Wireless technology driving new trends in emergency lighting

November 16, 2018 // By Alvaro Garcia
Emergency lighting is considered a necessary nuisance by most facilities managers. In order to comply with building regulations such as EN.50172 (also BS.5266-1) and IEC.62034, emergency lighting equipment has to be tested regularly.

That means the maintenance team has to walk the building to check and log every emergency lamp. However, a new generation of emergency luminaires include new features that not only simplify monitoring and maintenance, but lay the groundwork for a new centralised control system that can not only control emergency luminaires but other building automation systems as well.


Intelligent emergency lighting can
help light a safe path, as shown here
with Fulham's new EZ Exit emergency
luminaire.

To simplify emergency lighting maintenance, emergency luminaires have been equipped with red and green indicators lights (as specified by EN.50172) as well as self-testing features. This makes it easier to visually inspect emergency lights for operational readiness, although each light still has to be inspected and logged. Now consider the possibilities of connecting all the emergency luminaires into a single, centrally controlled infrastructure. This would make it possible to monitor and test emergency lights from any location at any time, and even automate testing to ensure that problems are spotted before a system failure.

Most facilities have emergency luminaires installed at strategic locations throughout a building or even a campus. Once you have a network of connected emergency lights, you also have the foundation of a building or campus-wide  monitoring and control system that only makes facilities management easier but also makes them even safer.

For such an infrastructure to work you need two basic elements: smart components and communications. That’s why lighting manufacturers are bringing “smart” emergency luminaires to market. This new generation of emergency lights offer plug-and-play communications and on-board intelligence that can extend control beyond lighting management, enabling technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT).


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