EMERGENCY LIGHTING – THE FACTS OF (Battery) LIFE

Mains powered emergency lights contain a backup battery. Regular maintenance tests will identify battery failures, and when an emergency light fails the annual 3 hour test, either the fitting or the battery must be replaced. That’s the Law! RAYAL can help your compliance in this matter.

In general, emergency lighting batteries are required to last 4 years, as per EN60598 2 - 22 which states: “Self-Contained Luminaires shall incorporate batteries which are designed for at least 4 years of normal operation. These batteries should only be used for emergency related functions within the luminaire or its satellite.” That does not mean that you must replace either within or after four years, it just states the minimum. All RAYAL’s Emergency Luminaires come with a 5 year warranty!

In terms of a manufacturers guarantee, typically you will find a quote like this in the guarantee section of their literature. “For rechargeable emergency batteries with a physical rated life of ≥ 4 years of operation, [NAME] offers a guarantee for a period of 12 months after delivery.” 

Batteries, like any other electrochemical component are always subject to ageing. The minimum expected lifetime of the battery is 4 to 5 years. The precise value depends on matters such as the surrounding temperature and the number of discharge cycles. Emergency lighting batteries (or whole fittings) must be replaced if the specified emergency lighting operating time is no longer achieved.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IN PRACTICE

Any sizable building may have 300-400 or more emergency fittings, between dual purpose and stand-alone fittings. This takes quite some looking after as the fittings age. Building and Facilities Managers are usually well tutored in the laws and regulations around Emergency Lighting. As the luminaires age however, failure looms, at least once a year during the annual 3 hour test. For newer buildings, Five, six and seven years into the buildings life, a ‘difficult-to-budget-for’ decision arises, depending on the results of the test, and as each year rolls on, more and more failures show up.

The solution is simple, replace the failures, and roll on to next year. On a unit cost basis however, this replacement exercise is expensive. Typically with a callout charge, time on the job and luminaire cost will come to not less than €110-130 per fitting. In addition, having procured both fittings and a qualified electrician, you then must brief and supervise the operation where the random distribution of failed fittings are as wide around the building as the building is wide around!

 

STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE

There comes a time when you must stop and ask “Is there another way, with less hassle and lower costs?” and the answer is “Yes!” RAYAL offer a solution that addresses cost and addresses the headache of frequent ongoing failure.

Vincent Murray