Emergency lighting: standards, requirements, types and device

Working and emergency lighting can be in almost any building or room. In addition to the basic lighting that is used daily in work at work, as well as in administrative buildings, there are rules regarding the requirements for ancillary. These requirements apply to all premises and buildings where even a small number of employees work. Strict compliance with the standards and requirements regarding emergency lighting is mandatory.

If an unforeseen situation arises due to force majeure - fire, accident or other serious incidents, there is a high probability that the main lighting will fail. This will make it much more difficult for employees to move in the direction of emergency exits, so that they can safely and without any obstacles move along narrow corridors and aisles.So it is very important to provide an emergency lighting system. It is extremely important and useful in case of emergency.

emergency lighting fixture

What is the difference between working and emergency lighting? Emergency is necessary in cases where the voltage drops in the working line. It helps employees leave the premises or continue their work until the main line is restored.

How is an emergency lighting system regulated by legislation?

The design of emergency backup lighting is clearly standardized by the documentation that was adopted and established by law. Requirements for emergency lighting are described in the following documents:

  • federal laws that relate to general and fire safety in various buildings;
  • sets of rules that relate to fire safety;
  • standards that determine the necessary level of quality of operation and manufacturing of such equipment;
  • sanitary standards governing the development of fire hazardous areas.

Varieties and classifications

There are two types of emergency lighting: security systems and evacuation.

fire emergency lighting

Evacuation coverage helps to provide visibility to the passage of employees if an emergency, fire or natural disaster occurs, resulting in the failure of the main power supply.

The presented type of devices must necessarily be equipped in small rooms and narrow corridors, as well as other rooms that are distinguished by their weak natural lighting or are completely devoid of it. Emergency lighting devices are certainly installed on landings and stairs, in high-rise buildings that have more than 6 floors. Stairs are always covered if one emergency exit is designed for the passage of more than 50 employees.

If there is more than 100 people in the administrative office or in the production workshop, then an emergency lighting system should be organized at each hazardous and production site, as well as in other premises where evacuation is carried out.


It is started only in case of de-energization of the main devices for lighting inside the workshops, as well as in other rooms where darkness can affect the formation of fire, emergency and other critical situations.When security coverage is on, employees must continue to work without hindrance, not disrupting the process.

Security lighting must necessarily be equipped in institutions, regardless of how many children are there. Key strategic sites must also be equipped with security lighting. Such facilities include pumping cleaning stations, points of contact, as well as other buildings, where the absence of light can affect the operation of key mechanisms.

When the safety device is working, the illumination level must be at least 15 lux for energy-saving lamps and from 10 lux for incandescent lamps.

Each type of emergency evacuation lighting must necessarily act on a separate auxiliary power source and not be dependent on the main electrical network. Lighting for safety and during evacuation should also not be dependent on each other. They only complement each other, so it is necessary to acquire separate power sources for each of the emergency networks.The emergency lighting output must be equipped in accordance with all safety standards.

By European standards, emergency systems can be divided into the following types: emergency evacuation and backup. Emergency evacuation lighting means providing visibility on the emergency evacuation paths, as well as in areas that pose a risk to life. This kind includes devices that help prevent the occurrence of panic.

types of emergency lighting

In case of evacuation

The presented view must provide illumination in narrow corridors and cramped spaces of not less than 0.5 lux. In spacious rooms and on the open areas this indicator can be not less than 0.2 lux. Sometimes it also refers to fire emergency lighting.

On evacuation routes in the production workshops, where more than 100 people work and the floor space is over 150 square meters, as well as in rooms without natural light, there must be luminous signs that will indicate the direction to the emergency exit. They should be located on ceilings or walls in areas of excellent visibility for employees.The distance between the arrows should not be less than 25 meters. Also, they should certainly be located on the bends. In addition to the light arrows, you can use lamps, which show an arrow made in accordance with regulatory documents, which is suitable in such cases.

Luminaires for emergency lighting can be left burning and in working condition with the main lighting or non-burning and able to turn on automatically when an emergency situation occurs.

The presented view is also divided into three types:

  1. Lighting for evacuation. It is necessary to ensure a safe passage between the rooms, there must be a minimum illumination of 1 lux for every 20 centimeters of height, provided that the uniformity of illumination is 1 to 40.
  2. Illumination of hazardous areas. Such zones can be called mechanisms with mobile components, in which, in the absence of lighting, there is a danger of emergency situations that threaten the lives of people.
emergency lighting requirements

Anti-pan illumination. This is the minimum necessary basic lighting, which makes it possible to pass without interference to the emergency exit from a room with a large area.

Backup lighting system

The presented type of lighting is also emergency and provides an opportunity for employees to continue the process in normal mode or else provides the opportunity to leave the territory safely.

According to the rules of emergency lighting, back-up must necessarily be in medical institutions where surgical operations take place, as well as in central control panels and control rooms, for energy systems, for rescue service, transport, and so on. According to regulatory documents, backup lighting must necessarily be equipped in any industrial or public institutions, as well as in shopping and entertainment complexes and business centers.

Key requirements

It is important to remember that an emergency lighting system must ensure safety for the lives of people. Many lives depend on how well the installation was carried out and whether the requirements of the regulatory documentation were followed. In no case do not neglect the requirements of the rules, standards and regulations. Let's look at the basic standards of emergency lighting.

If switching to an auxiliary power source is performed using automatic systems, then it is necessary to provide for the possibility of a reverse switching in order for the main system to be put into operation.

It is allowed to connect various types of emergency lighting as auxiliary for main lighting. They can be connected manually or automatically when an extreme situation arises. The emergency lighting scheme is thoroughly checked before installation.

If it is not possible to make an automatic transition from an emergency to the main source, and this is due to technical reasons, then you need to put a separate shield with mechanical switches that allows you to connect or cut off various networks. As soon as the main electrical network is restored, the dispatcher must manually turn off the power and turn on the main one, while observing safety precautions.

emergency evacuation lighting

In order to provide emergency lighting, not all types of lamps can be used. In the luminaire for the evacuation lighting system, only incandescent lamps can be used, because they have minimum requirements regarding the power supply.Fluorescent lamps are also allowed to use if they do not provide a starter, and the room temperature is not less than 5 degrees. LED lamps can be installed in emergency lighting systems only if they can operate in a large voltage spectrum. This is a critical factor when operating the network from an additional generator.

For emergency lighting luminaires equipped with batteries, there are other requirements. They are distinguished by low power and are most often used as evacuation devices for lighting, so they work extremely rarely.

A lithium-ion battery is self-discharging if the battery is not in working condition for a long time. In this case, in the event of an emergency, the lamp will not turn on and will not be able to provide conditions for the evacuation of people. To prevent such a situation from occurring, it is necessary to provide a control panel, through which it will be possible to check the battery performance on the luminaire and, if necessary, charge it. This check of emergency lighting is carried out regularly.

Devices for lighting should be located in such places where the uniform and maximum illumination of escape routes will be provided.In no case abrupt changes in the power of the luminous flux are allowed, it should not be blinding or one that will disturb the orientation during movement.

It is forbidden to turn on more than 20 devices for one emergency line. The total capacity should not exceed 60% of the network protection system capacity.

All switching devices that switch types of emergency lighting should be located in convenient locations, equipped with protection from unauthorized persons, covered with fire-resistant shields, and also have the symbols of all nodes and elements.

Light arrows with pointers are located in prominent places so that people can see clear images. In no case should not use aggressive colors that can cause panic. The best choice would be green, which is perfectly visible and quite bright.

In no case should emergency lighting lines be laid in places where there is a high probability of fire or emergency. Management of them must certainly be freely available, away from dangerous places.

It is forbidden to conduct emergency power near the main, because if the main line is damaged, there is a possibility of a malfunction of emergency lighting.Auxiliary network must be separate. It will also require reinforcement with fire barriers. Emergency lighting controls should be unhindered and safe.

Periodic inspection of emergency and main lighting is required. This is done, including and switching it in different modes. The emergency lighting device is always detailed in the relevant documentation.

No one is immune from unforeseen events. If an abnormal or emergency situation occurs, only an emergency lighting system will help protect the lives and health of employees, help preserve equipment without affecting the quality of the production process.

working and emergency lighting

What are the network requirements?

Emergency lighting is a special system, people's lives depend on its quality and functionality. For example, anti-panic lighting affects the fact that people can easily and quietly leave the room, if there was a disconnection of the main line. This makes it possible to prevent the tragic consequences that may arise from a crush. The system also provides the ability to light the escape routes to exit the premises.Requirements for emergency lighting are always very high, because the lives of people and the work of the entire enterprise or office depend on it.

Emergency lights should always run smoothly. The requirements stipulate that the minimum time for their work in offline mode should be less than 1 hour. This means that an independent power supply is required. A similar source can be called batteries. Hours without a break and without recharging can be determined by such factors as the correct battery for a particular type of lamp, the quality of the converter used for power, and how old the battery is (the longer it goes, the smaller its capacity).

Moreover, organizing power for emergency lighting, you can use other sources. These may be backup generators or UPS. Provided that they are suitable for emergency lighting.

Power supply in rooms and buildings is carried out using two different principles: distributed or centralized. The centralized system means that all emergency lights will be powered from a single source. In a distributed system for each lamp has its own source.

The best option, judging by the reliability and efficiency, as well as in terms of the ability to integrate emergency lighting into the general engineering systems of the building, will be powered by a central battery. In such systems, emergency lights are connected with safety devices directly to the battery. This allows you to maintain the stability of the system even in the event of a short circuit. In such cases, a safety device is triggered, which disconnects the group of luminaires in which the circuit is closed. The lighting should work stably, it is considered the main advantage in comparison with the power supply from the UPS, in which case all the emergency lighting is turned off during a short circuit.

Backup lighting

It is necessary in cases where the violation of the supply network should not affect the further operation of the process equipment. This applies to continuous technological processes, such as water supply, sewage systems or ventilation, or in cases where equipment malfunctions can occur that pose a danger to people, such as explosions, fires or poisoning.

Visibility with working backup lighting should be at least 30% of the norm for this type of premises.

Emergency lighting

This type is necessary in the premises during non-working hours, when inside there are mostly only representatives of official bodies. For emergency lighting there are no requirements for the magnitude or unevenness of the lighting.

Security lighting

This view is necessary in order to illuminate the borders in the protected area. The level of viewability is taken in accordance with the documentation for special technical means, such as video surveillance systems. The minimum level allowed is 0.5 lux.

During the design of lighting in various office buildings, the points of placement of lamps for emergency lighting must be carefully coordinated with the designers of video surveillance systems. This will allow you to calculate the places where the video cameras will be located. At a minimum, the video surveillance zone should extend to the reception, corridors, and the room where the servers are located.

For elevator cars

Requirements for emergency lighting in elevators are set by state standards.All cabins should be provided with a power source with an additional charge in order to ensure the operation of emergency luminaires with a power of 1 Watt for an hour. Emergency lighting starts automatically as soon as the voltage in the working luminaires disappears.

In medical premises

There is no doubt that at least one luminaire that is connected to the emergency lighting network must be located in rooms for emergency procedures, as well as in rooms of group 1. This is a classification of medical rooms according to state standards. In the premises of the group 2 - 50% of the luminaires must necessarily be connected to the emergency lighting network. In such rooms, it is also necessary to provide for the ability to switch to emergency power supply of all equipment necessary for medical purposes.

emergency lighting devices

Light in the subway

For this type of lighting, for obvious reasons, there are very high requirements. It belongs to a special group of electrical appliances of the first category. As an independent power supply, an uninterruptible power supply can be used so that the equipment’s operation time is at least one hour.Emergency lighting should be in all rooms in the subway: passenger, industrial, and sanitary facilities. Illuminated should be tunnels and tunnel installation.

Light fixtures

The color rendering index should be at least 40. Fluorescent or LED lights are used. Sometimes it is allowed to use devices that have incandescent lamps, if the use of other sources is not possible. High-pressure discharge lamps can be used only in those cases if their fast switching from the hot position is configured. Lighting devices are turned on if an emergency shutdown of work equipment has occurred, or they are always switched on together with work devices. On such lighting devices that are connected to the main network, a special identification symbol in the form of the letter “A” of a red hue is applied.

Of course, the arrangement of such systems should be done exclusively by professionals who have the proper qualifications, skills and experience. This is an extremely important element for the buildings inside which people work, so that negligence is by no means permissible here. They will help to carry out all the settings and configurations so that the whole system works perfectly.This is the only way to guarantee the safety of people.

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