Singapore, 2nd September 2013
Back in Singapore and if all goes well no travel for at least a week!
There is no emergency but I wanted to touch base in regards to LED and emergency lighting. This is an issue that pops up all the time as part of our lighting design works. While in the past with conventional lighting we would integrate the design at times (depending scope required by client) into our design, we have lately stayed away from it for various reasons, predominantly because we have had some bad experiences in integrating emergency into our architectural lighting fixtures. We have further received some negative feedback from some manufacturers about the same so we are now recommending to keep the emergency lighting separate from any LED lighting fixtures.
While LED technology and the performances are a constantly moving target we have had a few experiences when it comes to integrating the emergency lighting with our architectural lighting specifications. First of all emergency lighting technology seems to affect the lifetime of LED, we experienced first-hand that LED lights stopped working after a while or were seriously affected in performance (low output, flickering, start-stop), it was amplified when the light was connected to a dimming system. It seems that LED connected to a dimming system does not really mix well. We have also been told by some manufacturers that the light fitting warranty would not apply to those connected to an emergency back-up system. This in itself is a warning sign we should not ignore as they have obviously experienced issues that “warrant” such stand! Whatever the situation it is critical that the client sticks to our light fitting specifications so we can take responsibility for it, because in this part of the world clients often substitute your specs with “alternatives” which you sometimes have no way of checking whether they comply, yet they will try hold you to task!
I am not saying that integrating emergency lighting systems into an architectural lighting function is not possible, I just want to highlight the current issues that we come across and that has affected our confidence in specifying them.
Light Watch 4-146: As part of emergency lighting we always have to deal with emergency exit signs…unfortunately they generally are unsightly and do not really fit into an architectural environment…the green light sticks out like sore thumb!