Self Testing Emergency Lights
Why not just have self testing emergency lights, the type that carry out the tests automatically themselves but do not have a control panel?
This type of light is often called a standalone self test luminaire (or light) and the technology for an emergency light to self test has been around for some time. Typically they are advertised as complying with BS5266 (the UK emergency lighting code of practice).
They appear to be quite a step forward over conventional emergency lights and various benefits are listed. Unfortunately this is only half the story; they do give you more but they don’t provide the complete solution to legal compliance:
- With these self test luminaires whilst the actual test is automatic the record keeping is not. You still need someone to walk round every single light, check the test status indicator and record that in a logbook. That’s a person with pen and paper checking every light every month…
- The self test times tend to be random, or only have basic control at best, meaning that each emergency light could activate when the building is occupied (every month) much to the annoyance of building users.
- Some self testing luminaires have an audible warning to indicate that the light has failed test. Sounds good doesn’t it but what if the light is out of reach, who will silence the alarm and how long will it sound for before someone can get a maintenance person to stop it. Conversely if the luminaire is easily accessible can you be sure that the fault will be logged in the correct logbook before it is silenced. Worst still what if the beeping starts in the middle of the night, or in an occupied office, or a meeting etc.
With a Miresa system the test times can be set precisely to times that are convenient and when the building is unoccupied. The fault sounder is at the Control Panel and will only sound between the hours you choose. It can be silenced easily and even once silenced the fault remains recorded. All record keeping is automatic and PDF reports are produced monthly without any manual intervention.
Finally with the cost of a standalone self test emergency light approaching, if not equalling, a Miresa wirelessly tested emergency light basic self-testing emergency lights are not great value in practice.