Exit signs that clearly mark exits out of buildings have to be on all day, everyday. It is for the safety of the occupants and required by law. Unfortunately, exit signs in older buildings still often use incandescent or fluorescent / compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) technology to light up exit signs (though CFLs are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lighting). Fortunately, recent advances in LED technology have made the greatly energy efficient LED exit signs available to consumers at competitive prices (starting around $20).
In a nutshell, the advantages of using LED Replacement Exit Lights, such as the TCP LED Exit Sign with Battery include:
- Ultra-low energy usage (per year): Use about 44 kWh and cost $4 to operate (compared to incandescent bulbs that use about 350 kWh and cost $28 to operate)
- Low maintenance: Guaranteed to last at least 5 years, and many last 10 to 25 years
- Safety: Brighter and have greater contrast with their background, allowing people to more easily locate exits
Before you buy LED exit signs for a building, there are four basic features to consider:
- Color: Offered in green or red, but first check building codes as local regulations may determine your selection
- Battery back-up: In case of electrical outages, battery back-ups are available, and note buildings often mandate battery back-ups
- Emergency lighting: Also in case of emergencies, integrated or separate emergency lighting units are available as an additional safety feature
- Voltage: Available in 120 volt or 277 volt, and many have variable voltage that operate on either voltage levels
Lastly, if you are replacing existing exit signs, you must also identify the lighting technology (incandescent, fluorescent / CFL, photoluminescent, or tritium) for local regulations on compliant disposal methods.
For help identifying the type of exit signs currently in your building please call 1-888-STAR-YES, and visit www.energystar.gov for more information.