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The different kinds of emergency and exit lights

The different kinds of emergency and exit lights

5th Apr 2023

Exit and Emergency lighting provides illumination to guide people to safely exit a building when the normal lighting has failed as a result of a power failure.

It is a category of lighting that can help save lives in emergencies like a fire or flood, so quality and compliance are essential. It’s not an area where organisations can afford to scrimp or cut corners.

Exit lighting clearly shows people where they can exit the premises, while emergency lighting guides them to the exit. Often during emergency situations, electricity is the first thing to be cut, so having the right lighting with battery power is important from a compliance perspective, but more importantly to save lives.

All exit and emergency lights are fitted with a battery, which is kept charged via the mains power constantly. They are required by law in all commercial and residential buildings in Australia, and to provide light for at least 90 minutes after a power failure.

What is an exit light?

Exit lights are permanently illuminated and must be clearly visible to indicate the route to take to exit a building.

Different situations require different exit lights. For example, in an office, you must be able to exit your office or workstation and be able to see an exit sign to indicate the egress path to an appropriate exit.

Exit signs are located above all exit points from a premise, and need to be placed above staircases and doors along the evacuation path, especially along corridors where there is a change in direction.

There are different options available that show the green ‘running man symbol’ to suit different situations. At Lawell Lighting we have a wide range of exitlights that can be fitted to ceilings or walls. They come in a range of sizes, right up to the ‘jumbo’ size we supply for warehouses. We also have a universal-fit sign that can be installed in most situations, plus blade style, recessed, and weatherproof.

What is emergency lighting?

Emergency lights are required in commercial buildings at regular intervals to illuminate the area so people can find their way to an exit in an emergency or when the electricity is cut-off.

They are particularly essential on stairs and ramps, where there is an intersection in a corridor, in rooms without windows, and above fire-fighting equipment.

Like exit lights, many regulations and testing regimes need to be followed to ensure they function as required.

Emergency lighting comes in different styles including downlights, battens, oysters and spotlights, and each is suited to different locations and applications. One popular option is the emergency downlights known widely in the industry as spitfires.

Lawell Lighting has a wide range of emergency lighting to suit all Australian requirements including weatherproof, vandal-proof, and more.

There are two key categories of emergency lighting - maintained and non-maintained, and both have their own merits and suitable applications

What are maintained emergency lights?

Maintained emergency lights are illuminated all the time, and when the electricity mains go off, they automatically switch to battery power.

This means that maintained lights have a dual purpose and are often used in buildings like hospitals and police stations where continuous lighting is essential.

What are non-maintained emergency lights?

Non-maintained lights only turn on when the power fails, but the batteries in the lights are constantly being charged whenever there is power to the fitting. Contrary to their name, they are checked regularly and kept in excellent working order so they can be relied upon in an emergency.

What are the rules and regulations for emergency and exit lights?

There are many rules, regulations, and compliance requirements for emergency and exit lighting.

The National Construction Code (NCC) in Australia and the New Zealand Building codes determine the requirements for the type and placement of exit and emergency lights within a building. All lights must meet Australian Standard AS2293.

There are minimum rates for illumination, the spread of light, and placement that must be adhered to, including rigorous maintenace and testing requirements

How do I choose the right emergency and exit lights?

The type of emergency and exit lighting will depend on the specific situation. This will vary depending on the area that needs to be illuminated, the size and type of emergency light, and any applicable fire exit regulations.

Emergency and exit lights are also constantly improving. Lawell Lighting works closely with our manufacturing partner to create new innovative products to bring to the Australian market. This means as a building owner you should be looking to upgrade emergency and existing lighting to meet the application requirements.

Why choose Lawell Lighting emergency and exit lights?

Lawell Lighting has a wide range of emergency and exit lights to suit many applications in Australia. Our R&D team is constantly improving our range and ensuring the latest technology is incorporated in our products.

Our products are sold exclusively through our distribution network to deliver the best products possible to the market. Contact our team today on (02) 8740 8936 to learn more or to be connected to your closest distributor.