External Emergency Lighting Guide (Updated for 2019)

Picture of Emergency Lighting

If the power to your building is cut, you should have emergency lighting that illuminates the environment sufficiently to keep everyone safe. Employees, visitors and any other persons should be able to leave without encountering any hidden hazards. If you have a correctly set up emergency lighting system, it should also be accompanied by appropriate signage above all available exits.

These measures are very important in helping people vacate the premises safely. However, there are still some factors that can complicate matters, such as, if it is night and dark outside.

There are many questions that you need to consider:

  1. Will people be able to navigate to safety in the dark?
  2. What if there are visitors who do not know the premises already?
  3. What if something is left where it shouldn't be and this causes a hazard?

Obviously external lighting is a priority but if all power is switched off in an emergency situation it is useless and can make the environment very dangerous and also potentially distressing.

The answer is External Emergency Lighting. Lighting that can be programmed to come on when other emergency lighting does, so that all areas are always safe.

Why it is important to have high quality External Emergency Lighting

Poor quality systems are not the best choice for external emergency lighting, this is because they have to be able to withstand a number of factors such as: weather, dust and bugs.

External emergency LED lighting manages to tackle all criteria while providing the most effective form of back-up lighting.

Emergency Lighting Basics & Overview


A preview lesson on emergency lighting basics and an overview of exit signs and emergency lighting and the role they play in the safe evacuation of people occupying a building


Guide to Emergency Lighting (Step-by-Step Process)



Source: http://www.iar.unicamp.br/lab/luz/ld/Seguran%E7a/emergency_lighting_design_guide.pdf


Emergency Lighting Design

In order to have effective emergency lighting follow this design guide:

  • Escape Route Signs - Ensure there are sufficient and that they are illuminated when required.
  • Stairs - Ensure each tread receives light.
  • Junctions and Intersections - Ensure changes in level and in direction receive adequate light.
  • Near first aid and fire call points.
  • Final Exit - Ensure light is provided outside the final door.

Also, remember in the UK we have two types of emergency lighting - maintained and non-maintained.


  1. Maintained luminaires are permanently illuminated, and remain on even when power fails.

  2. Sustained or non-maintained luminaires may be switched on and off normally. Notably, if the power fails, they turn on automatically.


Emergency Lighting Lux Levels

  • Escape Routes (Up to 2 metre) - Not less than 1 Lux along centre line and a central band consisting of not less than half of the full width to 50% of that value. Substantially wider escape route to be treated as a number of 2m strips or be treated as an open area.
  • Open Area (Anti Panic) - Areas equal to or greater than 60m2 require illumination at floor level to be not less than 0.5 Lux excluding a border of 0.5 meters from its perimeter. The ratio of maximum to minimum illuminance shall not be greater than 40:1.
  • High Risk Area - Areas considered to be high risk shall not be less than 10% of the required illuminance of the task being performed. It should not be less than 15 Lux.


Finding The Experts

Each building has its own set of specific challenges for all aspects of lighting, including an external emergency LED solution. Whether you need them to light up your car park overnight or purely for in an emergency, how do you find the best external emergency lighting for you? You call the experts in LED lighting services, LED By Vision.

We are the experts in LED lighting services and can help you with your internal and external lighting needs. We are totally committed to providing you with the best and most cost-efficient LED solution for your business. Whether you are considering a retrofit or new installation, our designers will work closely with you to ensure you reap the benefits of changing to LED lighting.

For a free survey and evaluation get in touch with us today. You can call us, email us or complete our online contact form. Find out more about how LED By Vision can help you today.

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