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Choosing Emergency Lighting Systems: Challenges And Tips

Apr 12, 2022
Choosing Emergency Lighting Systems: Challenges And Tips

Are you planning to open a new business or remodel an existing place? No business owner wants to think about a potential fire or other emergencies. Nonetheless, it is essential to prepare for a possible accident anyway.

One of the first things to consider is installing emergency lighting. It is necessary for most public buildings, such as hospitals, schools, office buildings and restaurants. Most fire codes make it a requirement, and insurance companies demand it.

The emergency lighting system falls into two parts: emergency lights and exit signs. Emergency lights come on in the event of a power failure or emergency, while signs indicate ways to leave a building during an emergency.

There are several factors, for instance, building size and design, determining the choice of emergency lighting. At the very least, you need proper exit signs to comply with fire safety regulations. It is not always easy to design the appropriate emergency lighting system. Here are some of the challenges you may encounter.



The overall costs include not only how much you pay for the emergency lighting itself, but also the cost of installation, testing and maintenance. Self-powered systems are usually cheaper to buy.

However, the maintenance costs can quickly add up if your commercial building has many emergency lights installed. On the flip side, centrally-powered systems are more expensive, but maintenance and testing may be cheaper because only the main power source requires testing.



One more challenge is to make sure emergency exit lights can become a part of your décor. Consider the style and colour. White thermoplastic signs and lights work fine on off-white or white walls. Black thermoplastic units look much better with darker walls, for example, in movie theatres.



If you choose exit signs and emergency lights that are not suitable for your business property, they may cost you much more than necessary. That’s why it is vital to consult a reputable power company to assess the needs of your building and determine the appropriate type of emergency exit lights.


Testing And Maintenance

This challenge consists in finding competent personnel and following strict guidelines and schedules. Fire safety regulations prescribe responsible employees to check exit signs and emergency lights several times per year. The ideal way to handle this challenge is to address a trustworthy company or individual to test and maintain your system according to a set schedule.



The quality of the installed emergency exit light system will have a direct effect on the frequency of changing or installing new luminaries. The low-quality system may fail to work during an emergency. When looking for an affordable yet high-quality emergency system, choose the best mix of value and price. To do so, pay attention to customer feedback and safety ratings.



Self-contained lights can last from 2 to 4 years, while the batteries of centrally-powered lights range from 5 to 25 years. The durability of your particular lights will depend on the quality of the battery and the energy efficiency of the luminaries.

Some lights use LEDs (light-emitting diodes) which are more energy-efficient, whereas others use incandescent lamps. Testing means turning the lights on, so the energy efficiency of the light will likely affect its battery life.


When choosing an appropriate emergency lighting system, keep in mind its overall cost, design, efficiency, quality of the units and relevance to your particular business. For example, you should install maintained and non-maintained lights for a building that has a lot of visitors coming in. But for an office with a simple layout, a non-maintained system should be enough.

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