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What Emergency Lighting is All About

Emergency Lighting is designed to come on when the mains fail. It is usually provided for safety reasons and to enable uninterrupted occupation of a building in times of breakdown of the main lighting. It also provides lighting for escape routes in case evacuation at a building is necessary.

The most widely used and economical systems are stored energy systems using secondary batteries specifically designed for long term stand-by use.

Design Criteria

When designing emergency lighting, the following points must be considered:

  1. Purpose of the emergency lighting
    1. Directional Escape Signage
    2. Standby Lighting Luminaire
  2. Design code

The most commonly used design code is CP19, for Singapore and MS 619 & 983 for Malaysia. However some other authorities or specifying bodies may have their own requirements. There should be consultation between the owner/occupier of the premises, the architect or lighting engineer, the installation contractor and the enforcing authority before any decisions are made.

Basic Requirements of Emergency Luminaire

The basic requirements of emergency lighting are:

  • To indicate clearly and unambiguously, usually with the use of exit signs, the escape routes;
  • To provide illumination along the escape routes using luminaries spaced at the appropriate distances;
  • To provide, when required, standby lighting to permit normal and safe occupation of the building.
  • To provide, where required, security lighting to prevent injury or threats to persons or buildings.