Emergency Backup Lighting

Emergency backup lighting isn’t something you often think about until you need it. Many commercial businesses need this type of lighting and don’t realize it. When a power outage occurs, your emergency backup lighting offers safety for your employees. You would need to consult a professional electrician to ensure that your backup lighting system is within all code regulations.  Let’s take a look at some important information to consider for emergency backup lighting.


What is it?

  • When power is lost, emergency lighting automatically turns on. This lighting usually activates within ten-seconds. Emergency lighting becomes a part of the buildings safety system. The definition of emergency lighting is approved devices and accessories designed to automatically activate in the event of a power failure.

What is it’s purpose?

  •  Emergency lighting’s purpose is to provide a minimal amount of visibility during a power outage. The lighting is not intended to replace the standard lighting, but rather to assist in the safe exiting of all occupants. These lights also aid first responders if they are needed.

What needs to be connected to the system?

  • Emergency lighting is only for critical lights throughout the building Businesses do not need to connect all lights to the safety system, this would not be cost effective. Your electrician can help you to determine what lights are needed for your emergency backup system.  Codes vary from public to private areas and what the building is used for also needs to be considered. It is often recommended that emergency lights be placed throughout the building since the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

How is it powered?

  •  The system requires a backup source of power. Some choose batteries while others opt for a generator. Codes differ, but many require that the lights activate within ten seconds and remain on for a minimum of 90 minutes. You would need to check your local requirements for emergency lighting and work with your electrician.

Where are the lights needed?

  • When choosing the lighting locations, you need to determine where the lights will have the most impact. The goal being to provide the most lighting with the fewest amount of lights. You’ll need to consider the type of lights that you want to install as there are different kinds of emergency lights that provide different light dispersion.

How often do the lights need to be tested?

  • Regular testing is required with an emergency backup lighting system. When installed, the system will be tested and after that, it is up to the business owner to conduct regular testing. There are local, state and national codes regarding testing. You will need to check into what is required in your area.