Light Refreshment

The rising sophistication of emergency lighting systems implies that in addition to being a significant a part of a building’s life security infrastructure they can additionally lower your expenses and cut back CO2 emissions due to the advantages clever LED-based options with advanced battery know-how have over traditional techniques.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar building when a fire alarm is activated or a main lighting failure has occurred will understand the true worth of an emergency lighting system. Although we often take these familiar green and white indicators as a right, emergency lighting’s role, as a half of an overall life safety system, should never be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed important developments within the technology deployed in these systems, with the result that they now provide a stage of intelligence that combines vitality efficiency with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour
The way during which we use energy is continually in the spotlight and if additional proof was required of the necessity for all of us to deal with our behaviour it got here in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It stated that scientists are ninety five percent certain that we’re the ‘dominant cause’ of world warming since the 1950s.
This won’t come as a lot of a surprise. However, by way of higher awareness of the consequences of CO2, combined with the financial implications of rising utility bills, organisations are more prepared and in a position than ever to make use of energy correctly. Growing laws and regulation means that businesses everywhere in the world are implementing energy reduction measures. The focus is usually on adopting renewable power applied sciences similar to solar photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines and floor and air source heat pumps as ways to generate energy, while others are utilizing building management methods (BMS) to achieve a holistic view of their vitality use and establish ways to decrease their consumption.
However, the pressure is on to do even more, which is why constructing house owners and managers are having to drill down and take a glance at particular person components of their constructing companies infrastructures to see whether or not there any further financial savings can be made.
Light Years Ahead
Modern emergency lighting techniques offer the possibility for important vitality and cost savings. This is due to two key factors – using gentle emitting diode (LED) based mostly lighting and advanced battery technology.
Traditional emergency lighting techniques utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel metallic hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by frequently charging, discharging somewhat after which recharging – a course of that uses pointless amounts of power and rapidly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. It implies that battery life is restricted to between one and 4 years, dependent upon the appliance.
State-of-the-art intelligent technology, nonetheless, utilises only the quantity of energy wanted to fully charge the emergency lighting batteries, after which shuts the battery down till an emergency situation happens. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces power consumption. Some systems are additionally out there with luminaires which might be equipped with integral batteries allowing continued operation for at least three hours, even in cases where the management panel or energy cables are damaged. Maintained luminaires could be powered immediately from the line in order not to have an result on any battery capacity subsequently leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what sort of vitality savings can be made as a result? It is estimated that intelligent battery techniques use between 5 and ten percent power of that a conventional battery system would use. Consider larger installations of as a lot as 5,000 luminaires – which are not uncommon in hospitals, for instance – and the savings quickly become obvious.
Bright Spark
It is estimated that lighting accounts for greater than 19 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if solely half of worldwide lighting was converted to LED by 2025, energy use would be reduce by 120GW, saving £66 billion a 12 months and reducing CO2 emissions from energy vegetation by 350Mt over the same period.
LED lighting has seen speedy adoption and the worldwide market was value $25.four billion in 2013, in accordance with a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED technology is both value efficient and environmentally pleasant, making it a greener various to different methods that are at present obtainable and permitting working prices to be stored to a minimal without compromising effectivity.
LED expertise is now being utilized in emergency lighting techniques and these new luminaires supply some impressive savings. For instance, they devour lower than zero.5W, while an analogous 8W fluorescent light exit luminaire will use approximately 12W. These techniques also come with extra energy saving options, including signage that is related via low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the identical loop via a single panel, giving high ranges of management through an automatic system.
Testing Times
All emergency lighting systems should be examined on a month-to-month basis in compliance with BS EN 50172. The take a look at itself often entails flicking a handbook switch, which interrupts the ability supply to the luminaire, so that it illuminates. A full report sheet must be maintained for each emergency luminaire and entered into a logbook, which have to be available for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to offer full check data may end up in authorized action and closure of the constructing, and if the emergency lighting is flawed, the insurance coverage for the constructing could additionally be invalid.
On the surface this all seems cheap and fulfils the requirements of the Standard, however, the testing process itself is flawed and does not essentially lead to a protected and fully practical system. All it does is examine that the system works for a couple of seconds when the manual switch is operated – what occurs if the system fails 5 minutes after the test? It will not be retested for another month, so might go away a building’s occupants vulnerable in the meantime.
Also, it doesn’t check only for how long the luminaires will stay on and whether the battery has enough energy to maintain operation for the period specified within the relevant standards. The time required to evacuate the premises is decided by its measurement and complexity. The period itself is dependent not solely on evacuation time but additionally on whether or not the premises are evacuated immediately the ability and normal lighting fails and/or are reoccupied instantly the provision is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimal duration of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, Copy of three hours must be used for emergency lighting if the premises aren’t evacuated immediately, as in the case of sleeping accommodation, for example, or if the premises shall be reoccupied instantly 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) 101 Life Safety Code, emergency lights are required to remain lit for 90 minutes.
Modern emergency lighting management panels repeatedly monitor and take a look at functionality in real time. They can also be pre-programmed to hold out specific month-to-month, six month-to-month and annual exams and it’s also potential to set operational parameters up to alert when batteries are at eighty five % capability, offering a excessive level of reassurance that the system will work accurately underneath all circumstances.
Lighting consumes 19 percent of all electrical energy 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 functional visible spectrum LED gadget for business use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equivalent to a regular 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have become extra efficient, so that now a 6W LED can simply achieve the identical results.
LEDs produce a protracted service life of between 50,000 hours and a hundred,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 include mercury and may be extra safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them good to light up expensive objects corresponding to photographs, collections, work etc.
LEDs produce extra light than heat, which makes them the safest type of lighting and reduces the risk of fires.
Right Place, Right Time
Evacuation is often hindered by a lack of detailed knowledge of the internal connectivity of the building space, along with confusing and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have additionally proven that in these situations occupants usually make use of familiar routes – sometimes utilizing the exit through which they entered the building. Even more worryingly, research from the University of Greenwich, as a half of its examine called Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), found that solely 38 % of individuals see passive signage in an emergency. This is a daunting statistic and solely serves to focus on the importance of siting an emergency lighting system in a means that may guide people to a secure location within the event of a mains lighting failure.
Little-known steerage on the positioning of luminaires, provides a minimum commonplace that ought to be utilized and gives steerage on particular hazards and factors of emphasis that should be accounted for. Points of emphasis are necessary areas the place lighting must highlight particular hazards, safety tools and signs. These embrace areas close to stairs, close to modifications of level, at each change of direction, near firefighting gear and manual name points, outside and near to each ultimate exit, first help factors, at exit doorways, and close to safety indicators.
Signs are either internally of externally illuminated and the utmost viewing distances for internally illuminated indicators is 200 times the panel top, and 100 instances the panel height for externally illuminated indicators. Luminaires must provide 1Lux of output in escape routes and 0.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting must also be positioned in such a method to make certain that people are free from incapacity glare, which may prevent obstructions or signs from being correctly seen.
It is worth remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) accredited products are independently tested and meet the present product and application standards. 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 research, which is why the integration of fireside detection and emergency lighting systems is the following step in including intelligence and larger effectiveness to a life security infrastructure.
A traditional emergency lighting system doesn’t permit indicators to be ‘shut off’, which might permit folks to unwittingly journey into the trail of hazard. In locations similar to hospitals and care homes, where folks typically have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and should not be wasted by having to decipher the most appropriate escape route.
By integrating a hearth detection system with emergency lighting, and by identifying the place a fireplace is going down, the right route may be configured and communicated. For example, by responding to information sent from the fireplace detectors it’s possible to put a pink ‘X’ on specific emergency luminaires, which alerts to people to not exit through that specific route. This may additionally be synchronised with the existing PA/VA system, adding another stage of safety.
Not only does integration make good sense from a security viewpoint, it has numerous value saving and environmental advantages. It is estimated that it may scale back the complete system’s wiring content by 75 p.c, as there can be just one loop with both functions.
Feature Packed
A accurately specified, installed and maintained emergency lighting system is essential so as to give occupants a method of evacuating a building safely in the occasion of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a fireplace. The rules, standards and steerage on this topic are complete and the superior LED lighting and battery technology that is now available combines reliability, performance and usefulness with one other method to save energy.

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