Questions?  Call us now at (800) 225-0263  |  (203) 756-8148

What is an Emergency Lighting Ballast (EMB)?

by Cooper Clark on May 17, 2013

The emergency lighting ballast, also referred to as the fluorescent power pack or emergency power pack, allows the same lighting fixture to be used in both the normal and emergency operations.   In the event of a power failure, the EMB switches to the emergency mode and operates one or two of the existing lamps in the fixture for the emergency lighting fire code required ninety minutes.  These units are UL listed, have both 120/227 voltage capability, an indicator light, and test switch.  The units contain a battery, charger, and a inverter circuit in a single package.  They can be ordered in new fixtures or they can be used to retrofit older fixtures and they are able to be utilized in many different types of fixtures (flush mount fluorescent, recessed cans, etc.). The only negative factor is that the EMB is a sealed unit and when the battery fails (approx. 4-5 years later) the entire unite must be replaced.
Read More

Topics: Emergency Lighting Systems, Understanding Emergency Lighting Fire Code

Maintenance Free Emergency Lighting Batteries?

by Cooper Clark on Apr 23, 2013

Not totally true… Wet type emergency lighting batteries always consume some of the electrolyte (sulfuric acid for lead and potassium hydroxide for nickel cadmium) when they are being charged. The need to refill is based on age, ambient temperature, charge rate, etc. and the established monitoring of properly maintained levels of liquid. The charging process normally produces a flammable gas mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. A short circuit, open flame or smoking during must be avoided when adding water to keep the fluid above the plates or the battery manufacturer’s indicated max fill level. Some maintenance free batteries that use calcium instead of lead require less maintenance because of the greater reservoir capacity. Adding distilled water where and when possible will greatly increase the life of these “so called” maintenance free batteries.

Read More

Topics: Emergency Lighting Systems, Emergency Lighting CT

Why a NEMA for Emergency Lighting or Exit Signs?

by Cooper Clark on Apr 15, 2013

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) sets the standard for various electrical products including certain types of emergency lighting and exit signs. General specifications are as follow. The NEMA for emergency lighting is designed to withstand elements that would interfere with the normal and efficient operation of the emergency lighting unit such as wet locations, rain, and snow. The lighting heads themselves are design to be waterproof as well. The units normally come in 6 and 12v and carry D.C. lighting loads up to zero watts. Input various A.C. voltages can be requested from many many manufacturers. All units have a 90 minute run-time but can be customized for runs exceeding 1.5 hours. Most units are made of high-impact reinforced fiberglass and are extremely rugged. Most units come with a 12v 36 watt sealed lead calcium battery capable of powering remote fixtures. A number of options for this unit may be requested such as volt meter, time delays, etc. This emergency lighting is more costly than your standard units but are mandatory for specific applications.

Read More

Topics: Emergency Lighting Systems, Emergency Lighting CT

“WHAT IS THAT ROTTEN EGG SMELL?!” Emergency Light Batteries...

by Cooper Clark on Apr 02, 2013

In many of the older, wet-type (lead antimony) batteries, they are shipped with a liquid installed called sulfuric acid.  This electrolyte is energized during the charging process to maintain the proper voltage in the battery.

Read More

Topics: Emergency Lighting Systems, Emergency Lighting CT

What Happened to the Emergency Lighting at the Super Bowl?

by Cooper Clark on Mar 22, 2013

The TDL option (time delay) is an automatic device intended for installations where normal lighting utilizes H.I.D. (high intensity discharge) lamps.  The time delay option will keep emergency lighting operating approximately 15 minutes after the normal AC power is restored.  This will allow the H.I.D. lamps to cool down, re-start and come up to full brightness.  If you remember the 2013 Super Bowl Game, this is exactly what happened when power was lost.  When installing any type or size emergency lighting unit in areas such as auditoriums, gyms, etc. where your normal lighting is H.I.D., the time delay option is a must!

Read More

Topics: Emergency Lighting Systems

Emergency Lighting System Batteries are Like Spark Plugs

by Cooper Clark on Mar 13, 2013

Emergency Lighting System batteries are like spark plugs.  At 30 or 40 thousand miles, would you just change one defective spark plug?  No.  You will probably change them all because most likely they have the same mileage on them.  Banks of batteries in large AC or DC emergency lighting systems are quite similar.  When one battery fails, the balance is not far behind.  As with the spark plugs in your vehicle, the replacement of all the batteries at the same time, when one fails is, in the long run, much more cost effective.  A major portion of the cost to perform either of the above-mentioned tasks includes travel, labor, shop time, disposal of old material, etc.  Drive to the auto repair shop 4, 6, or 8 times to replace one park plug or replace and dispose of 6, 12, 20 or more batteries one at a time versus replacing all your plugs or batteries at one time is much less costly.

Read More

Topics: Emergency Lighting Systems

About this blog

Blog about facilities' life safety and lighting concerns including emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, AEDs, indoor and outdoor lighting.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Click to Request My 100%   FreeLife-Safety Inspection  AED - Emergency Lighting - Fire

Recent Posts

Authors List