Light Refreshment

The rising sophistication of emergency lighting techniques signifies that in addition to being a vital part of a building’s life security infrastructure they will additionally lower your expenses and cut back CO2 emissions due to the advantages intelligent LED-based options with superior battery technology have over traditional systems.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar building when a fireplace alarm is activated or a main lighting failure has occurred will perceive the true worth of an emergency lighting system. Although we often take these acquainted green and white indicators as a right, emergency lighting’s role, as part of an overall life security system, should never be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed important developments in the expertise deployed in these techniques, with the result that they now supply a degree of intelligence that combines power efficiency with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour
The way by which we use energy is constantly within the spotlight and if further proof was required of the necessity for all of us to deal with our behaviour it came in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It stated that scientists are ninety five percent certain that we are the ‘dominant cause’ of world warming since the Nineteen Fifties.
This might not come as a lot of a surprise. However, via larger awareness of the effects of CO2, combined with the monetary implications of rising utility payments, organisations are extra willing and in a position than ever to use power wisely. Growing legislation and regulation implies that companies all over the world are implementing energy reduction measures. The focus is often on adopting renewable power applied sciences such as solar photovoltaics (PV), wind generators and floor and air supply warmth pumps as methods to generate energy, while others are using building administration methods (BMS) to achieve a holistic view of their power use and determine methods to lower their consumption.
However, the stress is on to do even more, which is why building homeowners and managers are having to drill down and look at individual parts of their constructing companies infrastructures to see whether there any further financial savings may be made.
Light Years Ahead
Modern emergency lighting methods offer the likelihood for vital power and cost financial savings. This is due to two key elements – using light emitting diode (LED) primarily based lighting and superior battery technology.
Traditional emergency lighting techniques utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by regularly charging, discharging slightly after which recharging – a course of that uses unnecessary amounts of energy and quickly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. It signifies that battery life is proscribed to between one and 4 years, dependent upon the appliance.
State-of-the-art intelligent technology, nevertheless, utilises only the amount of energy wanted to fully cost the emergency lighting batteries, and then shuts the battery down till an emergency scenario occurs. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces vitality consumption. Some methods are also obtainable with luminaires which might be equipped with integral batteries permitting continued operation for at least three hours, even in cases where the control panel or power cables are damaged. Maintained luminaires may be powered immediately from the road so as to not have an effect on any battery capacity therefore leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what type of energy savings could be made as a result? It is estimated that intelligent battery systems use between 5 and ten p.c energy of that a conventional battery system would use. Consider larger installations of up to 5,000 luminaires – which are not uncommon in hospitals, for example – and the financial savings quickly turn into apparent.
Bright Spark
It is estimated that lighting accounts for more than 19 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if solely half of worldwide lighting was transformed to LED by 2025, energy use can be cut by 120GW, saving £66 billion a yr and reducing CO2 emissions from energy plants by 350Mt over the identical interval.
LED lighting has seen fast adoption and the global market was worth $25.4 billion in 2013, according to a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED expertise is each value effective and environmentally friendly, making it a greener various to different systems that are at present available and allowing working prices to be saved to a minimal with out compromising effectivity.
LED technology is now being utilized in emergency lighting systems and these new luminaires offer some impressive savings. For instance, they eat less than zero.5W, while a similar 8W fluorescent mild exit luminaire will use approximately 12W. These systems also come with additional power saving options, including signage that is related through low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the same loop via a single panel, giving excessive ranges of control through an automatic system.
Testing Times
All emergency lighting methods should be tested on a month-to-month foundation in compliance with BS EN 50172. The test itself often involves flicking a handbook change, which interrupts the facility supply to the luminaire, in order that it illuminates. A full report sheet must be maintained for each emergency luminaire and entered into a logbook, which should be out there for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to provide full take a look at records can outcome in legal action and closure of the constructing, and if the emergency lighting is defective, the insurance coverage coverage for the building could additionally be invalid.
On the floor this all appears reasonable and fulfils the requirements of the Standard, nevertheless, the testing course of itself is flawed and does not necessarily end in a protected and absolutely useful system. All it does is check that the system works for a couple of seconds when the guide change is operated – what occurs if the system fails five minutes after the test? It won’t be retested for one more month, so might leave a building’s occupants susceptible within the meantime.
Also, it does not take a look at just for how lengthy the luminaires will keep on and whether the battery has enough power to take care of operation for the interval specified within the related standards. The time required to evacuate the premises is dependent upon its size and complexity. The duration itself relies not only on evacuation time but in addition on whether or not the premises are evacuated instantly the power and regular lighting fails and/or are reoccupied instantly the supply is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimum length of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, a minimal duration of three hours ought to be used for emergency lighting if the premises usually are not evacuated immediately, as within the case of sleeping accommodation, for instance, or if the premises might be reoccupied immediately the availability is restored with out waiting for the batteries to be recharged. It should also be noted that to comply with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) a hundred and one Life Safety Code, emergency lights are required to remain lit for ninety minutes.
Modern emergency lighting management panels continuously monitor and test functionality in actual time. They can additionally be pre-programmed to hold out specific monthly, six monthly and annual exams and it is also possible to set operational parameters up to alert when batteries are at 85 percent capacity, offering a high level of reassurance that the system will work appropriately beneath all circumstances.
Lighting consumes 19 percent of all electricity in the world.
The first LED system was crafted in 1907 by Captain H J Round, a British radio expertise pioneer and a private assistant to Guglielmo Marconi.
Nick Holonyak Jr is taken into account ‘the father of the modern LED’. In 1962, while working at General Electric, he developed the primary virtually useful seen spectrum LED device for business use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equivalent to a standard 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have become extra efficient, in order that now a 6W LED can easily achieve the identical results.
LEDs produce a long service lifetime of between 50,000 hours and 100,000 hours. This compares with 2,000-5,000 hours for a halogen bulb and eight,000 hours to fifteen,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Unlike CFLs LEDs do not comprise mercury and may be extra safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them perfect to illuminate costly objects similar to images, collections, paintings and so on.
LEDs produce extra mild than warmth, which makes them the safest form of lighting and reduces the chance of fires.
Right Place, Right Time
Evacuation is normally hindered by an absence of detailed information of the interior connectivity of the constructing house, together with complicated and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have also proven that in these situations occupants usually make use of acquainted routes – typically utilizing the exit through which they entered the constructing. Even more worryingly, analysis from the University of Greenwich, as a part of its study referred to as Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), discovered that only 38 % of people see passive signage in an emergency. This is a daunting statistic and only serves to spotlight the importance of siting an emergency lighting system in a method that can information individuals to a secure location in the event of a mains lighting failure.
BS EN 50172 offers steerage on the positioning of luminaires, supplies a minimal normal that should be applied and provides steering on specific hazards and points of emphasis that have to be accounted for. Points of emphasis are mandatory places the place lighting must highlight specific hazards, safety equipment and indicators. These embody areas close to stairs, near changes of level, at each change of course, close to firefighting equipment and manual name points, outdoors and close to to every last exit, first help factors, at exit doors, and close to safety signs.
Signs are either internally of externally illuminated and the utmost viewing distances for internally illuminated indicators is 200 occasions the panel top, and 100 times the panel peak for externally illuminated signs. Luminaires should provide 1Lux of output in escape routes and zero.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting also wants to be positioned in such a way to guarantee that persons are free from disability glare, which can stop obstructions or indicators from being correctly seen.
It is worth remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) accredited products are independently examined and meet the present product and utility requirements. Therefore, selecting merchandise with ICEL approval will provide reassurance of compliance.
Look to the Future
The problems with passive signage are clear from the University of Greenwich’s HUBFIN analysis, which is why the combination of fire detection and emergency lighting methods is the following step in including intelligence and larger effectiveness to a life safety infrastructure.
A traditional emergency lighting system doesn’t allow indicators to be ‘shut off’, which might permit folks to unwittingly journey into the trail of hazard. In places such as hospitals and care properties, where people typically have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and should not be wasted by having to decipher essentially the most applicable escape route.
By integrating a hearth detection system with emergency lighting, and by identifying the place a fire is happening, the right route could be configured and communicated. For example, by responding to information despatched from the hearth detectors it is potential to put a purple ‘X’ on specific emergency luminaires, which indicators to individuals to not exit by way of that exact route. This can additionally be synchronised with the present PA/VA system, adding one other degree of safety.
Not only does integration make good sense from a security viewpoint, it has a selection of value saving and environmental advantages. Little-known is estimated that it may cut back the entire system’s wiring content material by 75 %, as there would be just one loop with each features.
Feature Packed
A accurately specified, installed and maintained emergency lighting system is crucial to find a way to give occupants a method of evacuating a building safely in the event of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a hearth. The laws, standards and steerage on this subject are complete and the superior LED lighting and battery know-how that is now available combines reliability, performance and usability with one other approach to save power.

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