How many lumens are required for emergency lighting?

LED Shop Emergency Lights application scenarios

Emergency lighting like public lighting, is important for security and plays an irreplaceable role in sudden power outages or emergencies. It ensures the safe evacuation of people and smooth progress of emergency operations. In this paper we will discuss about the lumen demand of emergency lighting. By analyzing the lumen demand of emergency lighting, we aim to provide scientific and reasonable lighting design guidelines for all kinds of places.

LED Shop Emergency Lights application scenarios

Lumen and Illumination

First of all, clarify the basic concepts of lumens and illuminance, lumens (lumens), a measure of the total luminous flux emitted by the light source; and illuminance is the luminous flux received per unit area, the unit is lux (lux).

Emergency lighting functions and requirements

The main purpose of emergency lighting is to protect the safety of personnel. It can function during main lighting system failure. It provides people with backup lighting. This ensures that they can clearly identify the evacuation path safety exits and engage in necessary emergency activities. Including:

Guaranteeing the safe evacuation of personnel. Providing sufficient emergency lighting brightness for personnel. This helps avoid panic and crowding.

Provide emergency operation lighting: e.g. operation of fire-fighting facilities, shutdown of critical equipment, etc.

International regulations and standards requirements: Follow international standards such as IBC, US NFPA 101, EU EN1838 and other emergency lighting regulations.

Factors affecting emergency lighting lumen requirements

Building type and use

There are significant differences in emergency lighting requirements for different types of buildings due to their specific functions, flow of people and activity characteristics. Example:

Public places: such as shopping centers, stadiums, and train stations. These areas have a high flow of people and high mobility, emergency lighting design needs to ensure rapid and efficient evacuation, while covering all entrances and exits, emergency assembly points and important guide signs, usually requiring high illuminance and uniform distribution of lighting.

Factories: Production areas may contain special hazardous materials, heavy machinery or complex work processes. Emergency lighting should not only illuminate evacuation paths. It should also provide illumination for emergency shutdowns, power outages and other operations. This ensures workers can safely evacuate and implement critical safety measures.

Residential: This includes apartment buildings and residential areas. Although the density of personnel is relatively low, but taking into account the safety of the elderly, children and other vulnerable groups, emergency lighting should focus on stairwells, elevator halls, the evacuation path lighting, to ensure that low illumination can also be safe passage.

Office buildings: office areas are more concentrated, emergency lighting design should take into account the work area and public areas, to ensure that employees can quickly identify and reach the nearest safe exit, while taking into account the changes in natural light inside and outside the office hours on the impact of emergency lighting.

Specific places of use

Corridors, evacuation routes, which require continuous and uniform lighting, exit areas need to highlight the sign, high-risk areas need higher illumination.

Impact of ambient natural light conditions

Natural light on the background itself will also affect the design of emergency lighting. Of course, when natural lighting is brighter, it means that the design of emergency lighting can be reduced. Choosing the right LED source to fit the source can be adapted to different environments.

How many lumens are required for emergency lighting?

Corridors and evacuation routes: best emergency lighting for power outage requirements are usually 1 lux illuminance, to ensure the safety of personnel walking and recognizing the direction.

Exit and safety signs: Exit signs require a minimum of 10-15 lumens of illumination, sufficient to maintain the visibility of the lighting equipment.

High Risk Areas: In chemical plants, laboratories, etc., illuminance standards of 10-20 lux or higher are required to support emergency response and evacuation.

Calculation of Lumen Requirements and Examples

Converting from illuminance requirements to lumens can be calculated using the formula: lumens = lux × area.

For example, if an evacuation route needs to achieve an illuminance level of 10 lux, and the route area is 120 square meters, then the lumen requirement is 10 lux × 120 square meters = 1200 lumens.


Comprehensive analysis of the above, a reasonable emergency lighting lumen demand design, not only need to consider different architectural venues and special scenarios, but also to ensure emergency and safe evacuation of the required illumination. Designers should fully consider the building use, specific environmental conditions and follow the relevant regulations and standards at home and abroad, the flexible use of illuminance and lumen conversion, to achieve both economic and efficient lighting solutions. In actual design, adjustments should be made according to specific conditions, and the emergency lighting system should be tested and maintained regularly.



1.What are the basic lumen requirements for emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting fixtures are typically required to provide minimum 50 lumens of basic illumination during emergency. This ensures that people can safely identify their surroundings and evacuate. However actual lumen requirements may vary depending on application and the code standards followed.

2.Why are emergency lighting standards (lumens) lower than conventional lighting?

Primary function of emergency lighting focuses on safe orientation and rapid evacuation of people in emergency. This is rather than on meeting needs of high-intensity work or reading lighting. Therefore, it emphasizes minimum visibility requirements rather than high luminance operating environment. This ensures that necessary lighting can be provided quickly in event of power failure. It also takes into account energy efficiency and system durability.

3.How do I verify that emergency lighting fixtures meet the required brightness standards?

Verifying that emergency lighting fixtures meet standard can be done in several steps.

(1) Check product specifications. First check the factory technical parameters of the fixture to confirm its stated lumen output under emergency conditions.

(2)On-site measurement: Use photometer for on-site measurement. This ensures luminaire meets or exceeds the specified illuminance (lux) requirements in emergency mode. Focus especially on critical areas like evacuation routes and near exits.

(3)Third-party certification: Require manufacturers to provide test reports or certificates from authoritative organizations. Examples include UL and CE certifications. This proves that their products have passed relevant safety and performance tests. It also shows compliance with national standards or industry norms.

(4)Regular maintenance and testing: Conduct performance inspection and maintenance of lamps and lanterns. Follow prescribed cycle to ensure they can play their proper roles in times of emergency.

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