What You Should Know About Commercial Lighting & Emergency Power
As a business owner, you will have to stay up to the latest safety code standards. You are going to at least need emergency lighting so people can safely exit your building without a problem if the power to your commercial building goes out. There are some things you should know about commercial lighting and emergency power so you can stay up to code and provide a safe environment for everyone.
If you have a factory, church, apartment complex, hospital, clinic, school, or one of many other commercial businesses, emergency lighting is required by OSHA. OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that sets such requirements so there are clear exit routes from any point within a workplace. The NFPA, or National Fire Protection Association sets safety regulations as well for commercial buildings. You'll need the help of an experienced electrician like us to help you understand your commercial lighting and emergency lighting responsibilities.
With emergency lighting and power, you basically have four options. You can install an emergency backup generator, individual emergency backup drivers, designated emergency lights, or an emergency inverter.
Emergency Inverters For Lighting
The exits signs and other emergency lights can be powered by an emergency inverter which stores power for emergency use. However, it only offers a shorter period of power, about 90 minutes. But it can provide power for large sections of lighting over long distances. This is useful for evacuating the building and ensuring your main systems are shut down until the power goes back on.
Commercial Emergency Backup Generators
You'll get a longer power supply, in fact for days at a time, with a commercial emergency backup generator. This is very important if you have refrigerated or frozen assets or need to keep computer equipment and the HVAC system running. The system can run on propane, diesel, or be tied into the natural gas lines from the utility company. These generators are well made today, offering a seamless, quiet, and efficient function when the main power system goes out.
Emergency Lights With Battery Backup
You can install LED lamps, halogen, or incandescent emergency lights that are individually battery operated. They are not installed into the main lighting system but operate separately for emergency use only. You get the same 90 minutes average power time as with the inverter. It's a great option if all you need are emergency lights to keep you on the right side of safety code regulations.
Emergency Backup Drivers For Lighting
If you have plug and play LED tubes, HID lamps, or T8 bulbs, you have a ballast or driver. A driver will regulate the power which flows to an LED light. It responds to changes as needed and will provide a constant flow of power to the lights.
However, an emergency backup driver is needed for power outages. The driver is wired separately from the main power as it contains a battery pack, test switch, and LED array. It is mounted inside the existing fluorescent or LED fixture or on the back side of the fixture if it's during new construction.