Automate Emergency Light Testing

Emergency Light Testing is a process undertaken to ensure emergency luminaires continue to meet regulatory standards and carry out their designed function in the case of an emergency egress. Emergency Lighting takes two forms:

  1. Open Area to provide general area lighting (Downlights, etc…)
  2. Escape Route which covers doors & stairs (Exit Signs, etc…)

Emergency Lighting is a legal requirement in the UK and Ireland with strict codes governing the placement, function, light output and maintenance. In accordance with UK Regulation BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8 and Irish Regulation I.S.3217:2013+A1:2017, all self-contained emergency lighting must undergo:

  1. Monthly function test which involves simulation of main power failure and checking each luminaire functions in accordance to regulatory standards.
  2. Annual duration test which involves monitoring each emergency light for a required 3 hour period.

Given the strict testing requirements, the combined Electrical industry has sought solutions for automating such processes for the benefit of ensuring test consistency, quality and reduced cost. DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) offers a solution to this by utilising DALI drivers to report on the state of Lamp, Driver/Ballast & Battery.

Which the standalone DALI luminaire has the ability to ‘report’ on condition matters, it doesn’t have the ability to log this data meaning it can only be viewed live. Further, the DALI luminaire has no means of initiating a self-test. To complete the solution, we need a head-end solution such as KNX which actively offers trending and self-test functionality. Through the use of solutions such as our KNX MPA, we can:

  • Schedule both function and duration tests to carry out automatically
  • Maintain a test log with full results
  • Automatically alert building maintenance to irregularities within the test results
  • Provide a live overview of both standard and emergency luminaire state

Of course, budget is always a consideration with such solutions and we aim to demonstrate below, the long term value (Opex) against initial investment (Capex):

  • Many firms offer an Emergency Lighting Test service at roughly £/€ 6-10 per luminaire
  • Consider a typical Hotel Lobby, Bar & Restaurant which could feature 30 emergency luminaires
  • Cost of service is in the region of £/€ 180 – 300 per month
  • Annual cost of service in the region of £/€ 2160 – 3600 per year
  • Most Emergency Luminaires will carry a 5 Year Warranty
  • So, 5 x £/€ 2880 (AVG) = £/€ 14,400 cost of legal maintenance
  • Or, up to £/€ 14,400 available in theory to spend on upgrade from conventional to DALI Auto-test

Although the above example sets out only basic figures, it does offer insight that initial capital expenditure goes a long way to reduce operating expenditure which is key in commercial properties. It should also be considered that certain industries have limitations on when Emergency Lighting tests can be conducted.

If you would like to consider KNX MPA & DALI for your project, please get in touch for more information and concept pricing.

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