve adding a transfer switch. I was thinking about doing this with outlets and plugs so I could unplug the light circuit and plug it into the UPS.
Jimmie
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We have similar problem with stand by lighting. We use an always on inverter as a continuous feed to the lighting. The inverter is on a triple stage flow charge and deep cycle batteries. Capacity is at least a week mostly because of the available deep cycle batteries. Side benifit I can rub the TV and radio as needed withou noticable loss of capacity. The batteries are located in the garage so push come to shove I can top off/recharge with the car.
Deep cycle golf cart batteries are cheap if you feel the need to run the fridge and/or a microwave.
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On 2/11/2014 9:43 PM, JIMMIE wrote:

12vdc power system and battery charger. A relay to switch on the 12 volt LED lights when the power fails is simple to implement and with a proper low current fuse is quite safe. I bought a little 48 LED light panel meant to replace an automobile dome light from Amazon to play with and it and it puts out a surprising amount of light. The LED panel measures 1-1/2" X 2-5/8" and has double stick foam on the back so it can be mounted easily. I imagine you can make your own panel using 4 to 6of them and light up a room very well. I haven't measured the current draw on it but I found it is quite bright off a 9 volt battery. Low voltage wire such as telephone wire installed with a stapler could be used to wire rooms for emergency light using the little modules. ^_^
(Amazon.com product link shortened)92304771&sr=8-1&keywords=niceeshop%28TM%29+48+SMD+LED+Interior+Car+Dome+lamp+Panel%2FLight +Lamp+Panel+-+White
http://preview.tinyurl.com/n4r8vhu
TDD
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On Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:55:12 AM UTC-5, The Daring Dufas wrote:

I think you'll find that telephone wire is probably not rated for use in a low voltage lighting system in a house. There is NEC that applies to those types of installations too.
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On 2/13/2014 1:25 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Telephone system cable caries 48vdc talk battery and 90vac ringing voltage. It's not high current and neither is the power required by the 12vdc LED modules. The OP could use thermostat wire which is rated for up to 300 volts. He can install his low voltage lighting, measure the current draw then install a proper fuse to protect the wiring which will prevent the magic smoke from escaping. o_O
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 15:03:17 -0600, The Daring Dufas

is wire 100 watts of LED on a single run of bell wire because that requires almost 10 amps of current - on a wire that is only rated for 2.3 amps for power transmission.
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On 2/13/2014 4:03 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

consideration those things I do without thinking. Those little panels with 48 SMD LED's draw very little current and like any other electrical project I've ever done, I will figure in the current draw of the project before I install anything. I haven't measured the current draw of the little SMD LED light panels but I'm sure it's not much at all.
TDD
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