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Emergency Lighting

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Uncontrolled emergencies can escalate easily into catastrophes resulting in injuries or fatalities. The HSE emphasises the responsibility of companies and employers to implement adequate emergency plans and control measures. These plans and measures must also consider and address serious emergencies such as explosions, fires and toxic spills.

Emergency plans must include emergency lighting. The Fire Safety Advice Centre notes that the onset of sudden darkness in the absence of emergency lighting may instigate panic and erratic behaviour. These, in turn, increase the risk of physical harm. The lack of emergency lighting coupled with another emergency – such as a fire in the building – can have dire consequences.

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The Importance of Emergency Lighting


Emergency lighting and photoluminescent signage provide lighting in the event of a power failure. This can be caused by a fire emergency or an infrastructure issue. Emergency lighting is broadly classed as either emergency escape lighting or standby lighting.

Standby lighting is not a legal requirement. It is back-up lighting that enables companies to continue with business in the event of a power failure. The installation of standby lighting largely depends on the occupancy and business activities of a facility.

Emergency escape lighting, on the other hand, is prescribed by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This lighting indicates evacuation routes or provides illumination to enable the management of emergencies. Emergency escape lighting is classed as:

  • Escape route lighting marks evacuation routes – such as a fire escape route – and should adequately illuminate the routes and exits. These lighting systems include fire escape emergency lighting, fire exit signs, and emergency lighting bulkheads.

  • Open area lighting, also known as anti-panic lighting, provides sufficient illumination to allow the occupants of a building to make their way towards a lighted escape route.

  • High-risk task area lighting provides light in situations where people are required to defuse danger or work in potentially dangerous situations. These situations often require power shutdowns and emergency lighting is needed for illumination.


We have an entire range of the best photoluminescent emergency lighting and signage solutions for every space and eventuality.

Planning emergency lighting

Choosing the right lighting for buildings and specific areas can be challenging and somewhat confusing. First and foremost, be sure to consider and comply with all legal stipulations.



It is also a good idea to gain expert insights from local fire prevention authorities. Once you are familiar with your legal obligations, you can:

  • Assess your environment, especially noting potential hazards such as fuel storage areas, possible ignition points, and obstacles. Determine how clearly emergency equipment is marked and illuminated.

  • Evaluate whether the emergency lighting system is compliant and functional by testing it according to recommended timeframes. It is especially important to test emergency exit signs such as Fire Exit Signs.

  • Keep a record of all inspections. Written logs will help you to keep track of legislative changes, maintenance updates, and testing plans for emergency lighting – such as when emergency lighting was changed or when batteries were replaced.


Our Legislation Watch will enable you to keep up to date on any health and safety legislation changes.

Testing and maintaining emergency lighting

Imagine an emergency at your workplace, having to evacuate your colleagues from the building as quickly as possible and at a critical moment your emergency lighting ceases to function. Emergency lighting – when functional – should come on immediately in the event of a power outage. Therefore, as with any other installations, testing and maintenance are essential.

  • Manual testing entails simulating a power failure and establishing the effectiveness and functioning of all emergency lighting on the premises. It is preferable that qualified and trained persons conduct these tests.

  • Self-testing emergency lighting runs automatic tests. These systems do not require an expert and do not cause disruptions. However, different sites will require different models.

  • Remember to keep records of your emergency lighting testing and maintenance.


Top emergency lighting and photoluminescent emergency lighting picks

We have selected a range of emergency lighting to suit all spaces. Here are some of the best from our quality selection: