Emergency Lighting Specification

– the role of the contractor and the manufacturer...

by Giles Lillistone –Technical & Quality Manager at GreenBrook Electrical W

ith the revision of BS 5266 Emergency lighting – Part 1; the way we must approach

emergency lighting as an industry has changed. The standard is now much more complex, and although it is far more detailed with regard to emergency safety lighting and standby lighting, there is potential for misunderstandings between the parties responsible for the design and installation of these fittings. Every commercial building has a specific

requirement for emergency lighting, the role of which is to take over from the normal lighting provision in the event of a power failure, to aid the evacuation of people, to highlight areas showing emergency equipment and to illuminate the external areas leading to places of safety. In general, lighting requirements will vary within each building depending on usage, size, layout and defined escape routes. Rooms without the benefit of daylight must always have lighting provided. Similarly, if a building is occupied at

16 | electrical wholesalerNovember 2019

night, there should be emergency lighting installed in all areas, including those lit naturally during the day.

Escape, safety and standby Emergency lighting is a general term subdivided into 'emergency escape lighting', ‘emergency safety lighting’ and 'standby lighting'. For emergency escape lighting, it is worth noting that the lighting system has to cover all escape routes to the place of safety which may be in the immediate vicinity or located away from the building. These areas must be adequately lit by the emergency lighting system or by a different, independent power supply. Emergency safety lighting applies to buildings

where a staged evacuation plan is implemented during power failure. Emergency safety lighting is adequate to allow occupants to stay in an area of the building during a power failure, but is not enough for functional tasks to continue. Standby lighting is required in buildings where functional tasks must continue during power

failure. This needs to be 100% of the normal lighting. The difference between these is that whilst emergency lighting forms part of the fire protection of a building, standby lighting does not.

Responsibilities of the Lighting Designer and the Luminaire Manufacturer Choosing LED luminaires means that the lighting design is much more equipment specific and requires the designer looking more carefully into the photometric qualities of the fitting and the testing undertaken by manufacturer. Typical emergency LED luminaires do not

always provide the 5 lux required on the face of the non-internally illuminated signs, due to their heavily downward based photometry. Photometric data should be carefully considered as they vary considerably and vertical illuminances in areas, for example, fire alarm manual call points and first aid points, must be lit within the 2m distance recommended by BS 5266. With the rapid increase in the usage of LED

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