Emergency lighting is an important aspect and often a requirement for most buildings. They are there when power is cut off from a location and gives building occupants a clear, definite direction as to where to find the way out to safety. Whether the power being lost in a building is due to a power grid failure, a fire within the building or other emergency situation, being in complete darkness can pose risks of disorientation, panic and possible injury.
Every city and municipality is different, but having emergency lighting installed is usually done during building construction, especially in newer buildings. Local governments will have the specific codes for requirements including the type, design, and exact specifications for emergency lights. Be sure to check with local authorities and follow their recommendations.
The term emergency lighting covers a wide range of fixtures and is really more of a generic term. Emergency lights actually include several different emergency fixture types. These are divided into categories. These categories are Emergency escape lighting, which provides illumination for both safety and providing direction to escape a location. Emergency escape lighting illuminates escape routes, where open area lighting floods a general area, while high risk task area makes sure that hazards are avoided in the case of a power outage.
Emergency Stand by Lighting allows most normal building operations to continue in a minimally reduced fashion for a certain period of time. Not every building has this latter category while other types of operations do require it. Check with local authorities to see what requirements should be for your location and type of business.
Because of the worldwide phase-out of incandescent lighting, today there is many more energy efficient and lower maintenance emergency lighting. Fluorescent emergency lighting has become the solution in many situations. Newer technologies with LED lighting, however offer even more reduction in energy costs and also require even less maintenance.
There is a wide range of costs associated with emergency lights ranging from just a few dollars up emergency lighting solutions that go into the thousands of dollars. Most lights have some sort of battery backup system that will be there whenever they sense that the power goes out in the location. Checking emergency lights in order that insure that they are in good working order at least once every few months is essential. Some lights are self-testing. Check the literature from the manufacturer and follow their guidelines. Regular tests insure that the light is there when you need it in case of an emergency or loss of power.