Emergency Lighting

What is emergency light testing?

Emergency light testing is testing and inspection of emergency lights within a building which illuminates escape routes, ensuring safe evacuation of people in the event of an emergency.


What is involved?

Monthly inspection and testing

All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS 5266-1: 2011

The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this test whilst minimising damage to the system components e.g. lamps. During this period, all luminaires and signs shall be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly. A record of the test must be recorded in the emergency lighting log book.

Annual inspection and testing

A test for the full rated duration of the emergency lights (e.g. 3 hours) must be carried out. The emergency lights must still be working at the end of this test.

The result must be recorded and if failures are detected, these must be remedied as soon as possible.

Types of System

Most emergency lighting schemes fall into one of the following categories:-

  • Non-maintained – The emergency light units only illuminate in the event of a mains failure.
  • Maintained – The emergency light units are illuminated at all times using the same lamps for both normal and emergency operation.
  • Sustained – The emergency light units are fitted with 2 No. Lamps or 2 No. Sets of lamps, one of which operates on mains 240V a.c.supply, the other which operates from the battery supply in the event of mains failure. It is basically a non-maintained system with the addition of mains lamps which should be illuminated whenever the premises are occupied.
  • Generator or battery alternative supply.

The type of system and emergency duration is often expressed in abbreviated form as per the following examples:-

  • M3 – Maintained System,emergency duration 3 hours.
  • NM2 – Non-maintained System,emergency duration 2 hours.
  • S1 – Sustained System,emergency duration 1 hour.


Who does it apply to?

All commercial premises and where the public visit.


How much does it cost?

The cost is dependent on the number of units being tested. Please contact our sales team who can give you accurate information based on your requirements.