Self Luminous Exit Lights: Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks to evacuation studies and code requirements, self luminous egress solutions are more popular than ever in U.S. buildings. Nevertheless, some buildings—particularly ones in states that have not adopted International Fire Code (IFC) regulations—have yet to implement them, and still contain standard exit lighting. If this describes your building, replacing its standard lights with photoluminescent ones could bring several benefits, including improved sign visibility when smoke is present, lower operating cost, and improved sign durability.

To help those who are considering implementing self-luminous exit lights in place of electrical ones, we answer frequently asked questions about self-luminous exit signs.

How do photoluminescent exit signs work?

Photoluminescent signage is powered by photoluminescence, which occurs when an object absorbs photons from ambient light and re-radiates them, creating a bright glow. Photoluminescent signage requires a light source from which to absorb photons, but it can burn for up to ninety-six hours in total darkness.

How much do photoluminescent exit signs cost?

The purchase price of luminescent signage varies by seller and signage style, but the average cost of a photoluminescent exit sign is $96. Unlike electrical signage, photoluminescent signage costs nothing to power or maintain.

How long do photoluminescent exit signs last?

Photoluminescent signage can last for over twenty-five years. When it expires, it need only be placed in the correct recycling bin.

How much money could implementing photoluminescent exit signs save?

According to energy efficiency research, replacing one-hundred incandescent exit signs with photoluminescent ones can save nearly $3,700 a year in energy costs alone. Depending on the number of signs involved, significant savings can also be achieved by replacing compact fluorescent and LED signs.

How do photoluminescent exit signs compare to tritium signs?

Like photoluminescent signage, tritium signage is self-luminous. However, it does not require an ambient light source to be self-sustaining. The downside of tritium signage is its shorter lifespan versus photoluminescent signage (20 years compared to 25+) and its containment of radioactive capsules that provide illumination. These capsules require a $75 disposal fee per sign.

What are the safety advantages of photoluminescent exit signs?

Luminescent signage has two safety advantages over electrical signage: it contains no breakable parts, making it impervious to falling debris and localized explosions; and the wavelength of its illumination makes it more visible than electrical signage when dense smoke is present.

Glo-Brite has the Signage You Need

At Glo-Brite, we have spent over ten years perfecting our patented technology that offers superior visibility in the presence of smoke and burns for up to ninety-six hours in total darkness. In addition to exit signage, our products include safety signs and egress markings that are compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and International Fire Code (IFC) specifications.

Self luminous exit lights and egress systems are critical for evacuation safety in the event of fire or generator failure. To learn more about the benefits of luminescent exit signs, or to replace your old luminescent products, call us today.

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