Spirit offers the following services:
Our free Emergency Lighting Guide gives a very good overview of emergency lighting. You may also wish to visit these pages on our website:
The design of any building or system within a building should start with consultation between relevant parties. With a lighting installation or upgrade impacting emergency lighting, consultation generally takes place between the responsible person or, in the case of a new build, the developer, and the lighting designer and /or installation contractor. Where relevant, the architect or building control may also be involved.
Consultation should cover:
The detailed design should include a design risk assessment and needs to cover as a minimum the parameters above as well as:
BS 5266 sets out in detail how escape routes need to be illuminated. It also specifies other areas which need to be illuminated.
BS 5266 recommends that rooms should have emergency lighting if:
Toilets with a floor area larger than 8m2 are considered to need emergency lighting.
BS 5266 gives a starting point for establishing the minimum lux levels for emergency lighting. Note that the commissioning certificate for emergency lighting needs to be accompanied by photometric design data, in one of the following formats, with appropriate maintenance de-rating factors to meet worst case requirements:
Spirit provides appropriate design data and supporting test results as part of our design and commissioning service.
Illumination for evacuation must assist occupants in evacuation. This means it must:
BS 5266 recommends the provision of horizontal illumination at floor level along the centre line of a defined escape route up to 2 metres in width should be not less than 1 lux. Note that the previous minimum was 0.2 lux along the centre line of an escape routes, and therefore systems installed prior to 2016 may not comply.
Open areas with a floor area greater than 60m2 or those having been risk assessed as needing emergency lighting should be provided with horizontal illuminance of not less than 0.5 lux at the floor level of the area, excluding a border of 0.5m around the perimeter. The actual degree of illumination should take into account the nature of both the premises and its occupants.
BS 5266 also recommends minimum illumination in high risk areas as per the table below. Note that if the building is not going to be evacuated immediately, additional emergency lighting may be needed for rooms where occupants are able to stay put. The design risk assessment should establish the desired lighting level. For example if the occupants are going to operate the premises normally, standby lighting powered by an alternative power supply source, such as a generator, will probably be needed to provide adequate lighting conditions.
The response time depends upon:
A normal emergency response time is 50% of full output available within 5 secs, with 100% required within 60 seconds. In high risk task areas where the hazard is immediate, full emergency lighting must be available within 0.5 secs.
The table shows minimum recommended illuminances, response times and durations for specific areas:
|Minimum duration||Reference plane|
|Kitchens||0.5 secs for full illuminance||15 lx||30 mins||Horizontal working plane, switches and cut-outs readily visible|
|First aid rooms||5 secs for 50% of full illuminance, 60 secs for 100%||15 lx||30 mins||Horizontal working plane|
|Treatment rooms||0.5 secs for full illuminance||50 lx||30 mins||Horizontal working plane|
|Refuges||5 secs for 50% of full illuminance, 60 secs for 100%||5 lx||Full duration of emergency lighting||Horizontal floor, vertical wall-mounted communication devices and signs|
|Plant rooms, switch rooms, means of emergency operation for lifts||5 secs for 50% of full illuminance, 60 secs for 100%||15 lx||Full duration of emergency lighting||In plane of visual task|
|Fire alarm control and indicating equipment||5 secs for 50% of full illuminance, 60 secs for 100%||15 lx||Full duration of emergency lighting||In plane of visual task|
|Reception areas||5 secs for 50% of full illuminance, 60 secs for 100%||15 lx||Full duration of emergency lighting||In plane of visual task|
|Panic bars and pads for security devices||5 secs for 50% of full illuminance, 60 secs for 100%||5 lx||Full duration of emergency lighting||Horizontal plane of panic bar / pad; vertical at vertically mounted security devices|
Centrally powered systems have additional design considerations, set out in the relevant standards.
Cabling needs adequately to resist the effects of fire and mechanical damage, as set out in the standards. Cable fixings and support should be non-combustible such that they do not reduce circuit integrity below that afforded by the cable used. Clearly plastic cable ties and trunking cannot be used.
The wiring of emergency lighting installations needs to be exclusive to the installation and separate from the wiring of other circuits. Where cables for emergency lighting systems are installed in a common containment system, such as trunking or a cable tray, the cables should be segregated from each other by a suitably specified partition.
When an organisation upgrades its lighting to LED lighting, the emergency lighting is generally already in place.
Care needs to be taken not to compromise the efficacy of the existing system. At the same time an LED upgrade affords an opportunity to achieve compliance with the updated standard BS 5266 (updated in 2016). We see many systems that do not fully comply.
Maintained emergency luminaires are generally replaced on a like-for-like basis, whereas non-maintained lights are generally not replaced, since running costs are minimal. There is also an opportunity to automate testing.
Spirit will check compliance and advise on any necessary upgrades.