Emergency lighting is installed to assist occupants exit a building safely or continue to operate in the event of mains power failure.

Emergency lighting is divided into emergency escape lighting and standby lighting.

Emergency lighting installed to BS5266-1 is normally required to operate automatically and give sufficient illumination to enable occupants to evacuate the premises safely.

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Testing your Emergency Lights

Daily emergency lighting inspection (for central back-up systems only)


This inspection is only applicable to emergency lighting systems with a separate central back-up battery. If so a daily visual inspection of the power supplies operational indicators are required. No operational test is required.

Monthly emergency light test


All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. A short functional test should be performed as per BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8. To do this a mains power failure on the normal lighting circuits or luminaire must be simulated. You should test your lights for a short period sufficient for ensuring the light is operational upon mains power failure.


In your log book you should note all luminaires and signs are working and operating properly.

Annual emergency light test


All emergency lighting systems must be tested annually in addition to the monthly tests. The luminaires should be tested for their full rated duration (typically 3 hours).


The luminaires should still be working at the end of this test. Luminaires and signs should be tested for correct operation, location and cleanliness. The results must be recorded and if failures are detected these must be remedied as soon as possible using a competent person.


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