Legrand provides solutions that deliver power, light, and data to spaces around the world. One of its most recent innovations, the Outdoor Ground Box, was introduced to provide an outdoor electrical solution. Made from a UV-rated, nonmetallic material, the Outdoor Ground Box was specifically designed to withstand the elements; the design captures and maintains an air pocket that protects the device, plugs, and connections from water, snow, and ice. i+s recently sat down with Ray Szekretar, senior product manager for Legrand’s Wiremold Electrical Wiring Systems, to learn more about the Outdoor Ground Box.
When was the Outdoor Ground Box made available to the market?
It was introduced in November 2016.
What brought about the idea for the product?
We looked to develop an in-ground power box that could deliver permanent outdoor connections in a non-disruptive way. We wanted the product to be easily incorporated into an existing design, sitting flush with the ground to blend into the landscape. The Ground Box can be installed in a variety of surfaces (think grass, mulch, concrete, brick, pavers, and more) and comes in three natural finishes (black, brown, or gray) to complement any environment.
Who designed it?
Jeff Hemingway, engineering manager for Legrand.
What solution(s) does the Outdoor Ground Box provide?
Legrand developed the Outdoor Ground Box to enhance the use of commercial outdoor spaces by bringing new energy to these underutilized areas. The aim is to deliver safe, permanent power to any exterior setting with a clean, seamlessly integrated design that could stand up to the harshest weather conditions.
What was the biggest hurdle in bringing it to life?
The primary challenge was the lack of an existing safety standard to evaluate and list this type of product. Legrand partnered with UL, an OSHA-certified, nationally recognized testing laboratory and an ANSI accredited standards developer, to create UL 2996–the Outline of Investigation for In-Ground Boxes. UL 2996 provides construction and performance guidelines to achieve the UL listing mark for In-Ground Boxes, validating that the product has been evaluated and tested for safe operation.
How has the response been to the Outdoor Ground Box?
Phenomenal. Because the Outdoor Ground Box can withstand any weather condition, the demand for installation has been and continues to be high. The product has already been specified for high-profile U.S.-based universities, corporate campuses, amusement parks, hotels, and more.
What is your hope for future development?
Our hope is that the Legrand Outdoor Ground Box will continue to open a new world of possibilities for specifiers and end users alike to create and enjoy commercial outdoor settings with convenient, safe, and permanent power. We hope the product—whether it’s used in an outdoor shopping center, corporate campus, amusement park, sporting venue, or hotel—will promote longer stays, better productivity, and more positive experiences within a facility.
Are there any changes on the horizon?
Yes. We’re making an addition to create an Outdoor Ground Box available in 50 amperes as many customers have been asking for higher amperes. The current Outdoor Ground box is available in 20/30 AMPS.