Non-Powered Options For Exit Signage

Posted on: 28 April 2021

Proper exit signage is required in commercial establishments, as well as in some residential buildings. It's imperative to not only install the signs, but make sure they will work when needed most.  

Problems With Power Dependence

Traditional exit signs are hard wired into the existing power grid of the building. They either remain lighted at all times, or they light up if an attached sensor picks up no illumination nearby. The main issue with these signs is that they will not light up in the event of a power failure.

There are power alternatives. For example, the sign could be hooked into a generator or backup power system. The issue is that in certain emergencies, such as a fire or earthquake, the backup power source can fail as readily as the main power source. Integrated backup battery power is another option, but batteries must be serviced or changed. A simple oversight can result in a failure to illuminate when it is most necessary.

Non-Powered Options

The god news is you can break free of the need to supply outside power to something as important as exit signs. Photoluminescent exit signs use a glow in the dark paint. The paint "charges" during the day via ambient lighting from windows or overhead light. There is no need to wire the lights; they simply are screwed into place. The only limitation is that they cannot be used in an area that isn't normally exposed to light during the day, such as a little used and unlighted stairwell.

There are options for areas without regular light exposure. Tritium exit signs are similar to photoluminescent signs in that they glow in the dark and require no wiring for installation. They don't use light to charge, though. Instead, tritium signs are powered by radio waves, which occur naturally all over earth constantly. Choosing to use photoluminescent signs in lighted areas and tritium signs in dark spots can provide the ideal solution.

Increased Safety Measures

You can further increase safety in your building by using photoluminescent signage other than exit signs throughout a building. In an emergency, it is easy to overlook the normal wayfinding signs, and smoke and darkness can make it easy for people to lose their way.

Most dealers of exit signs also provide photolumiscent stickers in the form of arrows or instructional signage. Photoluminiscent tape is also available, which allows you to mark out possible exit hazards such as steps and uneven walkways. These stickers and tapes aren't visible in normal lighting, but can be a lifesaver in emergency conditions.

Contact a sign company to learn more about photoluminescent exit signs and the other options available.