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Emergency Lighting Blog

News and Information for Public Egress, Building Safety and Government Compliance

Category Archives: Emergency Lights

What if Something Happened at the Super Bowl?

The stakes are high and the Super Bowl is being held at U.S. Bank Stadium this week.  But… what if something were to happen?

At Super Bowl XLVII, a power outage caused the biggest game of the year to be delayed 34 minutes.  The players felt they had lost their momentum. This was bad news for everyone – viewers at home, players, and fans at the stadium.  A loss of electricity also impacts things like temperature control, refrigerators, and other large systems that keep operations flowing smoothly.  So, what is the backup plan moving forward?

Emergency lighting

In short, an emergency light is a battery-backed lighting device that switches on automatically when a building experiences a power outage.  This has become mandatory in many large, commercial buildings.  It is typical nowadays to see LED lights rather than incandescent bulbs.

According to Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Minnesota is going to be tested very soon – the Super Bowl is one of the highest stakes events of the year.  They must ensure that everything is in place and every catastrophe has already been considered and allotted for.

Luckily, Emergency Lite Service Center provides all types of emergency lighting to keep people safe in case of an emergency. Its offerings include five different types of emergency lights, five different types of exit signs, and five different types of batteries. Clients of E.L.S.C. include N.A.S.A., 3M, Honeywell, The U.S. Army and Marine Corps, Amazon, Medtronic, U.S. Bank Stadium, McDonald’s, and many other companies and corporations that have high stakes. These companies are well aware that the best time to plan for the future is now.

And if there were to be a power outage for this year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, the exit lights would be ready. We should know, after all, we provided the exit signs for US Bank Stadium.

Dual-Lite LTURW Emergency Light Combo

The Power Of Bundling

Thanks to a steady diet of cell phone and T.V. ads, you’ve probably heard of bundling, but it isn’t just telecoms offering bundles. With emergency lighting, you save by combining purchases of products. The most common bundle is the combo emergency light—half exit sign and half emergency light.

Which Combo Light Is The Best?

That’s a bit of a loaded question. The ideal emergency light usually depends upon your facility. However, there are quite a few high value systems that can serve a range of facilities. One of those is the Dual-Lite LTURW combo.

Great Value for Indoor Use

The model offers great durability for indoor use. Its UV stable thermoplastic housing offers protection against dust and dampness. It also meets applicable standards set in UL 924, NFPA 70 and NFPA 101 guidelines. In the event of a power outage you can expect it to last at least 90 minutes, offering sufficient time for individuals to evacuate a building.

The Battery

Designed to be maintenance free, the lead-calcium battery also helps with longevity. By using lead-calcium instead of just lead, the battery becomes less prone to dry out. They also are better adapted to colder temperatures.


The combo light uses both halogens and LEDS. For the dual head emergency light, the Dual-Lite-LTURW uses two halogen lamps. While the exit sign relies on LEDs. The benefits of the lighting system offer economy. The halogens use little energy and the LEDs even less.  To reduce operational costs, customers can go with the LTURW-03L model, which uses 3W LEDs instead of the two halogen lamps.


The Dual-Lite LTURW series offers multiple options for customization. Choose between red and green lettering and black or white housing. Include self-diagnostic testing , damp location listed models, fire alarm panel interface and more.


The Dual-Lite LTURW pairs versatility with value. You can have the standard model for under $160 dollars. To learn more about the model, check out its specs.

Maintained Emergency Lighting Definition

What Is Maintained Emergency Lighting?

The lengthy name makes this type of system seem complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Maintained emergency lighting is a luminary system that remains on at all times, even when there isn’t an emergency.

What’s Special About This Type of System?

To get a better understanding of the definition of maintained emergency lighting, you need to know about its opposite, non-maintained emergency lighting. Non-maintained emergency lighting is usually off, and only turns on when the regular lighting system and its power systems have failed.

The non-maintained emergency lighting uses backup power in case of an emergency like a fire or power outage. These systems are special because they use both backup and regular power sources to remain lit at all times, including emergencies.

Why Maintained Emergency Lighting Systems?

Few facilities benefit from these systems. Most offices, schools, shops and other buildings use non-maintained emergency lighting. However, large assembly spaces, like auditoriums, movie theaters and night clubs use this type of lighting. These spaces need to have emergency lighting just as schools, shops and offices, but they don’t need as much day-to-day lighting as them. To get more bang for their buck, theaters, auditoriums and clubs use their emergency lighting to illuminate spaces.

These spaces also enjoy the benefit of simplified maintenance. With non-maintained systems, facility managers need to regularly test the equipment to see if it will work in the event of an emergency. Testing is the only way to find out if a luminary works for them, but for a facility with maintained emergency lighting, facility managers can immediately see when a luminary has failed.

What System Is Right For You?

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to emergency lighting. Depending on the facility, your needs will be different. Ultimately you want what’s practical. Our team has been in emergency lighting for over 30 years. For help understanding legal requirements or lighting options, give them a call today. They’ll lead you to the right solutions for you.

Emergency Lighting Guide

The Emergency Lighting Roundup

Emergency lighting is complex. To simplify it all, we dug up a few resources from our archives and sniffed out some of the best tips we could find from emergency lighting experts, creating a useful emergency lighting guide.


Emergency Lighting Rules

There’s plenty of strange language, complex rules and details when it comes to emergency lighting. These resources will help you get a good hold on them.

  • A foot candle, what is that? In this overview, we give the basic guidelines your emergency lighting needs to meet.
  • What are the codes you need to follow?


Maintaining Your Emergency Lighting Systems

Maintaining an emergency lighting system may seem daunting, but it is a must to avoid liability and meet regulations. Here are a few helpful resources to get you started.

  • Is your facility a church, hospital or apartment? This resource breaks down a few helpful tidbits for each type of facility.
  • Your emergency lighting needs to undergo regular tests to stay up to code. These emergency lighting testing tips will help you get started.
  • The Electrical Construction & Maintenance Magazine put out a robust article on managing emergency lighting systems a number of years back. It covers codes, emergency lighting tests and offers tips on how to maximize your emergency lighting investment.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Batteries

Batteries are expensive. That’s why you need to get the most out of them. Over the past year and a half, we’ve delved into the topic. Here are just a few of the nuggets we found.

  • The manufacturer’s estimates for battery longevity often fall short. Here’s why.
  • What type of battery do you have? Nickel-metal hydride? Nickel-cadmium? SLAs or VRLAs? Find out how long you can expect each battery type to last.
  • A few tips on how to get the most out of your batteries.


Emergency Lighting Installation

To make installing emergency lighting just a bit easier, we’ve hunted up a few resources to help.

  • A Few things you should consider before installing exit signs or emergency lighting.
  • One of the best ways to learn about something is to see it done with your own eyes. That’s why the series from ExitSign 250 is a great place to learn about emergency lighting installation. Ran by a safety fanatic, this YouTube channel will also show you how to install other emergency equipment to get your facility ready for danger or future inspections.


For even more info on emergency lighting systems, check out our blog, or give us a call. One of our experts will be happy to help!

Emergency Lighting Testing

Emergency Lighting Test Guide

You might think your days of tests ended with school, but you’re wrong. Even though you retired your number two pencil years ago, leaving only the memories of filling in those nasty little alphabetized bubbles, the ominous aura of tests follows. For emergency lighting, passing the test can be easy, if you know the rules.

Look Into NFPA Guidelines

Unfortunately, there are a lot of rules, and depending on what facility you’re talking about and where this facility rests, the rules can be quite different.  Start with the NFPA guidelines. OSHA and a number of other regulators across the country use these guidelines as their rules.  In fact, every state uses their NFPA 70 code and 43 use their 101 guidelines.

Lighting To Egress

Highlighted in NFPA 101, the requirement for illuminated pathways all the way to an exit is pretty standard. This rule will apply no matter the state or facility. It’s also likely you’ll need to go even further. Changes in direction to an exit, such as turns in a hallway, must be marked clearly.

90 Minutes

Your lighting needs to stay lit for 90 minutes or more during an emergency or power outage. These 90 minutes of light give the needed time for individuals to evacuate.

The Transfer

When the lights go out, your emergency lighting needs to be ready. The transfer must be automatic and replace normal lighting within 10 seconds. Anything short of these standards will likely result in a failed test for your emergency lighting, leaving your facility open to greater liability.

Foot Candle

To pass most code, your emergency lighting must provide one foot candle of initial light. A foot candle is a measurement of light coming from a single source. A light offering a foot candle of light would cast a glow on an object a foot away. Your emergency lighting will most likely need to maintain an average of .1 to 1 foot candle. Last of all, the light must shine on the pathway to the exit.

Specialty Lighting

Depending on your situation, you’ll need to have lights specifically adapted to your area’s natural hazards. For wet or damp locations, you’ll need NEMA lights and exit signs. For areas susceptible to flames, explosions or vandalism, you’ll need emergency lights and exit signs that meet the location’s demands.

Nailing down all the rules can be a tough task, but you don’t have to gather all the answers by yourself. Get the help of our team who has over 30 years of experience in emergency lighting.


Emergency Lighting Regulation

The 1,2,3 Guide For Emergency Lighting Regulation

There are plenty of regulators out there. Each has pages of rules. Getting them straight is a nightmare for poor facility managers and construction personnel. It gets worse. Each of these rules differ depending on state, city and type of facility. To help you navigate the cascading mass of rules, we’ve gathered a list of the top three regulators you’re going to want to look into, along with helpful resources.

  1. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)

Most people have never heard of it, but facility and construction managers across the planet follow many of the guidelines from this trade organization.  The NFPA’s reach is wide, but the codes relating to emergency lighting include five key parts.

NFPA 101 – This is their Life Safety Code. Used in 43 states, this code sets standard facility requirements protecting people from smoke, fires, and noxious fumes. When it comes to your emergency lighting, this code lays out a number of rules regarding an illuminated pathway to egress.

NFPA 70 – What does it do? It sets the benchmarks for electrical design, installation and inspection for every state.

NFPA 110 and NFPA 111 – They set standards for the backup power supply needed for electrical failures from fires and other catastrophes. Again, these guidelines form as the basis for related regulations throughout the U.S. and even a few places internationally.

NFPA 99 –  For healthcare facilities, the rules are even tighter. This explains why NFPA has its own code for hospitals and the like. The reasoning for the extra rules? Immobile patients, numerous staff and visitors packed into one facility simply have a hard time evacuating.


  1. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

There are numerous requirements you need to know, but when it comes to your emergency lighting, you’ll find a majority of them in 1910.37 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.


  1. Underwriters Laboratories

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “not another regulation.” Don’t worry. There may be a lot of rules and guidelines necessary to receive this certification, but you need only do one thing: look for the UL 924 certification on your emergency lighting equipment. When you see UL 924 on emergency lighting, you know your equipment meets or exceeds stringent standards set by the Underwriters Laboratories. Buying UL 924 certified products will make your job easier, as these standards meet a number OSHA and NFPA guidelines.


Navigating these guidelines is a tricky proposition. If you’re unsure, seek help. Our team has been in the emergency lighting business for over 30 years, so we know a thing or two about the products that’ll meet your specifications. To learn more, check out our emergency lighting industry pages. They’ll guide you to the right lighting for your needs. Or, for some extra assistance, give us a call at 800-521-4045. Our team is happy to help you find a solution that fits your needs.

Chicago Approved Emergency Light

Chicago Approved Emergency Lights

With the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, the Sears Tower and tons of museums, Chicago is a special place, and when it comes to emergency lighting, Chicago is even more unique. Exit signs used throughout the rest of the country will probably not be approved by city regulators.

Why So Strict?

There are 2.7 million people living in the city, and that doesn’t include the scores of workers commuting every day. With so many people packed into one place, the need for greater safety measures exist.

Another reason for the strict codes is Chicago’s history. The city suffered from a number of deadly fires. In just one fire, 300 people were killed and 3.3 miles of the city interior had been destroyed.  The aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire was even worse. 100,000 residents were left without homes. Incidents like these led to tighter codes and restrictions.

What’s Different?

At first glance, a Chicago approved emergency light looks quite a bit like units used throughout the country, but there are three key differences: the housing, the letters and the faceplate. Chicago approved exit signs have larger letters, and those letters always glow red. The faceplate is typically glass, and the housing for the unit is metal not plastic.

How to Keep Up To Code?

You need to know the rules, and the best place to find the building rules is on the city of Chicago website. If you’re short on time, Chicago Decoded is a great resource that briefly explains the rules.

The easiest way to be up to code is purchase Chicago approved emergency light equipment. At Emergency Lighting, you’ll find sections of our inventory solely devoted to Chicago approved lights, fixtures and exit signs. To learn more about our exit signs, or to receive additional tips, contact us online or give us a call at 800-521-4045.

Commercial Emergency Lighting Resources

Commercial Emergency Lighting Resources

Whatever type of facility–apartment, dorm, school, hospital or office building–it needs to be prepared for emergencies.  Depending on the type of facility, your preparation will probably look a little different. Here are a few great resources to help you get your facility ready.


In just four years, $111 million dollars of property damage came from fires, according to a report by the NFPA. Although the numbers are falling, the type of facility faces dangers from a variety of avenues. Often used as a meeting area for fundraisers and celebrations involving meals, churches can face many of the same dangers as restaurants. They also face dangers from candles and old electrical wiring.

Make sure your church is prepared for a fire with these resources.

Fire Safety

Commercial Emergency Light Equipment


Because nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities are often full of immobile people, it’s especially important to be prepared. Each hospital should have a plan and training for fires. A great format to build your program around is RACE. This program describes in a short, memorable way what to do in case of a fire.

To craft a thorough safety plan, you’re going to need more information. You’ll need to know what chemicals need to be kept in safe, flame resistant locations. You’ll need action plans, prevention plans and more. The best source for all of this info? OSHA’s tools for health care facilities. They not only provide relevant regulations within these resources, but offer evacuation plans, procedures and much more.

Having a good plan for fire safety saves lives and prevents fires, but planning isn’t enough. You need sound, reliable equipment meeting your specifications. For tips on the necessary equipment for medical facilities, check out this resource we put together for you.


Just last year, there was over one billion dollars of fire damage in the U.S. according to the NFPA. With so many residents in one place, it’s hard for facilities managers to keep an eye on everything, but practicing a few key things will help. Fire emergency guides, fire safety planning and fire safety inspections are all something managers need to be aware of. The Seattle Fire Department put together a great resource detailing these types of aids and much more.

We also created a quick resource for emergency lighting in apartments. Discover one of the most important rules you must follow up with and get some direction on the necessary products.

Learn more about commercial emergency lighting products, and how we can help you get prepared.



Value On Emergency Lighting

The value organizations get from emergency lighting is hard to calculate. After all, it can save lives, and that’s hard to place a value on. As a thrifty consumer, you need to find a way to get lighting that’ll do its job at a reasonable price.  One of the systems on the market right now that offers great value is the R-1 Emergency Light. Here are four reasons why you should consider an R-1

Easy to use

Your time is valuable. That’s why you need an automatic system. The R-1 Emergency Light has an automatic charger, which will recharge your discharged battery within a day. Testing is made easy with the R-1 system. With a press of a button, you can quickly do diagnostic testing. Last of all, the system is light weight and easy to install.

Ni-Cad Battery

With an R-1 Emergency Light, you get the option for a NiCd battery. This battery’s worth the price. A nickel-cadmium battery will outlast other batteries and is easy to use. Typically your NiCd battery will live through 500 to 1000 charge cycles.


Depending on your location, your system may face some tough conditions. That’s why you’ll need something that’s durable and can handle moisture, especially if you’re in a damp location. The R-1 Emergency Light is not only rated for damp locations, but it has a tough thermoplastic housing that will withstand extreme conditions.


As with anything, the price is a big factor in determining value. The R-1 goes for a good price, and with the LED version of the R-1, the LEDR-1 emergency light, you can get affordability with even greater efficiency. LEDR-1 lights are LEDs. This means few bulb replacements over the lifespan of the lights (LEDs usually last up to 50,000 hours) and less energy consumption.

The R-1 Emergency Light isn’t the only option. There are numerous options out there when it comes to value. There’s no one-size fits-all solution, as your needs are likely unique. To find the best systems for you, give us a call at 763-542-3155. One of our helpful team members will guide you to a choice that makes sense for you.

How to Create Your Company’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

Having a plan in place during emergencies for your business is key to making sure your employees and customers stay safe.

While it may seem difficult to start fleshing out your emergency plan, there are plenty of resources available to make sure you develop one that’s best for your company. According to Ready, a government organization dedicated to creating emergency preparedness plans, there are five steps necessary in developing your preparedness program:

  1. Program Management: What you need to “organize, develop and administer your preparedness program.”
  2. Planning: What information you need to know about your business to begin examining what hazards your company should address.
  3. Implementation: Your written down preparedness plan that covers areas such as resource management, emergency response, crisis communication, business continuity, etc.
  4. Testing and Exercises: Put your plan into action to determine whether your plan is actually effective.
  5. Program Improvement: Times change, people change, and regulations change, so make sure you change with them by regularly scheduling reviews of your preparedness plan.

If you are still doubting the need for your business to have an emergency preparedness plan, then don’t take our word for it. Ready has plenty of case studies from major companies such as Morgan Stanley, Equity Technologies, and Penn State University reaffirming the value of a solid emergency preparedness plan.

If you don’t have a plan of your own, get one started today, and check out Emergency Lighting’s stock of smoke alarms, lights, and accessories made to get you through any emergency.