Emergency Lighting

An emergency light fittings is one which includes a battery as a backup power source that is continuously charged. In the event of a power failure the backup battery power source comes into action. The battery will power a light fitting for a minimum of 3 hours, reducing the light output from the fitting to enable this to happen.

Maintained and non-maintained emergency fittings

Emergency lighting falls into 2 sections of maintained and non-maintained fittings.

Maintained fitting are light fittings that operate as a normal light fitting and can be controlled as you would do with other lights in the vicinity.  In the event of a power failure occurring the maintained emergency fitting will operate from the back up battery but at a lower power level.  These normally have a green or red indicator integrated within the light fitting to show that it is an emergency fitting.

Non-maintained fittings differ to a maintained fitting in that these are made solely for emergency use. They will only come on in the event of a power failure to ensure that emergency exits are clearly illuminated but are not lit as part of your normal day to day lighting. Typical examples of these include emergency exit signs such as fire exit signs.

Automatic Testing Equipment

Emergency light fittings are required to be tested in accordance to EN50172 on a daily, monthly and annual basis.  Building owners need to be aware of the requirements as well as discipline and time to carry out testing properly and cost effectively.  For this reason, many now opt for automatic testing (ATS) which is a reliable way of regularly checking and testing that the light fitting is connected and receiving charge and that the battery can run the lamp for the rated duration.

There are two types of automatic testing:

Self -Test Emergency

Self-test light fittings are standalone fittings that tests itself periodically.  Results can be seen visually in the form of bi-colour indicator which shows green where it has operating correctly and red where the test has failed.  This means that faults can be simply be detected visually and quickly just by looking at the colour of the indicator.  Although the results of self-test fittings still need to be recorded manually into a logbook, over time, self-test fittings work out to be more cost-effective compared to fittings that require manual testing by a professional electrician.  Most of our light fittings can be fitted with self-test emergency.

Automatic Test Systems

ATS systems are self-test systems that are connected to a central control panel where results of tests are automatically recorded.  These systems are usually integrated to a building management system (BMS) on larger commercial buildings.  Tests can be conducted by an engineer through the panel but monthly walk arounds are still necessary.  Faults indicated on the control panels and in most cases the responsible engineer is immediately notified of the fault and responded to immediately.

Selecting the right type of emergency lighting

By law every public building is required to have an emergency lighting system installed so you need to ensure that you have the right type of lighting for the correct area. For example, an area that is just an escape route in the event of an emergency doesn’t need maintained lighting so non-maintained in this instance would be fine.

On the other hand, if you are looking to replace lighting in a communal lit area then in this case you would be best to use maintained lighting as they can be used as a normal lighting system and require less fittings so less effort to test and maintain these.

Most of our light fittings are emergency compatible for domestic or commercial applications or can be integrated into BMS but if you are not sure which type of emergency lights are the right ones for you, then just get in touch with us and make use of our free lighting design service. Give us a call on 0161 737 7333 or drop us an email to sales@ghsspecialprojects.com