Emergency Lighting (EML)


Emergency lighting is lighting for an emergency situation when the main power supply is cut and normal electrical illumination fails.  The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut. Without emergency lighting this could lead to sudden darkness and possible danger to occupants, either through physical danger or panic.

Emergency lighting is normally required to operate fully automatically and give illumination of a sufficiently high level to enable all occupants to evacuate the premises safely. Most new buildings have emergency lighting installed during construction; the design and type of equipment being specified by the architect in accordance with current Building Regulations and any local authority requirements.

The British Standard provides the emergency lighting designer with clear guidelines to work to. BS 5266-1 relates not only to hotels, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges, licensed premises, offices, museums, shops but also multi-storey dwellings. Although the standard recommends the types and backup durations for each category of premises, it should be remembered that standards define a minimum requirement and that a higher specification may be required for a particular application.

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