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Eaton Cooper Lighting & Safety - Emergency Lighting Design Guide

Emergency Lighting - Illuminated - Luminance

The main reason for installing an emergency lighting system is to enable the building to meet fire safety legislation in a way that is visually acceptable and meets the user's needs for ease of operation and maintenance. Consequently, it is important to establish all the relevant legal requirements for emergency lighting and fire alarm systems before commencing the design. These should ideally be agreed between the “responsible person” and the system designer.

Ensure the Exit Signs are of Correct Format & Size

Section 4.1 of BS 5266 Pt 7 states that “Signs which are provided at all exits intended to be used in an emergency and along escape routes shall be illuminated to indicate unambiguously the route of escape to a point of safety”.

Where direct sight of an emergency exit is not possible, an illuminated directional sign (or series of signs) shall be provided to assist progression towards the emergency exit.

Sign Formats Should Not Be Mixed

BS 2560:197 - Old-style signs now obsolete. Should have been replaced by December 1998.

European Signs Directive Format - This came into force on 1st April 1996 under The Signs Directive.

BS 5499 Pt 1 - Signs are still acceptable if they are already in the building.

ISO 7010 - In 2011, it was decided by many of the National Standards bodies to consider adoption of a single pictogram format as detailed in ISO 7010. This format was adopted by BSI in the latest edition of BS5266: 2011 which is considered to be the ‘de-facto’ emergency lighting standard in the UK.

BS5499 has been recently updated and now follows the ISO format and allows the addition of text to the sign.

Maximum Viewing Distances

For all formats of safety signs, the maximum viewing distances and luminance conditions are given in BS 5266 pt 7/EN 1838. Signs can be either internally illuminated, such as exit boxes or edge lit emergency luminaires with a screened sign that has a controlled illuminance, or painted signs. These include photo luminescent signs, but to be acceptable they must have an external emergency light illuminating them.

Illumination Requirements

The sign must conform to the colours of ISO 3864, which defines that exit and first aid signs must be white, with green as the contrast colour. The ratio of luminance of the white colour to the green colour must be between 5:1 and 15:1. The minimum luminance of any 10mm patch area on the sign must be greater than 2cd/m2 and the ratio of maximum to minimum luminance shall be less than 10:1 for either colour.

Note: Internally illuminated exit signs are pre-tested to ensure they meet these requirements, provided that they comply with EN60598-2-22. If the sign is designed to be externally illuminated, considerable care must be taken by the system designer to see that these conditions are met. Even though an emergency luminaire must be sited within 2 metres from the sign (see stage), calculations should still be made to check that the sign is illuminated to 5 lux in emergency conditions.

Click the PDF image to view the technical information in full

emergency lighting, illuminated, luminance

Request Eaton Cooper Lighting & Safety Info

Cooper Lighting & Safety Ltd
Wheatley Hall Road
South Yorkshire

Email Eaton Cooper Lighting & Safety

Tel: 01302 321 541
Fax: 01302 303 220

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