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Emergency Lighting Test

Emergency Lighting Test

Excluding VAT


  • Emergency lighting is lighting for an emergency situation when the main power supply is cut, and normal electrical illumination fails. The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut. Without emergency lighting this could lead to sudden darkness and possible danger to occupants, either through physical danger or panic.

    Emergency lighting is normally required to operate fully automatically and give illumination of a sufficiently high level to enable all occupants to evacuate the premises safely. Most new buildings have emergency lighting installed during construction; the design and type of equipment being specified by the architect in accordance with current Building Regulations and any local authority requirements.

    The British Standard provides the emergency lighting designer with clear guidelines to work to. BS 5266-1 relates not only to hotels, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges, licensed premises, offices, museums, shops but also multi-storey dwellings. Although the standard recommends the types and backup durations for each category of premises, it should be remembered that standards define a minimum requirement and that a higher specification may be required for a particular application.

    Emergency Lighting automatically comes on when the power supply to the normal lighting provision fails.

    Emergency lighting is a general term and is sub-divided into emergency escape lighting and standby lighting.

    Emergency escape lighting – that part of an emergency lighting system that provides illumination for the safety of people leaving a location or attempting to terminate a potentially dangerous process beforehand. It is part of the fire safety provision of a building and a requirement of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

    Standby lighting– that part of an emergency lighting system provided to enable normal activities to continue substantially unchanged. This guide does not include standby lighting as it is not a legal requirement and is a facility that may or may not be needed, depending on the use and occupancy of the premises.

    Emergency escape lighting is itself sub-divided into escape route lighting, open area lighting and high-risk task area lighting.

    Escape route lighting – identifies the escape route and keeps it sufficiently lit. This includes illuminated fire exit signs but also emergency lighting such as emergency lighting bulkheads.

    Emergency Exit Light

    Open area lighting (in some countries known as anti-panic lighting) – ensures that there is sufficient illumination to allow the occupants of a building to reach a place where an escape route can be identified.

    Bulkhead emergency lighting



    High risk task area lighting – that part of an emergency escape lighting system that provides illumination for the safety of people involved in a potentially dangerous process or situation and to enable proper shut-down procedures for the safety of the operator and other occupants of the premises.

    Consultation and design

    The first stage of installing emergency escape lighting is consultation and design. The designer, responsible person and fire risk assessor should meet and decide where the escape lighting is required and mark up a plan showing the areas to be covered, the type (power supply), mode of operation, facilities, and duration of emergency lighting to be provided in an emergency.

    Type (power supply)

    Self-Contained – Single Point


    • The installation is faster and cheaper.
    • Standard wiring material may be used.
    • Failure of mains supply due to cable burn-through will automatically trigger the affected emergency luminaire to come on.
    • Low maintenance costs – periodic test and general cleaning, only, required.
    • Low hardware equipment costs – no requirement for extended wiring, special ventilation etc
    • The integrity of the system is greater because each luminaire is independent of the others.
    • System can easily be extended with additional luminaires.
    • No special sub-circuit monitoring requirements


    • The environmental conditions will vary throughout the system and batteries may be adversely affected by a relatively high or low ambient temperature.
    • Battery life is limited to between 2 and 4 years, dependent upon the application.
    • Testing requires isolation and observation of luminaires on an individual basis.

    In general, the decision to use either a central battery or a self-contained system is likely to be cost-determined. If an installation has longevity and low maintenance as priorities, then the higher initial cost of a central battery system may be acceptable for a large project. Typically, luminaire and installation costs are a major consideration, particularly on smaller jobs, and it is this criterion which makes the self-contained luminaire the most popular choice.

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