Emergency Lighting Q&A’s

What is an emergency light fitting?

Emergency luminaries and modules have a battery as a back up power supply. The battery is continuously charged with the main power supply. In an emergency situation i.e. a power cut the emergency lighting will automatically kick in to provide light (usually 10% light output) to enable a safe exit. 

What are the requirements for Emergency Lighting?

UK legislation requires all occupied business and public building escape routes and exits to have a minimum of one lux of light in an emergency situation to allow a safe exit should the mains power fail. In an emergency it is required that all emergency luminaires have power for at least 3 hours and the light output is roughly 10% normal light levels.


The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 & BS5266 part 1 – require building owners to test emergency lighting systems regularly and maintain them in proper working order.

What’s the difference between Maintained and Non-Maintained Luminaires?

Maintained luminaires operate as normal light fittings during everyday operation and can be controlled with all other luminaires in the area.


Non-maintained luminaires remain off during everyday operation, only illuminating when mains power fails.

What is Self-Test? (also commonly known as AutoTest)

Self-Test emergency luminaires have a built in system that automatically carries out routine testing to ensure they are working well and have no system errors; they automatically signal if there is a fault that requires action. By removing the need to test the luminaire manually, Self-Test is highly cost effective.

Who should test the emergency lighting?

The emergency lighting system must be tested by a qualified electrician as it requires the simulation of a mains power failure on the regular lighting circuit, forcing the emergency lighting system to switch to the battery supply.


Ensure that in the event of an emergency, you have the right emergency lighting to illuminate the exit route with our range of emergency lighting and our fully qualified lighting design team