How to Determine the Age of Your Emergency Light

Emergency lights are a vital aspect of lighting design in any building project. Intended to provide light and assistance during a power outage, emergency lights are subject to rigorous codes and standards. Due to the vital nature of these fixtures, you want to make sure your emergency lights are in good, high-functioning condition. But how do you determine the age and condition of your emergency light?

Travis Lyon, a Specialist in Current’s Lighting Solutions Center, identifies three indicators help you determine the approximate age and of your emergency light fixture. Assessing these factors will not only teach you about the state of your emergency lights but will also help you decide when to upgrade your technology.

Illumination Technology

The lighting industry has changed radically in the last 10 years with the inception and widespread adoption of LED lighting technology. LED lights use less energy and with greater efficiency, allowing for smaller, safer lighting products. The clear benefits of this technology have resulted in an industry-wide switch to LED.

Due to the recency and popularity of LED technology, the presence of an LED light in your emergency fixture alone is an indicator of the product’s age. If your emergency light contains a traditional halogen or incandescent lightbulb, it is likely at least 10 years old. The presence of an LED light in your fixture means it isn’t older than about 2012, although cases may vary.

emergency lighting size comparison


In addition to the benefits listed above, LED technology also allows for sleeker lighting design. The lights themselves are small in comparison to traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs and produce radically less heat. Even more impactful is their efficient use of energy. LED lights can maintain the minimum 90-minute illumination period regulated for all emergency lights without using an additional battery pack. Eliminating additional space for batteries has dramatically cut down on product size in recent years.

These new, sleeker designs like the EV and EZ2L emergency lights minimize aesthetic does not visual interfere in a building project but are able to perform in emergency situations. As such they are rapidly gaining notoriety in the lighting community. Most modern designs do not exceed 8 inches.

If your emergency light appears larger than many on the market today, that could be a sign of age. However, there are a few exceptions. Specifically, if your large commercial or industrial space uses a master emergency light as a central power source for emergency lights across the building, size may not be a factor when determining age.

emergency lighting condition comparison


A simple way to access the age of your emergency light is to look for obvious signs of wear and tear. Is the light fixture bright, white, and clean? Or does it have a hazy lamp heads and an off-white or ivory film covering the unit? Hazy lamp heads and discoloration result from extended UV exposure and will eventually impact your emergency light’s performance, if not ruin it altogether.

In addition to the overall look of the fixture, be sure to examine your emergency light’s battery. Is it showing signs of corrosion or leaking? Dust, UV, and other elements will eat away at the battery over time, causing it to rupture. This leaking often exhibits as a foam or crust surrounding the battery. This is a clear sign of age in your emergency light and a sign that it should be replaced immediately.

These are just three different factors to consider when determining the age of your emergency light. Based on the above indicators, if you suspect your light is over 10 years old or notice extreme leaking and corrosion from the battery, it may be time to consider upgrading.

Ready to Upgrade Your Emergency Lighting?

Contact your lighting provider or reach out to one of our Agents to upgrade your systems today!

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