Light Refreshment

The rising sophistication of emergency lighting systems means that in addition to being an important a half of a building’s life safety infrastructure they can additionally lower your expenses and cut back CO2 emissions thanks to the advantages clever LED-based solutions with superior battery expertise have over conventional methods.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar constructing when a hearth alarm is activated or a major lighting failure has occurred will perceive the true value of an emergency lighting system. Although we often take these acquainted green and white signs without any consideration, emergency lighting’s function, as a half of an total life safety system, ought to by no means be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed vital advancements in the technology deployed in these systems, with the end result that they now provide a degree of intelligence that mixes power efficiency with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour
The way in which we use vitality is continually in the highlight and if further proof was required of the need for all of us to handle our behaviour it came in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It stated that scientists are 95 percent certain that we are the ‘dominant cause’ of worldwide warming because the 1950s.
This might not come as a lot of a surprise. However, through larger awareness of the effects of CO2, combined with the monetary implications of rising utility payments, organisations are more willing and able than ever to make use of power wisely. Growing legislation and regulation signifies that businesses everywhere in the world are implementing vitality reduction measures. The focus is commonly on adopting renewable vitality applied sciences similar to photo voltaic photovoltaics (PV), wind generators and ground and air supply heat pumps as ways to generate power, whereas others are using building administration techniques (BMS) to realize a holistic view of their power use and determine ways to decrease their consumption.
However, the strain is on to do much more, which is why constructing homeowners and managers are having to drill down and take a look at individual parts of their constructing companies infrastructures to see whether or not there any further savings can be made.
Light Years Ahead
Modern emergency lighting techniques offer the chance for significant vitality and price savings. This is as a result of of two key factors – the use of mild emitting diode (LED) based mostly lighting and superior battery know-how.
Traditional emergency lighting methods utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel metallic hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by continually charging, discharging a little after which recharging – a course of that makes use of unnecessary amounts of power and quickly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. It implies that battery life is proscribed to between one and 4 years, dependent upon the appliance.
State-of-the-art intelligent technology, however, utilises only the amount of energy wanted to fully charge the emergency lighting batteries, after which shuts the battery down until an emergency state of affairs occurs. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces power consumption. Some methods are additionally available with luminaires which are outfitted with integral batteries allowing continued operation for no less than three hours, even in cases where the control panel or energy cables are broken. Maintained luminaires could be powered directly from the line so as to not have an result on any battery capability subsequently leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what kind of power financial savings could be made as a result? It is estimated that clever battery systems use between five and ten % vitality of that a traditional battery system would use. Consider bigger installations of up to 5,000 luminaires – which aren’t unusual in hospitals, for instance – and the savings soon turn out to be obvious.
Bright Spark
It is estimated that lighting accounts for more than 19 p.c of the world’s total electricity consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if only half of worldwide lighting was converted to LED by 2025, power use could be reduce by 120GW, saving £66 billion a 12 months and lowering CO2 emissions from energy vegetation by 350Mt over the identical interval.
LED lighting has seen rapid adoption and the global market was worth $25.four billion in 2013, in accordance with a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED expertise is each price efficient and environmentally pleasant, making it a greener alternative to other methods which may be at present obtainable and allowing operating prices to be saved to a minimal without compromising effectivity.
Underground is now being utilized in emergency lighting systems and these new luminaires offer some impressive savings. For instance, they consume less than 0.5W, whereas a similar 8W fluorescent mild exit luminaire will use roughly 12W. These systems additionally come with additional vitality saving features, together with signage that is connected through low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the identical loop via a single panel, giving high ranges of management via an automated system.
Testing Times
All emergency lighting techniques must be examined on a monthly foundation in compliance with BS EN 50172. The take a look at itself usually includes flicking a handbook change, which interrupts the facility supply to the luminaire, in order that it illuminates. A full document sheet must be maintained for every emergency luminaire and entered right into a logbook, which should be out there for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to offer full test records can lead to authorized motion and closure of the building, and if the emergency lighting is flawed, the insurance coverage for the constructing may be invalid.
On the floor this all appears cheap and fulfils the requirements of the Standard, nonetheless, the testing process itself is flawed and doesn’t essentially end in a secure and totally practical system. All it does is check that the system works for a couple of seconds when the handbook change is operated – what occurs if the system fails 5 minutes after the test? It won’t be retested for one more month, so could depart a building’s occupants weak in the meantime.
Also, it doesn’t take a look at only for how long the luminaires will keep on and whether or not the battery has enough power to keep up operation for the period specified in the related standards. The time required to evacuate the premises is determined by its dimension and complexity. The length itself depends not only on evacuation time but in addition on whether the premises are evacuated immediately the facility and normal lighting fails and/or are reoccupied instantly the supply is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimum period of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, a minimal period of three hours must 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 will be reoccupied immediately the provision is restored with out ready for the batteries to be recharged. It also needs to be famous that to adjust to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code, emergency lights are required to stay lit for ninety minutes.
Modern emergency lighting control panels continuously monitor and test performance in actual time. They can be pre-programmed to carry out specific month-to-month, six monthly and annual exams and additionally it is possible to set operational parameters as much as alert when batteries are at eighty five % capacity, offering a high stage of reassurance that the system will work correctly beneath all circumstances.
Lighting consumes 19 % of all electrical energy on the planet.
The first LED gadget was crafted in 1907 by Captain H J Round, a British radio expertise pioneer and a personal assistant to Guglielmo Marconi.
Nick Holonyak Jr is taken into account ‘the father of the fashionable LED’. In 1962, while working at General Electric, he developed the primary practically useful seen spectrum LED device for industrial use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equivalent to a standard 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have turn out to be extra efficient, in order that now a 6W LED can simply obtain the identical results.
LEDs produce an extended service lifetime of between 50,000 hours and one hundred,000 hours. This compares with 2,000-5,000 hours for a halogen bulb and 8,000 hours to 15,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Unlike CFLs LEDs don’t include mercury and may be extra safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them good to illuminate expensive objects such as photographs, collections, work etc.
LEDs produce extra light than warmth, which makes them the safest type of lighting and reduces the chance of fires.
Right Place, Right Time
Evacuation is usually hindered by a lack of detailed data of the inner connectivity of the building space, together with confusing and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have additionally proven that in these situations occupants normally make use of familiar routes – typically using the exit through which they entered the constructing. Even extra worryingly, analysis from the University of Greenwich, as part of its examine called Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), found that solely 38 percent of individuals see passive signage in an emergency. This is a daunting statistic and only serves to focus on the significance of siting an emergency lighting system in a means that will information people to a secure location in the event of a mains lighting failure.
BS EN 50172 presents steering on the positioning of luminaires, offers a minimum standard that must be utilized and offers steering on specific hazards and points of emphasis that need to be accounted for. Points of emphasis are mandatory locations the place lighting must spotlight particular hazards, safety gear and indicators. These embody areas close to stairs, near changes of level, at each change of path, close to firefighting equipment and guide name points, outdoors and near to each final exit, first help points, at exit doors, and close to security indicators.
Signs are both internally of externally illuminated and the maximum viewing distances for internally illuminated signs is 200 times the panel top, and one hundred instances the panel height for externally illuminated indicators. Luminaires should offer 1Lux of output in escape routes and 0.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting should also be positioned in such a means to ensure that people are free from incapacity glare, which may stop obstructions or signs from being properly seen.
It is worth remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) approved merchandise are independently tested and meet the current product and application requirements. Therefore, deciding on merchandise with ICEL approval will present 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 mixing of fire detection and emergency lighting techniques is the next step in including intelligence and larger effectiveness to a life safety infrastructure.
A conventional emergency lighting system doesn’t allow indicators to be ‘shut off’, which may enable folks to unwittingly travel into the path of danger. In places similar to hospitals and care homes, the place folks usually have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and should not be wasted by having to decipher the most applicable escape route.
By integrating a hearth detection system with emergency lighting, and by identifying where a hearth is taking place, the correct 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 particular emergency luminaires, which signals to people to not exit by way of that exact route. This can be synchronised with the present PA/VA system, adding one other degree of safety.
Not only does integration make good sense from a safety perspective, it has a selection of price saving and environmental benefits. It is estimated that it could reduce the complete system’s wiring content by 75 %, as there would be just one loop with each functions.
Feature Packed
A accurately specified, installed and maintained emergency lighting system is essential to find a way to give occupants a method of evacuating a building safely within the occasion of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a fireplace. The regulations, standards and steerage on this subject are comprehensive and the superior LED lighting and battery technology that’s now obtainable combines reliability, performance and value with another method to save vitality.

Leave a Comment