Light Refreshment

The rising sophistication of emergency lighting techniques signifies that as well as being an important a half of a building’s life safety infrastructure they can additionally save money and scale back CO2 emissions because of the advantages intelligent LED-based solutions with advanced battery know-how have over traditional methods.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar building when a hearth alarm is activated or a main lighting failure has occurred will perceive the true worth of an emergency lighting system. Although we regularly take these familiar green and white indicators for granted, emergency lighting’s position, as part of an general life security system, should never be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed important developments in the technology deployed in these systems, with the result that they now offer a stage of intelligence that mixes vitality effectivity with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour

The method by which we use energy is consistently within the spotlight and if additional proof was required of the need for all of us to deal with our behaviour it came in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It stated that scientists are 95 % certain that we’re the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming for the rationale that 1950s.
This may not come as much of a surprise. However, through higher consciousness of the effects of CO2, combined with the financial implications of rising utility payments, organisations are extra prepared and ready than ever to make use of energy properly. Growing laws and regulation signifies that businesses everywhere in the world are implementing energy discount measures. The focus is often on adopting renewable energy technologies similar to photo voltaic photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines and ground and air supply warmth pumps as ways to generate power, whereas others are using building management techniques (BMS) to gain a holistic view of their energy use and establish ways to lower their consumption.
However, the stress is on to do much more, which is why building homeowners and managers are having to drill down and look at particular person elements of their building services infrastructures to see whether there any additional financial savings could be made.
Light Years Ahead

Modern emergency lighting methods provide the chance for significant vitality and cost savings. This is because of two key elements – using mild emitting diode (LED) based lighting and superior battery expertise.
Traditional emergency lighting methods utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel steel hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by regularly charging, discharging slightly and then recharging – a process that uses pointless amounts of vitality and rapidly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. It implies that battery life is limited to between one and 4 years, dependent upon the applying.
State-of-the-art intelligent technology, nevertheless, utilises solely the amount of energy needed to fully cost the emergency lighting batteries, after which shuts the battery down till an emergency scenario happens. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces power consumption. Some methods are additionally out there with luminaires which are geared up with integral batteries allowing continued operation for a minimal of three hours, even in circumstances the place the management panel or energy cables are broken. Maintained luminaires can be powered instantly from the road so as to not have an effect on any battery capability subsequently leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what sort of power financial savings may be made as a result? It is estimated that clever battery techniques use between five and ten % power of that a conventional battery system would use. Consider bigger installations of as a lot as 5,000 luminaires – which are not uncommon in hospitals, for instance – and the savings quickly become apparent.
Bright Spark

It is estimated that lighting accounts for greater than 19 p.c of the world’s whole electrical energy consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if solely half of worldwide lighting was converted to LED by 2025, energy use could be reduce by 120GW, saving £66 billion a yr and reducing CO2 emissions from power vegetation by 350Mt over the identical period.
LED lighting has seen rapid adoption and the worldwide market was worth $25.4 billion in 2013, based on a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED expertise is each price efficient and environmentally pleasant, making it a greener different to different methods which may be at present out there and allowing working prices to be saved to a minimum without compromising efficiency.
LED expertise is now being used in emergency lighting techniques and these new luminaires supply some impressive savings. For occasion, they consume less than zero.5W, whereas an analogous 8W fluorescent light exit luminaire will use roughly 12W. These systems also include additional power saving features, together with signage that’s linked through low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the same loop through a single panel, giving high ranges of control by way of an automatic system.
Testing Times

All emergency lighting methods should be examined on a month-to-month foundation in compliance with BS EN 50172. The test itself normally includes flicking a handbook switch, which interrupts the facility provide to the luminaire, so that it illuminates. A full record sheet needs to be maintained for each emergency luminaire and entered into a logbook, which must be obtainable for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to supply full test records may find yourself in authorized motion and closure of the constructing, and if the emergency lighting is flawed, the insurance coverage policy for the building could also be invalid.
On the surface this all appears cheap and fulfils the requirements of the Standard, nevertheless, the testing course of itself is flawed and doesn’t essentially end in a safe and absolutely practical system. All it does is verify that the system works for a few seconds when the guide swap is operated – what occurs if the system fails 5 minutes after the test? It is not going to be retested for another month, so might leave a building’s occupants susceptible in the meantime.
Also, it doesn’t take a look at only for how lengthy the luminaires will stay on and whether the battery has enough energy to maintain operation for the interval specified in the related standards. The time required to evacuate the premises is dependent upon its measurement and complexity. The duration itself relies not only on evacuation time but in addition on whether the premises are evacuated immediately the facility and regular lighting fails and/or are reoccupied instantly the provision is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimum period of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, a minimal length of three hours must be used for emergency lighting if the premises are not evacuated instantly, as in the case of sleeping accommodation, for instance, or if the premises shall be reoccupied immediately the provision is restored without waiting for the batteries to be recharged. It also wants to be famous that to adjust to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) one hundred and one Life Safety Code, emergency lights are required to stay lit for ninety minutes.
Modern emergency lighting control panels repeatedly monitor and test performance in actual time. They can also be pre-programmed to hold out specific month-to-month, six month-to-month and annual checks and additionally it is attainable to set operational parameters up to alert when batteries are at 85 percent capability, offering a excessive level of reassurance that the system will work correctly under all circumstances.

Lighting consumes 19 p.c of all electricity on the earth.
The first LED system was crafted in 1907 by Captain H J Round, a British radio expertise pioneer and a private assistant to Guglielmo Marconi.
Nick Holonyak Jr is taken into account ‘the father of the modern LED’. In 1962, whereas working at General Electric, he developed the primary virtually functional visible spectrum LED device for business use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equivalent to a normal 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have turn out to be extra environment friendly, in order that now a 6W LED can simply obtain the identical results.
LEDs produce a protracted service life of between 50,000 hours and 100,000 hours. This compares with 2,000-5,000 hours for a halogen bulb and eight,000 hours to fifteen,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Unlike pressure gauge contain mercury and may be more safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them perfect to light up expensive objects such as pictures, collections, work etc.
LEDs produce extra gentle than heat, which makes them the safest type of lighting and reduces the danger of fires.
Right Place, Right Time

Evacuation is often hindered by a scarcity of detailed data of the internal connectivity of the constructing house, together with complicated and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have additionally proven that in these situations occupants usually make use of familiar routes – typically utilizing the exit via which they entered the building. Even extra worryingly, research from the University of Greenwich, as a part of its study known as Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), found that solely 38 p.c of individuals see passive signage in an emergency. This is a frightening statistic and only serves to spotlight the significance of siting an emergency lighting system in a method that will guide people to a safe location within the event of a mains lighting failure.
BS EN 50172 presents guidance on the positioning of luminaires, provides a minimal commonplace that must be applied and offers guidance on particular hazards and factors of emphasis that have to be accounted for. Points of emphasis are mandatory areas where lighting must spotlight specific hazards, security gear and indicators. These embrace areas near stairs, near adjustments of stage, at every change of course, near firefighting equipment and handbook call points, outside and near to every ultimate exit, first aid points, at exit doors, and close to safety indicators.
Signs are either internally of externally illuminated and the utmost viewing distances for internally illuminated signs is 200 instances the panel peak, and one hundred occasions the panel top for externally illuminated indicators. Luminaires should supply 1Lux of output in escape routes and zero.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting should also be positioned in such a means to make certain that persons are free from incapacity glare, which can prevent obstructions or indicators from being correctly seen.
It is price remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) approved products are independently tested and meet the present product and utility standards. Therefore, deciding on products with ICEL approval will present reassurance of compliance.
Look to the Future

The problems with passive signage are clear from the University of Greenwich’s HUBFIN research, which is why the mixing of fire detection and emergency lighting systems is the following step in including intelligence and higher effectiveness to a life security infrastructure.
A traditional emergency lighting system does not allow signs to be ‘shut off’, which might allow individuals to unwittingly travel into the trail of hazard. In locations such as hospitals and care properties, where individuals often have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and must not be wasted by having to decipher the most applicable escape route.
By integrating a fireplace detection system with emergency lighting, and by figuring out where a fire is going down, the proper route may be configured and communicated. For instance, by responding to info despatched from the fire detectors it is possible to put a pink ‘X’ on particular emergency luminaires, which signals to folks to not exit by way of that particular route. This can be synchronised with the prevailing PA/VA system, adding another level of safety.
Not only does integration make good sense from a safety viewpoint, it has numerous price saving and environmental benefits. It is estimated that it may scale back the whole system’s wiring content by 75 p.c, as there could be only one loop with each features.
Feature Packed

A appropriately specified, put in and maintained emergency lighting system is crucial in order to give occupants a method of evacuating a building safely within the occasion of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a hearth. The rules, requirements and guidance on this topic are comprehensive and the superior LED lighting and battery know-how that’s now available combines reliability, functionality and usability with another approach to save energy.

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