Mounting your exit sign or emergency light can be relatively simple, especially if you have any experience with hanging or mounting other objects, or basic tool knowledge. Most lights or sign will come with instructions. If they do not, most manufacturers will have a customer service number that you can call to get assistance with your particular model.
When mounting an emergency light, it is important to consult an electrician if you are unfamiliar with the proper safety procedures. An emergency light will be connected to the electrical wiring of a building or residence, so that it can sense when the power goes out. In the even of an outage, or the tripping of a breaker, the unit will be signaled to come on and have ninety minutes of backup power to illuminate the path to an exit.
Of course, it is extremely important that the breaker your emergency light is connected to be tripped before installing your emergency light to avoid shock and possible electrocution. Before disabling the power, check to see that any backup batteries in the unit have been installed correctly. Once the power is off, the instruction will guide you in connecting the power properly.
If your wall is not already wired for the fixture, your will need to consult an electrician to run the necessary wiring. Depending on the unit, you will generally mount the unit or partially mount it before connecting the wiring. The wiring uses 120 or 277v AC electrical power. This allows the battery to be charged while on the building power supply, and then goes directly to battery power if the building power stop.
Most emergency lights use mounting brackets for installation, others have preformed areas for screws to be attached to wall studs through the back. It is important to familiarize yourself with your particular model and its instructions for mounting. Usually once screws, or screws and brackets, have been used to mount the unit, these and the wiring will be covered by a housing of metal or thermoplastic.
Many of the the same considerations used for mounting an emergency light come into play when mounting an exit sign. It must be determined whether the sign will be connected to both building power and a backup generator, or just to the building power. Depending on the design, some exit signs will have a side mounting bracket that leads to a light from which the sign hangs. Other sign will be screwed into the studs through the back of the sign and the faceplate slid in front to cover the bulb and housing. As with the emergency light, if the area has not already been wired for the sign, you will need to consult an electrician.
Again, be sure that the power has been turned off before mounting the exit sign. Electrical LED exit signs install using 120 or 277v power and feature a battery backup system similar to emergency lights. Exit signs use nickel cadmium (NiCad) emergency light batteries that are smaller than the lead acid batteries within emergency lights.
Perhaps the easiest sign to mount is the self-luminous exit sign, which is powered by tritium. A self-luminous, tritium exit sign does not require connection to the building power source or generator because it is self-luminous. You will merely need to mount the sign to the wall studs as directed and it is ready to go. Please consult the manufacturer of your particular light or sign with specific mounting questions about your model.