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Technical Bulletin: Dead-Front Trims

Water Proof to the Touch

Section 410.10 (D) Bathtub and Shower Areas of the 2014 NEC requires that downlight luminaires located within the outside dimension of a shower be wet location listed if subject to shower spray. Some local codes, such as the City of Seattle Electrical Code, go one step further than the NEC (National Electrical Code) and add that luminaires with exposed metal parts must be ground fault circuit interrupter protected (GFCI).

The requirement to add GFCI protection to the luminaire circuit within the shower or bathtub zone adds complexity and cost. As an alternate, contractors can utilize non-conductive dead-front trims to get around the GFI requirement as it is only applicable to grounded metal trims.

What is a dead-front trim?

The term dead-front is defined by the NEC as, “Without live parts exposed to a person on the operating side of the equipment,” and usually applies to electrical panels, in which the front or accessible part is insulated from line voltage and can be operated without receiving an electric shock. In recessed luminaires, the trim is the part that’s exposed to a person on the operating side. Thus, dead-front trims are constructed out of materials with good electrical insulation properties such as polycarbonate.

DMF Lighting provides trims, such as the DRD2TR4SWHDF, which completely cover the metal parts of the underlying luminaire. Thus, creating an electrical insulation barrier or dead-front, while maintaining our trademark easy, tool-free installation and seamless integration.

Technical Bulletin: Dead-Front Trims