Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Exit Lights
Please note: For purposes of this discussion, we are using the term light to refer to the type of bulb. The lighting industry uses the term "lamps" and all commercial catalogues and order forms will refer to a specific incandescent lamp or fluorescent lamp. In addition, home improvement stores may refer to lighting fixtures as lights and to light bulbs as bulbs. Because exit lights must be continuously illuminated, they  should be some of the most efficient lighting equipment in a commercial building. Typical exit light fixtures contain two 20-watt incandescent lights. The newest fixtures are available with either compact fluorescent lights or light emitting diodes (LEDs) that reduce the fixture wattage to less than five watts. There are also kits that permit fitting these new light types into the old fixtures.

Fluorescent Lights
Exit fixture conversion kits allow you to replace the incandescent lights with fluorescent twin-tube lights that use approximately 11 watts each. Some kits contain two fluorescent lights that allow the second light to energize when the first light burns out in order to reduce light replacement labor cost. These systems are incompatible with fixtures that are required to flash in case of an emergency.

Low-Wattage Incandescent Ropes
Another conversion that is common, is to install "light ropes." A light rope is a flexible tube that contains several low wattage incandescent lights. Light ropes consume approximately 8 watts. This tube screws directly into the existing light socket in most instances, making the conversion very easy.

LED Exit Signs
Light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures are available to replace existing fixtures and use considerably less energy. Single-faced LED fixtures that use approximately 7 watts can be used where only one side of the fixture needs to be seen. Double-sided fixtures that use only 8 watts can be used where both sides of the exit fixture must be seen. LED fixtures can be purchased with or without a battery backup and will last over 50 years while significantly reducing maintenance costs.