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Emergency Light Voltages

Emergency Light Voltages Summary

AC/DC isn't just a hard-rock band from Australia, it is the two worlds that make up all electronic circuitry. Emergency Lights run off an Alternating Current (AC) of 120 VAC supplied the building they are installed to. However the unit does not run on AC, but instead converts it to a much lower Direct Current (DC).


When electricity flows through the Emergency Lighting Unit, it goes through a transformer which converts it into DC via a half-wave bridge. The actual working voltage of the light unit can be 6VDC to 24VDC depending on the fixture. Larger Emergency Lights like our reinforced steel models can switch between different voltages.

Advantages of Higher Voltage Emergency Lights

Steel Emergency Light

Steel emergency lights are offered in 6, 12, and 24-volt models.

Two attributes will affect the amount of light put out by a lamp: voltage and wattage.

The most widely used voltage in Emergency Lighting is 6 VDC. Higher voltages equal brighter lights, which could eliminate the need for multiple lights in a given area.

Emergency Lights come in the following voltages: 6, 12 and 24 volts DC.


View our selection of 6, 12, and 24 Volt Emergency Lights

Higher voltage Emergency Lights can store more wattage in their battery backup systems which allows for the attachment of a remote head or more powerful bulbs. Just note that when changing voltages on these units, other hardware will need to be changed out as well including the battery and bulbs.

Lamp heads with a higher wattage produce more light intensity. You can see this in the household when comparing the dim light of a 40 watt incandescent bulb with that of a 200 watt.

Emergency Light lamp heads come in the following wattages: 7.2, 8, 9, 10, 12.5, 18 and 25 watts..

Lastly, the higher the voltage on your emergency unit, the further you can string a remote head without the lamp dimming. To calculate this drop in voltage, look at the chapter on" Emergency Light Voltages and Voltage Drop Calculations."

Configurability of Steel Emergency Lights

Thermoplastic Emergency Light models have a fixed voltage and bulb intensity while Steel Emergency Lights are infinitely customizable. If you peek at our catalog of Steel Emergency Lights, you might notice they look nearly identical. Don't trust your eyes, these units are as customizable as Baskin Robbins ice cream, available in all flavors of voltage, battery capacity, bulb wattages and lamp head styles suited for your lighting requirements. You can read more about this in "Emergency Light Options."

Give us a call toll-free at 800-480-0707 to place your order, request a quote or invoice or if you have any further questions. Let us fulfill your Emergency Lighting needs today!

More Help with Egress Lighting Electrical Specification

Calculating Emergency Light Voltage Drop

How To Replace the Transformer in Your Standby Battery Unit

Replacing the Circuit Board in Your Exit Light