Light Refreshment

The growing sophistication of emergency lighting systems means that as nicely as being a significant part of a building’s life safety infrastructure they can additionally lower your expenses and reduce CO2 emissions thanks to the benefits intelligent LED-based options with advanced battery technology have over conventional systems.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar constructing when a hearth alarm is activated or a primary lighting failure has occurred will understand the true value of an emergency lighting system. Although we frequently take these acquainted green and white indicators as a right, emergency lighting’s role, as part of an total life safety system, ought to by no means be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed significant advancements in the know-how deployed in these systems, with the result that they now provide a stage of intelligence that mixes power efficiency with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour

The method by which we use energy is consistently in the spotlight and if further proof was required of the need for all of us to deal with our behaviour it got here in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It stated that scientists are ninety five percent sure that we’re the ‘dominant cause’ of worldwide warming for the explanation that Fifties.
This might not come as a lot of a shock. However, via greater consciousness of the effects of CO2, mixed with the financial implications of rising utility payments, organisations are extra prepared and in a position than ever to use power correctly. Growing legislation and regulation means that companies all over the world are implementing power discount measures. The focus is often on adopting renewable energy technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV), wind generators and floor and air supply warmth pumps as ways to generate energy, while others are using building management techniques (BMS) to achieve a holistic view of their power use and identify methods to decrease their consumption.
However, the pressure is on to do even more, which is why constructing house owners and managers are having to drill down and take a glance at individual parts of their constructing companies infrastructures to see whether or not there any further financial savings can be made.
Light Years Ahead

Modern emergency lighting systems offer the chance for significant energy and price financial savings. This is as a end result of of two key components – the use of mild emitting diode (LED) primarily based lighting and advanced battery know-how.
Traditional emergency lighting methods utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel metallic hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by frequently charging, discharging somewhat after which recharging – a course of that makes use of unnecessary amounts of energy and rapidly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. diaphragm seal signifies that battery life is proscribed to between one and 4 years, dependent upon the application.
State-of-the-art clever know-how, however, utilises solely the quantity of power wanted to completely cost the emergency lighting batteries, and then shuts the battery down until an emergency state of affairs happens. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces energy consumption. Some techniques are also obtainable with luminaires which are geared up with integral batteries permitting continued operation for at least three hours, even in instances where the management panel or power cables are broken. Maintained luminaires may be powered directly from the road so as not to affect any battery capability subsequently leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what kind of power financial savings can be made as a result? It is estimated that intelligent battery systems use between five and ten % power of that a traditional battery system would use. Consider larger installations of up to 5,000 luminaires – which are not unusual in hospitals, for example – and the financial savings quickly turn out to be apparent.
Bright Spark

It is estimated that lighting accounts for more than 19 p.c of the world’s complete electricity consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if solely half of worldwide lighting was transformed to LED by 2025, energy use would be minimize by 120GW, saving £66 billion a year and reducing CO2 emissions from power crops by 350Mt over the identical period.
LED lighting has seen fast adoption and the worldwide market was worth $25.4 billion in 2013, according to a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED expertise is each price effective and environmentally pleasant, making it a greener alternative to different techniques that are presently out there and permitting working costs to be stored to a minimal with out compromising effectivity.
LED know-how is now being used in emergency lighting techniques and these new luminaires supply some spectacular financial savings. For instance, they eat lower than zero.5W, while a similar 8W fluorescent gentle exit luminaire will use roughly 12W. These techniques additionally include further energy saving features, including signage that’s connected through low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the identical loop via a single panel, giving high levels of management via an automated system.
Testing Times

All emergency lighting systems must be examined on a month-to-month foundation in compliance with BS EN 50172. The test itself normally includes flicking a handbook swap, which interrupts the ability provide to the luminaire, in order that it illuminates. A full record sheet needs to be maintained for each emergency luminaire and entered right into a logbook, which must be obtainable for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to supply full test data may end up in legal motion and closure of the building, and if the emergency lighting is defective, the insurance policy for the constructing could also be invalid.
On the floor this all seems affordable and fulfils the requirements of the Standard, nevertheless, the testing process itself is flawed and doesn’t essentially end in a protected and totally practical system. All it does is check that the system works for a number of seconds when the handbook swap is operated – what occurs if the system fails 5 minutes after the test? It won’t be retested for another month, so may go away a building’s occupants susceptible in the meantime.
Also, it doesn’t take a look at only for how lengthy the luminaires will keep on and whether or not the battery has sufficient energy to take care of operation for the period specified in the related requirements. The time required to evacuate the premises is decided by its dimension and complexity. The duration itself relies not solely on evacuation time but also on whether the premises are evacuated instantly the ability and normal lighting fails and/or are reoccupied instantly the availability is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimal period of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, a minimum length of three hours must be used for emergency lighting if the premises aren’t evacuated immediately, as in the case of sleeping accommodation, for example, or if the premises shall be reoccupied immediately the availability is restored with out ready for the batteries to be recharged. It should also be famous that to comply with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code, emergency lights are required to stay lit for ninety minutes.
Modern emergency lighting control panels constantly monitor and test functionality in real time. They can be pre-programmed to carry out particular month-to-month, six monthly and annual checks and it’s also possible to set operational parameters as a lot as alert when batteries are at 85 percent capacity, offering a excessive level of reassurance that the system will work accurately beneath all circumstances.

Lighting consumes 19 % of all electricity on the planet.
The first LED system was crafted in 1907 by Captain H J Round, a British radio technology pioneer and a personal assistant to Guglielmo Marconi.
Nick Holonyak Jr is considered ‘the father of the fashionable LED’. In 1962, while working at General Electric, he developed the primary practically useful seen spectrum LED system for industrial use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equivalent to a standard 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have become more efficient, in order that now a 6W LED can easily achieve the same results.
LEDs produce a long service lifetime of between 50,000 hours and a hundred,000 hours. This compares with 2,000-5,000 hours for a halogen bulb and 8,000 hours to 15,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Unlike CFLs LEDs do not comprise mercury and can be more safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them excellent to light up pricey objects such as photographs, collections, paintings etc.
LEDs produce extra gentle than heat, which makes them the most secure form of lighting and reduces the chance of fires.
Right Place, Right Time

Evacuation is normally hindered by a scarcity of detailed knowledge of the internal connectivity of the constructing space, together with confusing and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have additionally proven that in these situations occupants usually make use of familiar routes – usually using the exit by way of which they entered the building. Even more worryingly, research from the University of Greenwich, as part of its examine referred to as Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), discovered that only 38 p.c of people see passive signage in an emergency. This is a frightening statistic and solely serves to focus on the significance of siting an emergency lighting system in a method that can information people to a safe location within the occasion of a mains lighting failure.
BS EN 50172 offers steerage on the positioning of luminaires, supplies a minimum normal that must be utilized and offers guidance on specific hazards and points of emphasis that need to be accounted for. Points of emphasis are necessary places the place lighting must highlight particular hazards, security gear and indicators. These embrace areas near stairs, near changes of stage, at every change of course, near firefighting gear and manual call factors, exterior and near to every ultimate exit, first help points, at exit doorways, and close to safety indicators.
Signs are both internally of externally illuminated and the utmost viewing distances for internally illuminated indicators is 200 occasions the panel top, and one hundred instances the panel top for externally illuminated signs. Luminaires should provide 1Lux of output in escape routes and 0.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting should also be positioned in such a way to make certain that people are free from disability glare, which can stop obstructions or indicators from being correctly seen.
It is value remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) permitted products are independently examined and meet the current product and application requirements. Therefore, deciding on products with ICEL approval will provide reassurance of compliance.
Look to the Future

The issues with passive signage are clear from the University of Greenwich’s HUBFIN analysis, which is why the mixing of fire detection and emergency lighting techniques is the next step in adding intelligence and larger effectiveness to a life safety infrastructure.
A traditional emergency lighting system does not enable indicators to be ‘shut off’, which may enable people to unwittingly journey into the path of danger. In locations similar to hospitals and care properties, the place individuals typically have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and should not be wasted by having to decipher probably the most appropriate escape route.
By integrating a fire detection system with emergency lighting, and by identifying where a fireplace is happening, the right route can be configured and communicated. For instance, by responding to data despatched from the fireplace detectors it’s attainable to put a red ‘X’ on particular emergency luminaires, which alerts to individuals to not exit via that particular route. This may also be synchronised with the existing PA/VA system, including one other level of security.
Not solely does integration make good sense from a security viewpoint, it has numerous price saving and environmental advantages. It is estimated that it could scale back the entire system’s wiring content material by seventy five percent, as there could be just one loop with each features.
Feature Packed

A appropriately specified, installed and maintained emergency lighting system is crucial to find a way to give occupants a method of evacuating a constructing safely within the occasion of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a fireplace. The rules, requirements and steering on this subject are complete and the superior LED lighting and battery technology that’s now available combines reliability, functionality and usefulness with another approach to save power.

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