|

It’s Not About the Watts!

Jeff Beare

March 7, 2023

Emergency lighting is a critical aspect of building design that aims to provide illumination in the event of a power outage or other emergency situations. The National Building Code of Canada prescribes specific lighting levels and requirements for emergency lighting systems that are an average of 10 lx with not less than 1 lx at tread. In the past, incandescent lighting sources were commonly used for remote emergency lighting fixtures, with wattage serving as the primary reference point for design selection. However, with the advent of LED technology, the design criteria for selecting appropriate remote heads for emergency lighting systems have shifted towards lumens and spacing. This article discusses the importance of selecting the type of remote head based on lumens and spacing rather than watts in emergency lighting systems.

Importance of Lumens and Spacing

 

The primary design element in emergency lighting is spacing. The greater the spacing provided by remote emergency lighting fixtures, the fewer the number of remotes required to achieve the prescribed lighting levels. This equates to fewer total watts of battery capacity, reducing upfront capital costs, installation costs, and maintenance over the life of the system. Therefore, understanding the basic concept of spacing is crucial for selecting the appropriate remote head for emergency lighting.

Shift in Design Community

 

In the past, the selection of remote heads was based on watts, where higher watts were somewhat equated with better performance. However, in the world of LED, this is no longer true. LED performance is calculated based on efficacy, with lumens per Watt being the unit of measure. Therefore, the selection of the type of remote head should be based on lumens and spacing, with these criteria determining the required wattage. This shift in design criteria necessitates a change in the design community’s approach to selecting the appropriate remote head for emergency lighting systems.

Optics Performance

 

Another critical element to consider when selecting remote heads for emergency lighting systems is the optic performance of the remote manufacturer. The combination of lumen performance and optics results in spacing optimization. Reputable emergency lighting manufacturers publish spacing guides to help with design and remote head selection. Consulting and comparing these guides can help designers quickly realize that a 5 watts remote from Manufacturer A may offer the same or less lumens and spacing than a 3 watts remote from Manufacturer B.

In conclusion, emergency lighting design should focus on selecting the appropriate remote head based on lumens and spacing rather than watts. The greater the spacing provided by remote emergency lighting fixtures, the fewer the number of remotes required, resulting in less total watts of battery capacity, and reduced upfront capital costs, installation costs, and maintenance over the life of the system. The shift in design criteria towards lumens and spacing necessitates a change in the design community’s approach to selecting the appropriate remote head for emergency lighting systems. By considering lumens, spacing, and optics performance, designers can optimize emergency lighting systems to ensure that they meet prescribed lighting levels while minimizing costs.

Jeff Beare is Vice President Emergency Lighting at Stanpro

WWW.stanpro.com

Related Articles


Changing Scene

  • 5 Simple Steps Towards Sustainable Lighting

    February 20, 2024 Here are five practical actions you can take –today! – to move towards designing more sustainably. Sustainability in lighting – a broad, sometimes confusing topic, that can be looked at in many ways. Circular lighting economy, material ingredient reporting (MIRs), environmental product declarations (EPDs), life cycle analyses (LCAs), factory working conditions, carbon… Read More…

  • Lighting Design International Calls for Greater Sustainability Across Lighting Design Projects

    February 19, 2024 Leading lighting design consultancy, Lighting Design International (LDI) has been raising awareness of the need for greater sustainability across the built environment. LDI’s Associate, Arianna Ghezzi, shared these principles as part of a panel discussion at the recent and most successful Surface Design Show. The talk focused on Circularity in Lighting, and… Read More…


Design

  • Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    February 6, 2024 Since 1940, WFCU Credit Union is a prominent and forward-thinking financial institution based in Windsor and Essex County. For over 80 years, WFCU has been dedicated to serving Ontario residents, community, organizations, small businesses, commercial entities, and public institutions. Their new headquarters in Kitchener was created as they continue to grow their… Read More…

  • Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    December 5, 2023 At 170 m (554 ft) long and 50 m (160 ft) high, the Coaticook Canyon Bridge at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is one of the longest suspension footbridges in North America and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships. For several years, the Parc de la… Read More…


New Products

  • LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    February 22, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s LED Hi-Pro Lamps offer a 320° rotating EX39 base making the installation of these lamps easier than ever. The two different on-unit CCT and Wattage Selectable switches give the user the power to customize the lighting for each unique environment. The notable design of the expandable light panels, when used in… Read More…

  • LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    February 21, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s PIR screw-base lamps with integrated motion sensor turn any luminaire into a motion activated light source without added wiring. Conveniently install lamps to improve safety and security in any application. Available in A19 and PAR38 bulb shapes and rated for wet locations, these lamps can be used indoors or outdoors, and… Read More…