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Okay, it was actually last month when I discovered this damaged makeshift support structure that was being used to secure lighting equipment to this tree for the hotel’s parking lot spaces. This was one of about three similar arrangements that were all in the same condition.
It looks like the installer used the brackets in an attempt to avoid the type of damage shown in the photograph. Although the brackets were adequately secured to the tree, the exposed equipment was located about the same height as a car or truck bumper, which most likely caused damage to the lighting components. In addition, the expansion fittings used here would never help prevent this type of damage.
Needless to say, the installer was most likely not familiar with NEC rules and showed a lack of common sense. I could cite my favorite reference in the NEC as the need for protection from physical damage (300.4) or the lack of a proper enclosure as defined in Art. 100.