To the extent that building exit signs are designed to indicate a building’s exits, all building exit signs perform the same. However, behind the glow of each sign is technology that determines how economical and dependable it is. In today’s commercial buildings, the most common type of exit signage is incandescent, which is the least affordable and most undependable signage on the market, with a single sign costing nearly $1,500 in power usage, lamps, batteries, and replacement labor over a ten-year period, and containing lighting that could easily break in the event of falling debris, as might happen during an earthquake.
Luminescent Building Exit Signs Offer Superior Safety and Economy
Electricity-free, maintenance-free luminescent exit signs are powered by photoluminescence, which occurs when an object absorbs photons from ambient light and re-emits them, creating a glowing effect. Because luminescent signage uses no electricity, it doesn’t impact your utility bill, and because it contains no breakable parts, it offers the highest dependability in a variety of situations that could precipitate evacuations. Originally, luminescent signage didn’t glow brightly or for very long. But today’s signage offers superior visibility at 100 feet under smoky conditions and burns for up to 96 hours in total darkness, offering plenty of time to evacuate even the largest buildings under challenging conditions.
Compact fluorescent, LED and Tritium signs are also more affordable than incandescent signs. But they aren’t as affordable as luminescent models, which energy efficiency research shows can save companies roughly $3,700 a year in energy costs alone when they are used to replace incandescent models.