Light Refreshment

The growing sophistication of emergency lighting methods signifies that as properly as being a significant a part of a building’s life safety infrastructure they can additionally get monetary savings and scale back CO2 emissions due to the benefits intelligent LED-based options with advanced battery expertise have over conventional systems.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar building when a hearth alarm is activated or a major lighting failure has occurred will perceive the true worth of an emergency lighting system. Although we frequently take these acquainted green and white indicators without any consideration, emergency lighting’s role, as a part of an general life safety system, should never be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed important advancements within the expertise deployed in these systems, with the end result that they now offer a level of intelligence that mixes vitality effectivity with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour
The method during which we use vitality is continually within the spotlight and if further proof was required of the need for all of us to address our behaviour it got here in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It said that scientists are ninety five p.c sure that we are the ‘dominant cause’ of worldwide warming for the rationale that 1950s.
This may not come as much of a surprise. However, via greater consciousness of the results of CO2, mixed with the monetary implications of rising utility payments, organisations are extra prepared and ready than ever to make use of power correctly. Growing laws and regulation implies that businesses everywhere in the world are implementing power reduction measures. The focus is commonly on adopting renewable vitality technologies similar to solar photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines and floor and air source heat pumps as methods to generate power, while others are using building management methods (BMS) to achieve a holistic view of their power use and establish ways to lower their consumption.
However, the pressure is on to do much more, which is why constructing homeowners and managers are having to drill down and take a glance at particular person parts of their constructing services infrastructures to see whether there any additional financial savings could be made.
Light Years Ahead
Modern emergency lighting techniques supply the chance for important energy and value savings. This is because of two key elements – the use of mild emitting diode (LED) based lighting and advanced battery expertise.
Traditional emergency lighting techniques utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel steel hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by regularly charging, discharging a little and then recharging – a course of that uses pointless amounts of vitality and rapidly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. It signifies that battery life is limited to between one and 4 years, dependent upon the application.
State-of-the-art clever know-how, nevertheless, utilises only the amount of power needed to totally cost the emergency lighting batteries, after which shuts the battery down until an emergency state of affairs occurs. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces energy consumption. Some techniques are additionally out there with luminaires which are geared up with integral batteries permitting continued operation for no much less than three hours, even in instances where the management panel or energy cables are broken. Maintained luminaires may be powered immediately from the road so as to not affect any battery capability due to this fact leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what kind of energy savings can be made as a result? It is estimated that intelligent battery techniques use between 5 and ten percent energy of that a traditional battery system would use. Consider bigger installations of up to 5,000 luminaires – which aren’t unusual in hospitals, for example – and the savings quickly turn into apparent.
Bright Spark
It is estimated that lighting accounts for more than 19 % of the world’s complete electrical energy consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if solely half of worldwide lighting was converted to LED by 2025, power use can be minimize by 120GW, saving £66 billion a 12 months and reducing CO2 emissions from power vegetation by 350Mt over the same interval.
LED lighting has seen rapid adoption and the worldwide market was value $25.4 billion in 2013, in accordance with a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED expertise is each cost effective and environmentally friendly, making it a greener different to other systems which are at present out there and allowing working costs to be kept to a minimal with out compromising effectivity.
LED technology is now being utilized in emergency lighting techniques and these new luminaires offer some impressive financial savings. For instance, they eat less than zero.5W, whereas a similar 8W fluorescent light exit luminaire will use roughly 12W. These systems additionally include extra energy saving options, including signage that’s linked through low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the identical loop via a single panel, giving high ranges of control through an automatic system.
Testing Times
All emergency lighting methods must be examined on a monthly basis in compliance with BS EN 50172. The take a look at itself often includes flicking a guide change, which interrupts the ability supply to the luminaire, so that it illuminates. A full record sheet must be maintained for every emergency luminaire and entered right into a logbook, which should be obtainable for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to provide full check records can outcome in authorized motion and closure of the building, and if the emergency lighting is flawed, the insurance coverage for the constructing could also be invalid.
On the surface this all appears affordable and fulfils the necessities of the Standard, nonetheless, the testing course of itself is flawed and doesn’t essentially end in a secure and totally practical system. All it does is examine that the system works for a couple of seconds when the manual swap is operated – what occurs if the system fails five minutes after the test? It won’t be retested for another month, so may depart a building’s occupants weak in the meantime.
Also, it doesn’t check only 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 requirements. The time required to evacuate the premises is decided by its measurement and complexity. The duration itself is dependent not only on evacuation time but additionally on whether the premises are evacuated immediately the ability and normal lighting fails and/or are reoccupied immediately the availability is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimal duration of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, a minimum length of three hours must be used for emergency lighting if the premises aren’t evacuated immediately, as in the case of sleeping accommodation, for instance, or if the premises might be reoccupied immediately the provision 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 90 minutes.
Modern emergency lighting management panels repeatedly monitor and check functionality in real time. They can also be pre-programmed to hold out particular monthly, six month-to-month and annual exams and additionally it is attainable to set operational parameters as a lot as alert when batteries are at 85 p.c capacity, providing a high degree of reassurance that the system will work appropriately beneath all circumstances.
Lighting consumes 19 % of all electricity in the world.
The first LED device was crafted in 1907 by Captain H J Round, a British radio know-how pioneer and a private assistant to Guglielmo Marconi.
Nick Holonyak Jr is taken into account ‘the father of the trendy LED’. In 1962, while working at General Electric, he developed the first practically practical seen spectrum LED gadget for business use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equal to a normal 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have become more efficient, so that now a 6W LED can simply achieve the same outcomes.
LEDs produce a long service life 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 don’t comprise mercury and may be extra safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them perfect to light up costly objects corresponding to images, collections, paintings and so on.
LEDs produce extra gentle than warmth, which makes them the safest type of lighting and reduces the risk of fires.
Right Place, Right Time
Evacuation is normally hindered by an absence of detailed knowledge of the internal connectivity of the building space, together with complicated and poorly thought out directions. Studies have additionally proven that in these conditions occupants normally make use of familiar routes – sometimes utilizing the exit by way of which they entered the building. Even more worryingly, analysis from the University of Greenwich, as a part of its research known as Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), found that solely 38 p.c of people see passive signage in an emergency. This is a frightening statistic and only serves to highlight the importance of siting an emergency lighting system in a means that will guide individuals to a safe location in the occasion of a mains lighting failure.
Rich offers steering on the positioning of luminaires, provides a minimal standard that ought to be applied and offers guidance on particular hazards and points of emphasis that have to be accounted for. Points of emphasis are obligatory areas where lighting should highlight specific hazards, safety equipment and indicators. These embody areas close to stairs, near changes of degree, at every change of course, close to firefighting tools and handbook call points, outdoors and close to to every final exit, first help factors, at exit doors, and near security indicators.
Signs are both internally of externally illuminated and the utmost viewing distances for internally illuminated signs is 200 occasions the panel peak, and a hundred times the panel top for externally illuminated signs. Luminaires must supply 1Lux of output in escape routes and zero.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting must also be positioned in such a means to guarantee that people are free from disability glare, which can forestall obstructions or indicators from being correctly seen.
It is worth remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) permitted merchandise are independently examined and meet the present product and application requirements. Therefore, selecting merchandise with ICEL approval will provide reassurance of compliance.
Look to the Future
The issues with passive signage are clear from the University of Greenwich’s HUBFIN analysis, which is why the combination of fireside detection and emergency lighting systems is the subsequent step in including intelligence and greater effectiveness to a life safety infrastructure.
A conventional emergency lighting system doesn’t permit indicators to be ‘shut off’, which might enable individuals to unwittingly journey into the trail of danger. In locations such as hospitals and care homes, where folks typically have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and should not be wasted by having to decipher probably the most applicable escape route.
By integrating a hearth detection system with emergency lighting, and by figuring out where a fire is happening, the proper route could be configured and communicated. For example, by responding to data despatched from the hearth detectors it is potential to put a red ‘X’ on particular emergency luminaires, which signals to individuals to not exit through that exact route. This can be synchronised with the prevailing PA/VA system, adding one other degree of security.
Not solely does integration make good sense from a security viewpoint, it has numerous price saving and environmental advantages. It is estimated that it could reduce the whole system’s wiring content by 75 percent, as there can be just one loop with both functions.
Feature Packed
A accurately specified, put in and maintained emergency lighting system is essential so as to give occupants a method of evacuating a constructing safely in the occasion of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a fire. The laws, standards and steering on this subject are comprehensive and the superior LED lighting and battery technology that’s now obtainable combines reliability, performance and value with one other approach to save vitality.

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