Escape and emergency lighting

In accordance with the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, BS EN 1838 : 1999 Code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises must followed with minimum standards to achieve the safety target.

It is important matter for safety precaution when emergency happen such as fire,explosive,electrical disaster or etc.This system provide the solution for escape to the assembly point in safety and proper ways.

For each country it have their own Act,regulation and code of practice.Basically it quite similar and have additional items depend on their application and suitable with their country.

This time i want share about basic knowledge for term of emergency lighting system.Before we install or design the new system,firstly we need to understand the definitions of terms that commonly used for escape and emergency lighting system.

Escape lighting and emergency lighting.

1) Emergency lighting.

These system mean the lighting from a separate source independent of the mains supply.It still continues ON after normal lighting is failure due to no power supply.

It used the backup power supply from batteries.This emergency lighting may be for standby or escape purposes.It installed near the EXIT door or walk way for easy escape from danger.


2) Standby lighting.

These system is one of emergency lighting system.It basically tapping the power supply from separate power source like generator.When power failure happen,it get the supply from generator and it enable essential to the lighting system.


3) Escape lighting.

These escape lighting also used source from generator.It brought into immediate operation in the event of a power failure, to enable a building to be evacuated quickly and safely.


4) Sustained luminaire.

These types of lighting system containing at least two bulb.It can use for normal power supply and activated batteries power supply when power failure.It used for escape lighting for safety purpose.


5) Self-contained luminaire or sign.

A luminance or sign in which all the associated control units are housed and which only requires connection to the
normal supply.It important for safety precaution during emergency situation.


  1. What are the recommended levels of illumination(lux)for the above-mentioned safety,standby,escape and back up lighting

    • 1) Escape light : BS 5266 Pt 7: 1999 (EN1838) calls for a minimum of 1 lux
      2) Safety sign : 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 color 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 color.

  2. Greetings,,

    please i want more information about practical electrical design for building,and electrical installations

    thank u for your highly appreciated effort.

  3. Electrical Engineer says


  4. Electrical Engineer says

    Can You tell me About the Occupancy Sensors,How to calculate that the maximum number of Lights to be connected to a Sensor. How to calculate the Light load on sensor..??

    Thanks in advance..

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