Friday, February 19, 2010

How To Test An Emergency Light

An emergency light (EL) is an emergency equipment.

Like all emergency equipment, we do not need it unless we are in a state of emergency.

Picture 1 – An emergency light fixture

It is also a safety equipment, which means that we need it to prevent danger, to reduce the risk of personal injuries, to prevent loss of lives or properties.

There is a problem common to most emergency or safety equipment. It is not used or not in operation most the time. In other words, it is always on standby.

This is how the problems develop.

When an equipment is seldom used or operated, it may not work at the moment it is supposed to work.

Poor workmanship during installation, low quality components, etc may cause failures in parts of the equipment.

These failures are not noticed until an emergency situation arises. Then it would already be too late.

Another example is the standby electric generator. Many buildings rely on the standby generator as part of the fire protection system for the building.

However, because it is seldom used, many times the generator cannot start when there is a fire and the main supply fails.

Of course, we have the emergency lighting to aid us in evacuating the building.

But then again, what if the emergency light also fails at some place in the building?

The occupants in the room can be left in total darkness. Accidents can happen which will make the situation much worse.

This is why the emergency light should be checked regularly and it is easy to do it.

How to test an emergency light

Picture 2 – A close up view of a surface-mounted emergency light

Picture 2 above shows the close up view of the emergency light in Picture 1.


The MAINS HEALTY light is an LED light. Under normal condition, this LED would give out red light. I took this picture while the building is under construction. The mains electricity from the public supply is still not connected. That is why this LED did not light up yet.

If the red LED lights up, that means the building supply is connected to the EL light unit. Therefore, the rechargeable battery inside the unit is charging.

The battery is always charging to keep it at full charge all the time. There is an electronic circuitry inside the fixture that automatically charges the battery to keep it full all the time.

However, even when the battery is fully charged, the LED stays ON. Do not expect the LED to light off when the battery charge is full. This light only says that the electricity supply is available.

In some design, the LED may also be used to say that the internal electronic charging circuit is also working properly. In other words, it summarized the status of the health of the charging part of the EL light fixture.

The TEST pushbutton

This pushbutton switch allows you to check if the lamp would light up when the building electricity supply really fails.

To test it, just press the red pushbutton switch.

The EL lamp will light up.

With the charging circuit healthy and the operation test of the lamp also okay, you now have no worry about your emergency lighting.

With recessed mounted EL lights, the test is also similar. Picture 3 below shows a ceiling-recessed EL light.

Picture 3 – Ceiling-recessed emergency light

You can see more pictures of the emergency lights at this post, Emergency lighting installation pictures.

Copyright How To Test An Emergency Light


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Dan said...

I strongly that before generators can operate after a power failure emergency lights are the first to give light to the place. Like you said to avoid injuries.

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Test and Tagging said...

Thank you for giving us tips on how to test an emergency light. Emergency light is very important component of staying safe in unpredictable conditions. In the event you were to experience a long power disruption, emergency lighting will definitely come in useful.

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emergencylights home said...

Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends.

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