Facts about Emergency Lighting

Efficient emergency lighting works in unexpected events like power cuts or accidents in enclosed spaces, when it’s necessary to move people towards emergency exits if the path is unclear.

What does emergency lighting do?

Emergency lighting is in operation 24 hours a day even when they are not fully turned on because they have an alarm system which keeps them permanently active. When a problem occurs in the room, the alarm system is triggered and the emergency lighting is fully activated.

All types of emergency lighting turn fully on when the power supply has a 70% energy failure or when an emergency operation is activated manually, such as a fire alarm. To power the emergency lights, the system has batteries that remain charged and turned off while the power is on.

If a power cut occurs in a room with no windows and without emergency lighting, then people inside would be effectively blinded. This can lead to panic and increases the risk of an accident occurring.

On our annual fire maintenance schedules we carry out emergency lighting discharge testing for 1 hour and 3 hour intervals twice a year. For more information about our smoke detection and fire protection products and services contact us on 01202 985655. 

Types of emergency lighting

Depending on the structure of the building or the function of emergency signage, it is possible to distinguish three emergency lighting types:

  • Evacuation lighting: allows recognition of the evacuation routes. It shall provide lighting at least 1 Lux at ground level and make fire service points and switchboards at least 5 Lux recognisable.
  • Ambient lighting: allows you to access evacuation routes. They will provide 0.5 Lux lighting at ground level and will have a minimum autonomy of 1h.
  • Emergency lighting for high-risk areas: Provides a minimum horizontal illumination of 15 Lux or 10% of the normal illumination. Its minimum duration will be the time necessary to leave the site.

LED lights vs. normal lights

Years ago, emergency lights were powered by a fuel-based battery. More recently, electrical energy was used and the design resembled large light bulbs. The problem with them was that they ran out too fast.

Today, LED lights have a great advantage over other forms of lighting because they stay on longer and are more economical. LED lights provide twice as much lighting and have a low impact on energy consumption – perfect for emergency plans used with an autonomic lighting system.

When installing LED lighting equipment, the quality of lighting and the energy saving potential is considerable. In addition to this, they are low maintenance and have low performance costs, which makes them an excellent alternative when providing emergency lighting in the case of evacuations or emergencies.

Why is it so important to install emergency lighting?

Accidents occur without warning, from an electrical problem that leaves a building in the dark to a much more serious one involving an evacuation, such as a fire with lots of smoke that could obscure exits.

Having emergency lights ensures that the process of rescuing and evacuating people is easier and more orderly; they also calm nerves and allow people to get out of the space without causing or befalling an accident.

Is your building compliant with fire safety regulations? For more information about our smoke detection and fire protection products and services contact us on 01202 985655.