In case you are unfamiliar with photoluminescent products, photoluminescent materials absorb ambient light rays and store those rays as energy for use. When the light source desists, the stored light is then gradually released, producing a highly visible, glow in the dark surface illumination that lasts during the entire dark period. Photoluminescent products will glow in the dark if power is lost or smoke obscures overhead lighting. Unlike electrically powered systems, which rely on back up batteries or emergency generators, photoluminescent egress marking systems are fail safe, meaning the products are one hundred percent reliable.
Photoluminescent products are often infused in egress marking systems to provide building occupants with continuous pathway delineation for egress for any and all emergency conditions. Following the problems encountered in high-rise buildings in New York during the 9/11 tragedy, the city passed laws that required a range of retroactive and prospective provisions, including photoluminescent exit path markings in high-rise office buildings. Other jurisdictions have since passed similar legislation, in part due to the observed success of photoluminescent products. Having photoluminescent egress path markings inside stairwells has been a requirement since the 2009 IBC-International Building Code and 2009 IFC-International Fire Code, and is detailed in the 2009 NFPA 101-Life Safety Code and 2009 NFPA 5000-Building Construction and Safety Code.
Photoluminescent products can be found on the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule, and are used in most government and military facilities, including the Pentagon in its post 9/11 rebuilding project. In addition, according to the United States Department of Energy (DoE), photoluminescent exit signs are the most energy efficient exit signs available on the market at present. Moreover, involving locations with proper charging sources, photoluminescent exit signs will result in unlimited service life.
Photoluminescent products, now also known as glow-in-the-dark safety technology, improve safety through its incorporation into exit signs, low-location egress pathway marking systems, and general safety signage in buildings, tunnels, vehicles (trains, buses, ships, airplanes), oil rigs, and in other many other structures. Another benefit to utilizing photoluminescent products is that the egress materials are easily and quickly installed. Photoluminescent products are also designed in tape form, which increases personal safety on hard hats, vests, protective garments, and equipment. Photoluminescent technology is considered an eco friendly, green alternative because the products use zero power, they do not use radioactive materials like older safety signage, and they last for decades.
Today, most regulatory committees and jurisdictions require exit path markings designed with photoluminescent technology, and are required in many other fields, including trains, shipping vessels, most aircraft, and in military applications.