Overview of the regulations for emergency lighting

Every minute counts in dangerous situations – emergency lighting systems must be immediately understandable so that they are useful. That emergency lights look the same everywhere and the same conditions comply with, guarantee national, national and European standards and guidelines.

Emergency lighting signs have standardized pictograms and colors for easy and quick orientation. © Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de

Emergency lighting systems always come into play when the general artificial lighting of a building fails. But of course not all buildings need to be equipped with emergency lighting. Where emergency lighting is mandatory and what their Tasks are available at Elektriker.org.

When is emergency lighting mandatory??

The task of the emergency lighting is to enable all people to safely leave a building or area in the event of a power failure. Emergency lighting is therefore essential,

  • when it comes to large, confusing buildings, building complexes and / or systems,
  • when there are many people in the building / facility,
  • if dangerous situations arise due to a lack of light.

Accordingly, emergency lighting must be available both in public buildings and at many workplaces. But also cultural institutions, hostels, shops, medical institutions and high-rise buildings of any kind have to be secured by means of emergency lighting systems.

Areas of responsibility for emergency lighting

Their areas of responsibility are as varied as the locations for emergency lighting systems. The regulations first differentiate between safety and replacement lighting.

Emergency lighting

The area of ​​safety lighting includes all lighting measures that are necessary for a quick and safe completion of dangerous work processes and / or the evacuation of people. This includes the emergency lighting for escape routes and for workplaces with special danger (e.g. on large devices) as well as the anti-panic lighting. Basically, the following applies: For each sub-area there are special requirements for the furnishing and equipment of the safety lighting, which are regulated by various regulations and guidelines.

Standby lighting

The replacement lighting, on the other hand, serves the purpose of providing a light source in the long term in the event of a power failure. It is used when the activities are continued on time the power failure is absolutely necessary. Areas of application for replacement lighting are, for example, operating rooms of hospitals, industrial plants, command rooms of the security organs and surveillance systems.

Accordingly, the regulations for replacement lighting, especially in the guideline values ​​for operating time, brightness and illumination, differ significantly from the specifications that are relevant for emergency luminaires. You can find detailed information on replacement lighting here.

Testing and maintenance of emergency lighting

In order to guarantee compliance with the legal guidelines and to ensure the permanent and permanent operational readiness of an emergency lighting system, all components of the system must be checked at regular intervals. In addition to the scope of the initial inspection, the requirements for testing the safety lighting also determine the periods in which the system must be serviced. Depending on the component and expected wear, it must therefore be checked daily, weekly, monthly, annually or every 3 years whether the emergency lighting is still functional. In addition, the results of the individual maintenance work must be recorded in a test report.


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Christina Cherry
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