11 Sep Your LED Upgrade – What About Emergency Lighting
Where to start with this hot topic!!! Any LED upgrade of your lighting system absolutely needs to consider your building emergency lighting system. You have a great opportunity to fund the majority (or all) of this lighting project via energy savings just once. If done correctly you won’t have to think about it again for potentially ten years. We have come across multiple vendors who seem to just ignore building and fire regulations when doing an LED installation. Do not get burned (sorry!) by this approach.
Whichever lighting company or LED solution you go with, make sure you ask how they are calculating your emergency lighting requirements. Do not rely on a ‘like for like’ replacement or a broad ‘% of new product installed to be emergency enabled’. Recalculate and survey the site again considering new regulations and international best practice. Which authorised certifying contractor will sign off and issue Fire certs? Who is going to be responsible for regular quarterly testing? Will the emergency lighting be integrated or standalone? Is there a fire alarm system? What is the warranty period on the emergency lighting? How long will the batteries actually last if we have a power shut-off or emergency on site?
So, will an emergency lighting solution bolted onto a ‘standard’ LED retrofit eat into energy savings you are making elsewhere? YES. Will it make your return on investment (ROI) time look worse? YES. Is it worth doing the project properly and making sure if a really serious incident occurs that you have not cut corners for short term financial gain? Absolutely.
Do you want to be the Facility Manager or Finance Director who signed off on something like this? We don’t think so. One thing we do know – we don’t want to work on Lighting as a Service projects unless it is a best in class lighting solution.