Photoluminescent Exit Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Approximately ten years ago, photoluminescent safety products didn’t offer the brightness or burn time necessary during prolonged, low visibility evacuations. Today, these problems have been corrected, and luminescent exit signage is quickly becoming the signage of choice for building owners worldwide. If you are considering implementing luminescent signs, but you wish to know more about their operation and benefits before you do, the answers below can help:

Exactly how does photoluminescent signage work?
It works by principle of photoluminescence – a process that occurs when an object absorbs photons from the surrounding environment, and then re-radiates them. The result is a bright glow that, when a sign is properly engineered, can be seen clearly from a distance of 100 feet. Because they absorb photons, luminescent safety products require a consistent source of ambient light. In dark environments, this could be supplied by a black light.

How long can photoluminescent signage burn in total darkness?
It depends on the level of photon absorption. If it is fully charged, it can burn for up to 96 hours in total darkness. However, not all photoluminescent signage offers this level of burn time. Before you decide on a certain type of luminescent exit sign, be sure to inquire about its burn time.

How does photoluminescent signage perform when smoke is present?
In general, photoluminescent exit signs perform better in the presence of smoke than electrical ones. This is because they absorb high-energy photons that have a short wavelength, and re-radiate them as low-energy photons that have a long wavelength. Long wavelength light is less obscured by smoke particles than short wavelength light.

How long does photoluminescent signage last?

The best photoluminescent signage lasts for 25 years, or longer. This is roughly five years longer than the best tritium signage lasts. Before you buy a certain type of luminescent exit sign, be sure to inquire about its lifespan.

How much money could implementing photoluminescent signage save?
Research shows that replacing 100 incandescent signs with luminescent ones can save roughly $3,700 per year in electricity cost alone. Meaningful savings can also be achieved by replacing compact fluorescent signage or LED signage with luminescent signage.

Is photoluminescent signage more cost effective than tritium signage?
Neither photoluminescent nor tritium signage requires electricity or maintenance, but tritium signs do require a $75 disposal fee per sign. This is because radioactive capsules supply their illumination. Although tritium signs cost nothing to operate or maintain, their disposal fee gives them a higher overall cost than photoluminescent signs.

Globrite has the Luminescent Signage You Need
At Globrite, we spent a decade perfecting our patented Globrite technology – a technology that supplies our exit signs with up to 96 hours of burn time in total darkness and superior visibility at 100 feet, even when smoke is present. This technology is also contained in our egress markings and fire safety signs. To learn more about how our photoluminescent egress products can benefit your commercial building, call us today.

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