Glow in the Dark Exit Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Building owners can choose between two types of exit signs: electric signs, and electricity-free signs that glow. In the past, only electrical signage was available. But today, electricity-free signage is the option of choice. When a building is dark, each type of signage performs the same. But non-electric exit signage is more cost-effective. Below, we answer commonly asked questions about two types of non-electric building signs: Tritium and photoluminescent exit signs.

How much do tritium and photoluminescent exit signs cost?

The cost of either sign depends on the seller and the sign model. To give a ballpark estimate, the average cost of a tritium sign is $100, and the average cost of a photoluminescent sign is $96.

How much could each sign reduce a company’s annual electric bill?

How much tritium or photoluminescent signs could reduce a company’s electric bill would depend on (a) the type of signage they replaced, and (b) the number of units they replaced. Research shows that replacing 100 incandescent exit signs with photoluminescent ones can save roughly $3,700 a year in energy costs alone.

What is the average lifespan for each sign?

The average tritium sign lasts for up to 20 years. The average photoluminescent sign lasts for 25 years or longer. This makes photoluminescent signs the longest lasting glow in the dark exit signs on the market.

How does a photoluminescent sign work?

A photoluminescent sign is illuminated by photoluminescence, which occurs when an object absorbs photons from its surrounding environment and reemits them, creating a glowing effect. In nature, photoluminescence is usually a brief process. But luminescent exit signage can burn for up to 96 hours in total darkness.

How does a tritium sign work? 

The electrons contained in its tritium capsules illuminate a tritium sign. These electrons provide roughly 1/4 the illumination of electrons that light television screens. This is why tritium signage only appears illuminated when its environment darkens.

Is it true that tritium signage requires a special disposal fee?

Tritium signage requires a $75 disposal fee per sign due to its radioactive tritium capsules. Some sellers of tritium signage may waive this fee if you buy new tritium signs to replace old ones.

In comparison, 100% recyclable photoluminescent signage costs nothing to dispose of. All you do is place it in the appropriate recycling bin.

Can the radioactive material in tritium capsules escape?

Tritium capsules are mounted in shockproof casing, but they could still release their contents if the right stimulus were present. If this occurred, radioactive clean up could be necessary. In addition to threatening building occupants, such a scenario would also involve costly clean up expense.

GloBrite has the luminescent products you need

At GloBrite, we specialize in self-luminous egress lighting products, including exit signage, safety signage, and egress markings. Before you buy radioactive tritium signs, browse our selection of photoluminescent glow in the dark exit signs. If you need the safest, most cost effective, most dependable exit signage on the market; luminescent signage is the choice.

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