External emergency floodlights play a critical role on escape routes that lead to the outside in areas with little or no ambient lighting. Building owners have a duty of care to not only provide a clear and well-lit escape route, but also to ensure the escape route leads to a place of safety. In the event of an emergency or a power failure, people can panic, and leading them outside to a dark and potentially unfamiliar environment could lead to fear or injury.
This article has been compiled in order to explain solutions and to introduce emergency floodlights with additional PIR (passive infrared) sensor technology that address the escape route concerns as well as access and other issues.
Where and Why Emergency Floodlights Are Needed
Emergency floodlights are commonly installed to cover the final exit points of public or commercial premises, especially when those final exits lead out to areas which are dark at night. It should be noted than when risk assessing a final exit route, care must be taken to account for a worst-case scenario. For example, you cannot assume that a neighbouring property will have their lights on, or that everyone leaving the building will be familiar with their surroundings.
For some premises, it is advisable to install maintained emergency lighting which is always illuminated. This presents a particular advantage if the exit also serves as an entrance point and is frequently used, however, this is not always an ideal solution.
When commercial or public buildings are located in populated areas, light pollution can be an issue for neighbouring properties. Where this is a concern, it has been common practice to make use of non-maintained emergency floodlights covering escape routes.
Both of these options have drawbacks. Non-maintained emergency lighting will only illuminate when there is an emergency involving the loss of regular mains power, but this accounts only for one escape scenario. If a fire or a physical threat causes the evacuation of the building when it is dark outside, a non-maintained light would not come on until the power supply is compromised.
A relay-activated system could be considered as well. This allows for emergency lighting to be triggered by an impulse from a relay such as a contact sensor on the exit door, or a signal from a fire alarm panel. Whilst relay-triggered devices are a solid option, they are generally more complex to install as they require the addition of hardware to the door in question, or a physical connection to the fire alarm system, which can be expensive to achieve. Again, if the installed light is triggered by a relay from a fire alarm system, there is a risk that the floodlight may not illuminate if the emergency that causes the evacuation does not involve a fire.
Emergency Floodlights with PIR
If you are faced with the task of installing or replacing an emergency spotlight, then a new hybrid product from Safelincs could be the perfect solution for you. The Emergency LED Floodlight with PIR Motion-Activation combines a high quality exterior grade emergency floodlight, with the added benefits of a PIR motion sensor to trigger the light as and when needed.
This product has several advantages over alternative setups. The one constant when considering the multitude of potential escape scenarios is the passage of people through the final exit door. The PIR sensor supplied with this product ensures that the floodlight always comes on when needed, with no exceptions. Of course, this motion-activation can also act as a deterrent to anyone approaching the exit point unauthorised. A handy side feature of this excellent product!
This high quality floodlight is also switchable, meaning it can be wired in to a standard light switch allowing the light to be manually turned on from within the premises when needed. This flexibility is ideal as it allows the light to be left on at times when high footfall is to be expected.
As it is an emergency light fitting, the floodlight is designed to continue operating for three hours after a power failure. This is possible due to its internal backup battery which automatically supplies power to the light if mains power is cut. This ensures that the light is on when most needed.
Considering the Options
To choose a suitable floodlight for your premises you must consider a number of factors. Almost universally, it is advisable to choose an external light fitting with a high IP (ingress protection) rating, at least IP44, even if your floodlight is mostly under cover. Most external emergency lighting is exposed to the elements, and as such you will find the majority of options on the market offer high quality ingress protection as standard. Our new emergency floodlight is IP65 rated, with the connected PIR sensor carrying an IP44 rating. These ratings assure that the system is able to stand up to the elements.
Power consumption should also be considered when comparing emergency lights. A major benefit of the new PIR sensor-activated floodlight is that it uses LED lighting, making it very energy-efficient. Combined with the obvious energy saving potential of a light that will only operate when needed, this means that those installing the Emergency LED Floodlight with PIR Motion-Activation are certain to save money by using less power over the lifespan of the light.
It is even possible to tailor the time this light stays on after the PIR is triggered to your scenario. The unit can be set up to anything from five seconds to five minutes once activated. In case of power failure it will, of course, stay on a full three hours.
If you would like further information about this product, feel free to contact our friendly customer service team via firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone for free on 0800 612 6537.
Ideal for dimly lit areas, the 50W floodlight is fitted with a separate PIR sensor and will activate upon detecting movement. In the event of a power cut the unit will continue to function for 3 hours.