Light Refreshment

The growing sophistication of emergency lighting techniques implies that in addition to being an important part of a building’s life security infrastructure they can also save money and cut back CO2 emissions due to the benefits clever LED-based options with advanced battery know-how have over conventional methods.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of being in an unfamiliar building when a fire alarm is activated or a major lighting failure has occurred will perceive the true value of an emergency lighting system. Although we regularly take these acquainted green and white signs for granted, emergency lighting’s role, as a half of an overall life security system, ought to by no means be underestimated. Recent years have witnessed significant advancements in the know-how deployed in these methods, with the end result that they now supply a degree of intelligence that combines power effectivity with reliability and ease-of-use.
Bad Behaviour
The method by which we use power is consistently in the spotlight and if additional proof was required of the necessity for all of us to address our behaviour it came in a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It said that scientists are ninety five % certain that we’re the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming for the reason that Fifties.
This won’t come as much of a shock. However, through greater consciousness of the consequences of CO2, combined with the financial implications of rising utility payments, organisations are extra prepared and able than ever to make use of vitality properly. Growing legislation and regulation means that companies everywhere in the world are implementing power reduction measures. The focus is usually on adopting renewable power technologies corresponding to photo voltaic photovoltaics (PV), wind generators and ground and air source heat pumps as ways to generate energy, whereas others are utilizing constructing management techniques (BMS) to realize a holistic view of their energy use and identify methods to decrease their consumption.
However, the strain is on to do much more, which is why building owners and managers are having to drill down and look at individual elements of their building services infrastructures to see whether there any extra financial savings could be made.
Light Years Ahead
Modern emergency lighting methods provide the possibility for significant vitality and price savings. This is as a end result of of two key elements – using mild emitting diode (LED) primarily based lighting and advanced battery know-how.
Traditional emergency lighting systems utilise crude nickel cadmium, nickel steel hydride or lead acid batteries. They drive the centrally operated system by continually charging, discharging somewhat and then recharging – a course of that makes use of unnecessary quantities of power and shortly decreases the lifecycle of the battery. It means that battery life is proscribed to between one and four years, dependent upon the appliance.
State-of-the-art intelligent expertise, however, utilises solely the amount of power needed to completely cost the emergency lighting batteries, after which shuts the battery down till an emergency situation happens. This avoids degradation, prolongs life and reduces vitality consumption. Some techniques are additionally available with luminaires which are equipped with integral batteries permitting continued operation for no much less than three hours, even in circumstances the place the management panel or energy cables are damaged. Maintained luminaires could be powered directly from the road in order not to have an effect on any battery capacity subsequently leaving the batteries in an “always ready” state.
So what type of vitality savings can be made as a result? It is estimated that intelligent battery methods use between 5 and ten p.c power of that a traditional battery system would use. Consider bigger installations of as much as 5,000 luminaires – which aren’t unusual in hospitals, for instance – and the financial savings quickly turn out to be obvious.
Bright Spark
It is estimated that lighting accounts for greater than 19 percent of the world’s total electrical energy consumption. According to Green LED Solutions, if solely half of worldwide lighting was converted to LED by 2025, power use would be cut by 120GW, saving £66 billion a yr and lowering CO2 emissions from power plants by 350Mt over the identical interval.
LED lighting has seen fast adoption and the global market was price $25.four billion in 2013, based on a Digitimes Research Special Report. LED know-how is each value effective and environmentally pleasant, making it a greener different to other methods which are presently out there and allowing operating costs to be saved to a minimal without compromising efficiency.
LED know-how is now being used in emergency lighting methods and these new luminaires supply some spectacular financial savings. For occasion, they consume less than 0.5W, while an identical 8W fluorescent mild exit luminaire will use approximately 12W. These systems also come with further energy saving options, including signage that’s linked through low voltage 40V cabling, which is powered and configured on the identical loop via a single panel, giving high ranges of control through an automatic system.
Testing Times
All emergency lighting systems should be tested on a monthly basis in compliance with BS EN 50172. The check itself normally entails flicking a guide switch, which interrupts the facility supply to the luminaire, so that it illuminates. A full report sheet needs to be maintained for every emergency luminaire and entered right into a logbook, which must be obtainable for inspection by the authorities at any time. Failure to offer full test data can end result in authorized motion and closure of the constructing, and if the emergency lighting is flawed, the insurance coverage coverage for the building could also be invalid.
On the floor this all seems affordable and fulfils the necessities of the Standard, nonetheless, the testing course of itself is flawed and doesn’t essentially result in a secure and totally functional system. All it does is examine that the system works for a few seconds when the guide switch is operated – what occurs if the system fails 5 minutes after the test? It will not be retested for an additional month, so could go away a building’s occupants weak within the meantime.
Also, it doesn’t test only for how lengthy the luminaires will stay on and whether or not the battery has enough power to maintain operation for the period specified within the relevant standards. The time required to evacuate the premises is dependent upon its dimension and complexity. The period itself relies not solely on evacuation time but also on whether the premises are evacuated instantly the ability and regular lighting fails and/or are reoccupied instantly the supply is restored.
BS EN 50172 states the minimum length of an emergency lighting system as one hour. However, a minimal period of three hours must be used for emergency lighting if the premises are not evacuated instantly, as in the case of sleeping accommodation, for example, or if the premises shall be reoccupied immediately the supply is restored with out waiting for the batteries to be recharged. It must also be famous that to comply with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) one hundred and one Life Safety Code, emergency lights are required to stay lit for 90 minutes.
Modern emergency lighting control panels repeatedly monitor and test functionality in actual time. They can also be pre-programmed to carry out specific month-to-month, six month-to-month and annual tests and additionally it is attainable to set operational parameters up to alert when batteries are at eighty five p.c capability, providing a high level of reassurance that the system will work accurately beneath all circumstances.
Lighting consumes 19 p.c of all electricity in the world.
The first LED gadget was crafted in 1907 by Captain H J Round, a British radio expertise pioneer and a personal assistant to Guglielmo Marconi.
Nick Holonyak Jr is considered ‘the father of the modern LED’. In 1962, whereas working at General Electric, he developed the primary practically useful visible spectrum LED system for commercial use.
In 2009, a typical 13W LED lamp emitted 450-650 lumens, which is equivalent to a regular 40W incandescent bulb. LEDs have become extra environment friendly, in order that now a 6W LED can simply achieve the identical outcomes.
LEDs produce an extended service lifetime of between 50,000 hours and a hundred,000 hours. This compares with 2,000-5,000 hours for a halogen bulb and 8,000 hours to 15,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Unlike CFLs LEDs do not contain mercury and may be extra safely disposed of.
LEDs emit no ultraviolet radiation (UV) or infrared (IR), which makes them perfect to illuminate costly objects such as pictures, collections, work etc.
LEDs produce more light than heat, which makes them the safest type of lighting and reduces the risk of fires.
Right Place, Right Time
Evacuation is usually hindered by a scarcity of detailed data of the internal connectivity of the constructing house, together with confusing and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have additionally shown that in these conditions occupants normally make use of familiar routes – sometimes using the exit through which they entered the constructing. Even more worryingly, research from the University of Greenwich, as part of its examine called Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), found that solely 38 p.c of individuals see passive signage in an emergency. เกจวัดแรงดันไอน้ำ is a daunting statistic and solely serves to focus on the significance of siting an emergency lighting system in a way that may information folks to a protected location in the event of a mains lighting failure.
BS EN 50172 presents steerage on the positioning of luminaires, provides a minimal standard that should be applied and gives steerage on specific hazards and points of emphasis that should be accounted for. Points of emphasis are necessary locations the place lighting should spotlight specific hazards, security tools and indicators. These embrace areas close to stairs, near modifications of degree, at each change of path, near firefighting gear and handbook name points, exterior and close to to every ultimate exit, first help points, at exit doorways, and close to safety signs.
Signs are both internally of externally illuminated and the utmost viewing distances for internally illuminated indicators is 200 times the panel height, and one hundred times the panel top for externally illuminated signs. Luminaires should supply 1Lux of output in escape routes and 0.5Lux in open areas. Emergency lighting should also be positioned in such a method to make sure that people are free from incapacity glare, which can prevent obstructions or signs from being properly seen.
It is worth remembering that Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) accredited products are independently examined and meet the present product and utility standards. Therefore, selecting products with ICEL approval will provide reassurance of compliance.
Look to the Future
The issues with passive signage are clear from the University of Greenwich’s HUBFIN research, which is why the integration of fire detection and emergency lighting systems is the next step in adding intelligence and greater effectiveness to a life safety infrastructure.
A conventional emergency lighting system does not enable indicators to be ‘shut off’, which may allow people to unwittingly travel into the path of hazard. In locations corresponding to hospitals and care homes, the place people typically have restricted mobility, time is of the essence and should not be wasted by having to decipher the most applicable escape route.
By integrating a fire detection system with emergency lighting, and by figuring out the place a fireplace is happening, the right route could be configured and communicated. For instance, by responding to information sent from the hearth detectors it is attainable to put a pink ‘X’ on specific emergency luminaires, which signals to individuals not to exit via that particular route. This can additionally be synchronised with the existing PA/VA system, including one other stage of security.
Not solely does integration make good sense from a security perspective, it has a variety of price saving and environmental advantages. It is estimated that it could scale back the entire system’s wiring content by seventy five %, as there can be just one loop with each features.
Feature Packed
A accurately specified, installed and maintained emergency lighting system is crucial so as to give occupants a method of evacuating a building safely in the occasion of a mains lighting failure, or if required, a fire. The laws, requirements and steerage on this subject are comprehensive and the advanced LED lighting and battery know-how that is now obtainable combines reliability, functionality and usability with another approach to save vitality.

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