Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below a list of our frequently asked questions. If your question is not listed or you need more information, please contact our technical team.

Maintained emergency lights stay lit during normal operation and will remain lit for the rated emergency duration in the event of a mains failure.  Non-maintained emergency lighting is designed to turn on in the event of a mains power failure.

All emergency lighting must be tested monthly. The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8. During the test all luminaires and signs should be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly. A test for the full 3 hour emergency duration must be carried out annually with the emergency lighting still being functional at the end of the three hours. The result of both these tests must be recorded and any failures rectified immediately.

Self-test emergency light fittings test themselves automatically to ensure the battery and lamp in each fitting are fully operational. If a problem is detected during the self-test, then a visual warning will be displayed.

An IP rating is a classification to measure the level of protection that electrical equipment has against liquids and solids such as dirt and dust. They are represented by combining the first and second digits. The first digit (1-6) measures the degree of protection against solid projects. The second digit (1-8) measures the degree of protection against water. The higher the number the higher the degree of protection.

If the emergency lighting is functional it will normally display a green LED indicator light on or next to the emergency fitting. This means that the fitting is connected to mains power and the batteries are charging. If the fitting is disconnected from the mains supply the green indicator will turn off and the fitting will light up. Emergency lighting should also be tested monthly.

The battery in emergency light fittings should be changed if it no longer delivers the displayed rated duration. It should also be replaced at the end of life as advised by the manufacturer, which is usually 3 years for NiCD and NiMH.

Toilet facilities with multiple closets that do not have borrowed light and those for use by a disabled person require emergency lighting. If the toilet is only for use by a single person or it is an en-suite facility of a hotel bedroom then emergency lighting is not required.

Self-contained emergency light fittings are generally wired with a 1.5mm² 4-core cable:

  • Switched live
  • Earth
  • Neutral
  • Permanent live

Central battery emergency light fittings require a specialised fire-resistant cable to connect them to the central battery.

A concealed test switch is required for self-contained emergency lighting, to enable the permanent live to be disconnected and allow the internal batteries to power the lighting for the rated duration. The circuit that the test switch is attached to must be separate from the standard lighting, as to not effect any areas of the business or accommodation during use.

Yes, you need to provide illumination to the final point of assembly.

The requirement for emergency lights is established by the fire risks assessment. But the illuminance at floor level of 1 Lux on the escape route and 0.5 Lux in other areas, is deemed acceptable for open-plan offices.

SLA and VRLA are different acronyms for the same battery, Sealed Lead Acid or Valve Regulated Lead Acid. This battery type has the following characteristics: Maintenance-free, leak-proof, position insensitive. Batteries of this kind have a safety vent to release gas in case of excessive internal pressure build up.