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LED Emergency Lighting vs Traditional Emergency Lighting

On its face, LED emergency lighting looks more expensive than traditional emergency lighting, but that is because many customers do not fully understand the benefits and savings of having LED lighting.

For example, if you were to buy a system of 100 X-CSE LED bulkhead lights at £21.00 per unit you'd have an initial outlay of £2,100.00 compared to £1,400.00 for a conventional lighting system. At first glance it looks as though the LED lighting will cost you £700 more than the traditional lighting. But with a little more information you will instantly see why LED emergency lighting is the right choice.

An LED light has a wattage of only 3W compared to 17W for a standard bulb. Added up over the year (12hrs per day for a switchable maintained unit that is switched off at night) your LED light would use 1314 KWH as opposed to 7446 KWH for the standard lighting. If we base the cost of the electricity at £0.11 per KWH your LED lights would save £674.52 per year.

Your saving per week with LED lights would be £14.05, so after 1 year and 2 weeks the initial additional cost would have been paid back. After that you’d continue to save money every week, month and year. The chart below shows the accumulative savings you could enjoy with LED lighting.


LED diodes also benefit from longer lifespans compared to standard bulbs with an average of 50,000 hours compared to 30,000 hours for a standard T8 fluorescent bulb. If you factor 1 replacement bulb per light into your equations (around £1.90 per bulb), the standard lighting would cost you an additional £190.00 over their lifetime.

Other benefits that LED lighting has over traditional fluorescent lighting:

  • Flicker free – while not usually visible to the human eye, fluorescent bulbs flicker enough to cause headaches. LEDs do not flicker at all.
  • Mercury free – Unlike fluorescent lights, LEDs do not contain mercury, making them more environmentally friendly.
  • Directional lighting – A fluorescent bulb casts light in all directions, much of which will be wasted. LED lighting is more directional so can benefit from lower lumen output for the same result.
  • So as you can see, it isn’t as cut and dried as it seems when pricing up your emergency lighting system. For a slightly higher initial outlay you can benefit from ongoing savings.

(doc:84 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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