Emergency Lighting

What is Emergency Lighting?

Legislation requires all occupied buildings to have adequate escape lighting to allow safe exit should mains power fail. Escape and exit routes In the UK must be lit to a minimum of one lux during an emergency.

Emergency luminaires have integral back-up batteries, - continuously charged during normal operation. They power the luminaire for at least 3 hours should power fail. Emergency light output is approx. 10% of normal levels.
Every emergency luminaire must have a green LED indicator to show it is charged and functional.

The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 & BS5266 part 1 - require building owners to test emergency lighting systems regularly and maintain them in proper working order. 

Maintained and Non-Maintained Luminaires

Maintained Luminaires

Maintained luminaires operate as normal light fittings during everyday operation and can be controlled with all other luminaires in the area. When power fails they automatically switch to battery backup.

Non-maintained Luminaires

Non-maintained luminaires remain off during everyday operation, only illuminating when mains power fails.
Fern-Howard luminaires can operate both as maintained or non-maintained fittings.

What is Self-Test? (also commonly known as AutoTest)

Self-Test is an intelligent emergency module that carries out routine functional and duration testing in-time with the relevant standards. By eliminating the need for manual testing and automatically signalling faults that require action, Self-Test is highly cost effective.

What is Central Battery Backup (CBS)?

A central battery supplies power to all emergency luminaires in the building, luminaires do not require integrated batteries, but do need a convertor to handle the CBS power. Common systems are 50V dc, 90V dc, 110V ac/dc, and 240V ac/dc.

Light Level Requirements

BS 5266 calls for a minimum light level of 1 lux along escape routes for normal risks. Emergency luminaires should be spaced to provide at least this illumination in the event of a power failure.
Click here for our Emergency Luminaire Spacing Guide to assist with your lighting design.

When should I use 1hour or 3hour Emergency Lighting?

BS 5266-1: 2016 Code of practice for the emergency escape lighting of premises states  ‘’The time required to evacuate premises depends upon their size and complexity.’’ Click here for our Quick Guide to help you determine where you need to install 1hour or 3hour Emergency Lighting.


Fern-Howard have solutions for all these systems.

Please contact us to discuss which solution would be right for you.