How Do Photoluminescent Exit Signs Work?

Self-luminous signs have been common for many years; however, the technology used by these items is shifting to photoluminescence. Newer signing options provide a safer, cost effective solution to building owners. Photoluminescence occurs when a substance or substrate is capable of absorbing energy photons and then emitting them at a later time as light. This particular type of light emission was previously short lived with the average time of absorption and release consisting of only a few seconds. The latest innovations have allowed this timeframe to be extended to several minutes or hours. Photoluminescent exit signs take in photons from their surroundings, store the energy, and then release it in the form of a green glow as a building becomes dark. The signing eliminates complications experienced as alternative backup egress measures fail and ensures occupants are capable of finding the nearest exit during an emergency.

Understanding Phosphorescence

There are multiple types of photoluminescence ranging from quickly dissipating resonant radiations to complex forms where the absorbed energy is altered prior to remittance. Fluorescence is the simplest example of a photon transition as the emitted light photons are of a lower energy level. Phosphorescence is extremely similar to fluorescence; however, materials with this quality do not immediately re-emit the photons. Instead, the material releases the stored energy in lower amounts over an extended period of time. Phosphorescence is a typical application for creating glow-in-the-dark toys, paints, watch or clock dials, and safety signing. Some products only store ambient light for a few minutes while others are capable of continuously storing it and then releasing it in a matter of hours. Photoluminescent exit signs use a film designed to store ambient light for drawn out photon release as primary power sources become unavailable.

Photoluminescence Is a Beneficial Compliance Choice

Photoluminescent exit signs use the latest technology findings to provide a dependable green glow in smoky or extremely dark conditions. They do not require energy or a vast amount of maintenance as the film placed on the metal substrate houses the absorbed light until conditions create the need for remittance. Tritium identifiers have been the traditional self-luminous choice for years, but create a hazardous atmosphere as they contain radioactive materials. Photoluminescent exit signs offer a reliable solution without introducing additionally toxic materials into the surrounding environment. These products reduce energy usage, eliminate the need for backup power sources, are safe to handle, and efficient.

Installation takes only a few minutes and maintenance is as easy as wiping the facing of the sign off each week. Alternative self-luminous choices are heavily regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They must be handled carefully as a tube breakage requires specific cleanup processes to ensure radioactive materials are not allowed to escape into the surrounding atmosphere. The purchasing, maintenance, and disposal expenses associated with Tritium based signs are much higher over their ten to fifteen year lifespan. Identifiers with photoluminescent qualities are not as labor intensive, provide a reliable visibility source, and are an effective choice when desiring to reduce compliance expenses. Photoluminescent exit signs provide the most reasonable solution to building owners seeking a compliance driven, dependable egress product.

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