Photoluminescent Exit Signs - A Brief Overview
A new technology, the photoluminescent exit sign, is changing the way people think about exit signs and safety egress products. For a long time, exit signs represented a constant compromise--on the one hand, they needed to remain on all the time for the sake of safety, but on the other, all that up-time amounted to sky-high electric bills. Photoluminescent technology has changed this landscape permanently, ushering in a new era of one-time costs, product longevity, and greatly increased reliability.
Photoluminescent Exit Signs are reliable and UL 924 Listed
Photoluminescent exit signs drastically reduce the costs typically associated with traditional electrically powered exit signs. Electrical exit signs require an electrical conduit which means hiring an electrician, photoluminescent exit signs do not, they can be installed by just about anyone in less than 30 minutes. Electrical exit signs rely on batteries to remain illuminated in the case of a power outage, which means maintaining, replacing, and testing the battery backup systems inside them. OSHA requires battery testing every month. The LED strips inside most electrical exit signs are efficient, consuming only 3-5 watts of electricity, but only have an average lifespan of 8- 10 years (batteries in exit signs have a lifespan of 3-5 years). Compare that to the 25-year, maintenance free lifespan of a photoluminescent exit sign and the choice is clear, photoluminescent exit signs are the easy, efficient, and affordable alternative to electrical exit signs.
Features of photoluminescent exit signs:
- Completely non-electrical - eliminates operating costs
- Reliable - no batteries or electricity to rely on
- Efficient - no batteries, bulbs, or maintenance duties
- Compliant - UL 924 Listed, NFPA 101, ICC, IBC, IFC
- Long term solution - up to 25 year lifespan
Installs in just minutes, lasts for up to 25 years
And if you are worried about being compliant and about photoluminescent exit signs being acceptable to your local fire marshall or building inspector, don't be! The Exit Store's photoluminescent exit signs are UL 924 Listed for the United States and Canada, so they meet the same code requirements and certified to the same standards as electrical exit signs. The UL 924 Standard is based on regulations set forth by the IFC (International Fire Code), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), IBC (International Building Code), and ICC (International Construction Code. So, you can use them as a replacement or instead of electrical exit signs. From both a new construction or retrofit project standpoint, code compliant photoluminescent exit signs are the most affordable and long term exit sign solution.
When deciding to install photoluminescent exit signs, there are a few application requirements to aware of. Photoluminescent exit signs illuminate by absorbing light emitted from regular light sources, such as incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent. The only need a small amount of light to charge; is easily satisfied by the general lighting systems of most commercial facilties. When charged from a light source, the sign will glow for at least 90 minutes in complete darkness. Photoluminescent exit signs are suitable for placement in indoor applications in which the lights are on while the facility is occupied. If the lights are not on at all times while the facility is occupied, the sign will not constantly charge and thus will not be acceptable for that application. A couple examples of the types of facilities that are ideal for photoluminescent exit signs would be offices, hotels, schools, retail stores and other commercial facilities. In these types of buildings the lighting system is on when people are present. It is important to know that light is NOT required on the face of a glow in the dark exit sign when the facility is unoccupied.
The Exit Store offers a large selection of styles, designs, and finishes
Examples of buildings that photoluminescent exit signs signs would not be acceptable in would be bars, restaurants, and movie theaters. In these types of facilities there is typically not enough or any light to charge the sign's photoluminescent pigment. If your application does not have enough light to adequately charge a photoluminescent exit sign, consider another non-electrical solution, the self-luminous exit sign. Self-luminous exit signs utilize Tritium, a type of hydrogen gas, to provide constant EXIT illumination with no need for electricity, they are completely self powered. Self-luminous exit signs can also be installed in both indoor and outdoor applications as they are completely weatherproof.
The Exit Store offers a large selection of photoluminescent exit signs that vary by design, construction, color, finish, and frame design. For the most affordable solution, we offer unframed, single sided glow in the dark exit signs at less than $55 per unit. Singled sided models with a back mount frame start at $69.99 while double sided models begin at $149.99 and come with a top or side mounting bracket. Our high-end architectural series glow in the dark exit signs come with flush mount frame options and custom finish capabilities. Glow in the dark exit signs are offered in two basic styles; glowing letters with a red, green, or black background or a glowing background with red or green letters. It is important to note the farthest distance at which the exit sign you are installing will be placed as photoluminescent exit signs have viewing distances of 50, 75, and 100 feet. We have knowledgeable customer service representatives. standing by to help you pick the right glow in the dark exit sign for your application, so please call us at 866.471.2849.