Residential corridor with emergency lighting

A Brief Introduction To Emergency Lighting

What is emergency lighting and why do you need it?

Emergency lighting and signage is often an element that is overlooked when refurbishing or redesigning premises. Making a building look and feel welcoming does not intrinsically go hand in hand with emergency signs hanging from ceilings, placed on walls and above doors. 

Emergency led lighting from Fern Howard

The safety of employees, customers, residents and clientele is a business owner’s number one priority. Emergency signs and luminaires save lives, they need to be visible and prominently placed. There must be sufficient signage and lighting to ensure everyone can safely exit the building in case of an emergency.

Building regulations require all occupied buildings to have adequate escape lighting to allow for a safe exit should the mains power fail. All exit routes; such as hallways, corridors, stairwells, exit points and any other underground or dark area require lighting to illuminate escape routes from a building. Legislation in the UK requires a minimum of one lux of lighting during an emergency.

Traditionally emergency lighting only functions when required during an emergency. These are traditionally non-maintained drop-exit signs or low-wattage units.

Fern Howard has been producing luminaires that function as any other light by illuminating the area with 4000K and a minimum of 1250lm to a maximum of 1900lm. Our maintained LED emergency light functions as any other LED light within a building. Unobtrusive and designed to blend in, but when required emits an alternate lumen output of light, helping guide employees and customers to safety.

Emergency Backup

Emergency luminaires have integral backup batteries, which are continuously charged during normal operation. They provide power to the luminaire for at least 3 hours should the power fail.

The lumen value during an emergency varies on the type of diffuser, for example:

  • Opal diffuser emits = 150lm
  • Clear diffuser emits =220lm

All other products within the Exodus range emit the following lumens during a power outage: 

These levels of lumen output are sufficient in providing enough lighting to any area if and when required.

Every emergency luminaire must have a green LED indicator to show it is charged and functional. Please note: The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 & BS5266 part 1 – require building owners to test emergency lighting systems regularly and maintain them in proper working order.

Fern Howard's Maintained and Non-Maintained Luminaires

Maintained Luminaires

Maintained luminaires operate as normal light fittings during everyday operation and can be controlled with all other luminaires in the area. When power fails they automatically switch to battery backup.

Non-maintained Luminaires

Non-maintained luminaires remain off during everyday operation, only illuminating when mains power fails.
Fern-Howard luminaires can operate both as maintained or non-maintained fittings

Emergency led lighting for commercial and residential buildings

What is Self-Test?

Self-Test (also commonly known as Auto Test) is an intelligent emergency module that carries out routine functional and duration testing in time with the relevant standards. By eliminating the need for manual testing and automatically signalling faults that require action. Using built-in self-test technology is highly cost-effective and reduces workload.

Light Level Requirements

BS 5266 calls for a minimum light level of 1 lux along escape routes for normal risks. Emergency luminaires should be spaced to provide at least this illumination in the event of a power failure.