Special Use Emergency Lights For Every Application

All emergency lights are not created equal. Standard thermoplastic fixtures are appropriate for everyday office use, while explosion proof emergency lights are built to operate in environments containing flammable gas, vapor, or dust. There is an emergency light for almost every type of facility, but Special Use Emergency Lights are designed for the most unique applications.

Special use emergency lights

Special Use Emergency Lights have a variety of applications including vastly extended runtimes, high wattage lamp heads, and vandal proof housing. The International Emergency Light can be customized for almost any voltage and hertz configuration for installation around the world. If you need an emergency light for a very specific job and wondered if there was a fixture that could meet your needs, a Special Location Emergency Light might be what you're looking for.

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Extended runtime

Emergency lights are designed to provide a minimum of 90 minutes of emergency illumination when AC power is cut and the battery backup system is all that's available. Certain commercial and industrial facilities that cannot afford the downtime associated with fixing electrical problems might consider an emergency light with extended runtime. Emergency lights in this category have expected runtimes of 3, 4, 6, 8, and 24 hours. This is useful in places where power is spotty or rolling blackouts are common. Hotels in tropical environments often use these fixtures so guests do not panic when power is lost. The TVs might not work, but at least complete and utter chaos is avoided.

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Heavy-duty housing

Heavy Duty Emergency Lights with high-powered lamp heads are the perfect choice for large warehouses, manufacturing facilities, processing plants, and other businesses that need to illuminate a lot of square footage with only one fixture. They come with two high-intensity halogen lamps that are fully adjustable to cover areas of unconventional size. These fixtures wouldn't be called "heavy duty" unless they featured a housing designed to withstand abuse and non-corrosive liquids. It is also possible to outfit this fixture with a polycarbonate housing for wet locations. This truly is one of the most versatile and customizable fixtures available.

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Vandal-proof design

One of the newest and most technologically advanced emergency fixtures is the Vandal Proof Emergency Light. It features a .420" thick die-cast aluminum housing, stainless steel screws, and powerful MR16 lamp heads. This fixture is nearly impenetrable. The Vandal Proof Emergency Light is ideal for environments like schools, correctional facilities, apartment complexes, and any other environment with high traffic and abuse. Even the most determined vandal could not crack this fixture's housing. Aside from its durability, this emergency light uses a nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) battery and bottom-mounted MR 16 style halogen lamps that provide piercingly bright light. It can be mounted to most nonflammable surfaces both indoor and outdoor, as it is wet location rated.


So what really is extended run time? 


Standard emergency lights of whatever type are designed to provide illumination for a minimum of 90 minutes, in the case of power loss. This specification has been determined by officials to provide enough time for building evacuation in all normal circumstances. However, what if the circumstances are not normal; would 90 minutes be enough in all cases? 

Not all power loss situations are such that there are additional hazards associated with the loss of power. While some can be associated with severe weather or a major accident, this isn’t necessarily true in all cases. However, abandoning operating equipment, because of a power loss, can in some cases create a more serious hazard. In those cases, 90 minutes may not be enough time to shut everything down before evacuating the facility.

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The earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March of 2011, workers battled for days to contain the heat and radiation from the plant, without available electrical power. A 90-minute emergency light would not have been enough to solve their problem, nor would an 8-hour emergency light. Nevertheless, this accident clearly shows the need, in some cases, for longer running emergency lights, than the standard 90 minutes that government regulations require.

Benefits of Extended Run Time Emergency Lights

Of course, the reason for the extensive problems in shutting down the plant was because of the severe damage that was done to it; first by the earthquake/tsunami combination, then by the heat caused by the ongoing nuclear reaction, and finally by the explosions in two of the reactors. However, even without the damage created, 90 minutes would probably have not been sufficient to shut down the facility and evacuate it.

Extended Run Time Emergency Light Applications

Nuclear power plants aren’t the only place where lengthy shutdowns of equipment exist. Many automated manufacturing facilities, petroleum refineries and other similar types of facilities have an extensive shutdown procedure. In any such cases, providing emergency lighting that will stay illuminated for more than the required shutdown time is only prudent.

Locations Experiencing Power Loss Often

Another place where longer run time may be needed for emergency lights is in cases where power losses are frequent. It generally takes 24 hours for the batteries in an emergency light to fully charge. Once charged, they are designed to provide enough power to illuminate the unit for 90 minutes.

How about a case where there is a 60-minute power outage, followed by a short period of time where there is power, then another power outage. In a case such as this, the battery wouldn’t have enough time to recharge before having to provide power again. In the second power outage, the battery would only have enough power to illuminate the lamps for 30 minutes, not 90.

Worldwide Application of Extended Run Time Emergency Lights

Situations like this are common in developing countries. With more and more offshore manufacturing, this is a concern that must be taken into account. Even without going offshore, there are places in the United States which are susceptible to severe weather, which could cause the exact same situation of power cycling on and off.

Extended run-time emergency lights provide an added level of safety for your personnel, in these situations where standard 90-minute emergency lights may not provide adequate safety.

Other unique applications are our international emergency lights.

By Jonathan Carter+

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