Emergency Lighting Fixture

Emergency lighting is a critical component in buildings, ensuring visibility and safety during power outages or other emergencies. It typically includes a variety of lighting systems designed to illuminate escape routes, exits, and safety equipment.

COMLED linear light Emergency fuction module (option)


What is Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting is a type of lighting system that activates in the event of a power outage or emergency, providing sufficient illumination to ensure safe evacuation. It typically includes exit signs and emergency luminaires, which can be powered by batteries or a central power supply. This lighting is crucial for illuminating escape routes, exits, and safety equipment, adhering to safety standards to prevent panic and ensure visibility. It is an essential component of life safety systems in industrial production, commercial spaces, and residential buildings.

The Importance of Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is key to personnel safety, order and quick evacuation. In the event of a fire or power failure it provides visibility guidance so safety exits and escape routes are visible. By being switched on and continuous it reduces panic, prevents stampedes and gives everyone including the elderly, children and those with mobility issues time to escape.It is an indispensable part of building safety design, directly linked to the protection of lives and property.

Application Scope and Overview of Standards

The application scope of emergency lighting covers a wide range of building types, including but not limited to public areas in residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial plants, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, transportation hubs, and public places. The standards overview typically involves national and regional specific standards, including NFPA 101 (the Life Safety Code by the NFPA), the International Building Code (IBC) for new and existing buildings, and additional local regulations set by municipalities.

Emergency Lighting Systems

Components of an Emergency Lighting System

Light Sources and Fixtures: This is the visible part of the system, the actual lighting. Emergency lighting fixtures use high efficiency LED’s for durability, energy efficiency and good light quality. The fixtures must meet requirements for waterproofing, dustproofing and fire retardancy.

Power Supply Devices: These are the main power supply, batteries and inverters. The main power supply is connected to the building’s electrical grid, powers the system during normal operation and charges the batteries. The batteries are the emergency power source, powers the system when the main supply is interrupted. The inverter converts the DC power from the batteries to AC power for the fixtures during emergencies.

Control System: This includes the emergency lighting controller and associated sensors (smoke detectors and temperature sensors for real-time environmental monitoring). The controller is the system’s brain, monitors system status, receives external signals (fire alarms), and automatically turns on the emergency lighting. It also does fault detection and self testing to ensure the system is always ready.

Evacuation Signage: These work with the emergency lighting fixtures to provide clear evacuation route indications. These signs are usually green or red in color, so they are easy to see and people can find the exit even in smoke or darkness.

Operating Principles and Switching Mechanisms of Emergency Lighting Systems

1. Normal Operation: In normal conditions the emergency lighting system uses the mains power to power the fixtures and at the same time charges the built-in emergency power source. The emergency power source is fully charged and ready to use when needed. The control module performs periodic self tests to check the emergency power and the fixtures to ensure the system is working properly.

2. Triggering the Switching Mechanism: In the event of a fire, power grid failure or other emergency that causes a mains power outage, the control module detects the loss of power and triggers the switching mechanism. The inverter then starts up and converts the DC power from the emergency power source to AC power for the fixtures.

3. Emergency Lighting Activation: The emergency lighting fixtures turn on almost instantly when power is switched, providing the required light level. This ensures escape routes, safety exits and key areas are lit. According to regulations emergency lighting should be lit within a few seconds, typically not more than 15 seconds.

4. Sustained Lighting: The batteries must be designed to provide at least 90 minutes of continuous lighting to allow for safe evacuation or emergency response. During this period the system will continuously monitor the battery charge to maintain stable lighting.

5. Manual/Automatic Switching: Some emergency lighting systems offer manual or automatic switching. Manual switching allows operators to switch on emergency lighting before an emergency or during tests. Automatic switching relies on pre-set sensors or integration with fire alarm system to switch on emergency lighting when it detects emergency signals.

6. System Restore and Reset: When the emergency is over and mains power is restored, the charger will start to charge the batteries. The system will automatically or manually reset to normal operation, ready for the next emergency.

Types of Emergency Lighting

1. Maintained Emergency Lighting:

- Lights that are always on and switch to battery power during a power outage.
- Common in places where continuous lighting is needed, such as theaters and hospitals.

2. Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting:

- Lights that only come on when the main power supply fails.
- Typical in workplaces and public buildings.

3. Sustained Emergency Lighting:

- A combination of maintained and non-maintained lighting, providing continuous lighting and additional emergency lighting.

4. Escape Route Lighting:

- Ensures that escape routes are illuminated for safe evacuation.
- Includes corridor lights, staircase lights, and exit signs.

5. Open Area (Anti-Panic) Lighting:

- Prevents panic by providing sufficient lighting in large open areas during an emergency.
- Helps occupants move towards escape routes.

6. High-Risk Task Area Lighting:

- Provides illumination for areas where dangerous tasks are performed.
- Ensures safety in places like operating rooms or hazardous industrial sites.

International Standards and Regulations for Emergency Lighting

The details may vary by country and region but here are the standards that provides a universal framework for the design and application of emergency lighting systems:

1. ISO 30061:2007: An international standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for emergency lighting and evacuation sign systems. Although not all countries adopts it directly.

2. IEC 60598-2-22: A standard by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for safety requirements for various lighting fixtures, with specific sections for emergency lighting fixtures, including testing methods, marking and construction requirements.

3. NFPA 101 Life Safety Code: A code by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the U.S. that covers fire safety and life safety requirements including emergency lighting. This code is widely adopted in the U.S. and has been used as reference by other countries’ related regulations.

4. BS 5266-1:2016: A standard by the British Standards Institution (BSI) for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of emergency lighting systems in the UK and some Commonwealth countries.

5. AS/NZS 2293: Standards from Australia and New Zealand that covers detailed specifications for emergency and evacuation lighting systems’ components, design, installation and maintenance.

These standards typically cover the following key points:

Performance Requirements for Emergency Lighting Fixtures and Systems: Fixture illumination levels, duration and activation times.

Installation Locations and Quantities: Sufficient lighting in all areas, escape routes, exits and stairwells.

Power Backup: Reliable backup power sources (batteries or generators) to activate immediately when main power fails.

Testing and Maintenance: Test and maintenance procedures.

Signage and Marking: Emergency exit signs and evacuation indicators.

Installation and Maintenance of Emergency Lighting

The installation and maintenance of emergency lighting are critical to ensuring its reliable operation during emergencies. Key aspects include:

Installation Standards

1. Installation Height and Location:

Emergency lighting should be installed at 2.3m high to get wide coverage and avoid collisions. Install in key areas like escape routes, near exits, stairwells and fire control rooms so evacuation routes are clear.

2. Power Supply and Circuit Requirements:

Emergency lighting should have separate power circuits to ensure supply reliability. Power and communication lines should use different coloured standard wires. The recommended communication bus wire is RVS twisted pair with a wire diameter of not less than 1.5mm², with DC loop resistance less than 40 ohms. Bus transmission distance should not exceed 500m.

3. Fixture Installation Direction:

Emergency lighting fixtures should be mounted as close to the ceiling as possible to maintain continuous visibility. In large areas, installation should be uniform to avoid dark areas.

4. Signage and Indicators:

Clear signs should be installed at key locations to direct to safety exits and evacuation routes to improve evacuation speed.

Maintenance Points

1. Regular Inspection and Testing:

Although not used often, emergency lighting systems need to be function tested, including auto switching tests, backup power run-time verification and light output checks. Monthly function checks and annual full system tests are recommended.

2. Battery Maintenance:

The battery is the heart of the emergency lighting system and needs to be checked regularly, including voltage, internal resistance and charge/discharge capacity to ensure it can power during an emergency. Batteries should be replaced every 3-5 years to maintain optimal performance.

3. Cleaning and Inspection:

Clean fixtures and reflectors to remove dust and ensure clear light output. Check fixture mounts for looseness or detachment.

4. Troubleshooting and Replacement:

Any defects found during testing should be fixed or replaced.

Safety Certification for Emergency Lighting Fixtures

Regulatory compliance and certification of emergency lighting fixtures are key to ensuring their safety and effectiveness. Different countries and regions have specific requirements. The following are some commonly applicable regulations and certification standards:

International Standards

1. IEC 60598-2-22: This IEC standard specifies safety requirements for emergency lighting fixtures, covering design, construction, testing and marking.

2. ISO 7000: This series of standards defines graphical symbols for use on equipment, including emergency exit indications and safety information.

European Standards and Certifications

CE Marking: Products sold in the European Economic Area, including emergency lighting fixtures, must comply with CE marking requirements. This means meeting the relevant European directives such as Low Voltage Directive (LVD), Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (EMC) and Construction Products Regulation (CPR) with corresponding tests and certifications.

North American Standards and Certifications

UL 924: A standard by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in the United States, specifying safety requirements for emergency lighting and power equipment.

Australian Standards and Certifications

SAA Certification: This mark indicates compliance with the safety requirements of Standards Australia for products sold in Australia, including emergency lighting fixtures.

UK Standards and Certifications

UKCA Marking(CE): From January 1, 2021, certain products entering the UK market must comply with UKCA marking requirements which replaces or supplements the CE marking for products like emergency lighting fixtures.

COMLED emergency lighting fixtures are approved by CE, SAA, and C-Tick (RCM) certifications, which not only allow the products to legally enter target markets but also enhance user confidence in the products. This ensures that they can effectively function in emergency situations, safeguarding people's lives.

New Technologies and Trends in Emergency Lighting Fixtures

The technology and trends of emergency lighting fixtures are continuously evolving with advancements in lighting technology and market demand. Key features and trends include:

Technological Advances in Emergency Lighting Fixtures

1. Widespread Application of LED Technology:

LED (Light Emitting Diode) is the heart of emergency lighting fixtures because of its high efficiency, long life, fast start up and compact size. This makes emergency lighting more reliable and cost effective. COMLED LED emergency fixtures can also have precise beam control and dimming function, to suit different environment.

2. Intelligence and Automation:

Modern emergency lighting systems are getting intelligent, with sensors, microprocessors and communication technology. These systems can automatically detect ambient light, battery level and fixture fault, and even monitor and control remotely through IoT technology, reduce maintenance cost, improve response time and increase system efficiency.

3. Self-Test and Diagnostics:

COMLED emergency lighting fixtures have built-in self-test function that can automatically test fixture performance, including battery health and circuit integrity, and report to maintenance personnel through indicators or network, simplify maintenance process.

4. Environmental Sustainability:

With the increasing emphasis on environmental protection, emergency lighting fixtures design is focusing more on recyclable materials and energy efficiency, such as using eco-friendly battery and reducing hazardous substances.

Development Trends of Emergency Lighting Fixtures

1. Stricter Energy Efficiency Standards:

With the energy saving and emission reduction policies, energy efficiency standards for emergency lighting fixtures will be more stringent, driving the development and application of more efficient light source and driver technology.

2. Personalization and Customization:

The market's demand for personalized and customized emergency lighting solutions is increasing. COMLED will offer more diverse product options to meet specific needs and aesthetic preferences of different venues.

3. Wireless Connectivity and Smart Control:

With the advent of 5G, Bluetooth and other wireless technology, emergency lighting systems can be easily integrated into building smart system. COMLED emergency lighting fixtures can be remote controlled, monitored and data collected, providing data for analysis and optimization.

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