Emergency Light Testing

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Emergency Lighting Requirements


All commercial and industrial buildings must be fitted with an Emergency Lighting System to ensure safe evacuation in the case of an emergency.

It is vital that these systems are properly maintained; not only because it is a statutory requirement and most insurance companies require it, but because the safety of you and staff may depend on it!

We can arrange regular inspection, testing and certification of emergency lighting systems every 6 or 12 months to ensure your premises fully comply with BS5266-1.

The purpose of emergency lighting testing is to ensure that emergency lights remain fully functional (for the specified duration) during mains electrical failure and that all lighting and exit signs are up to date with current legislation and are adequate for the purpose intended.

BS5266 recommends that emergency lighting systems be regularly serviced by ‘competent’ persons, these being persons with the necessary knowledge, skills and training to undertake emergency lighting servicing procedures.

Implementation of a periodic system of inspection and testing ensures that emergency lighting systems remain reliable at all times and that in the event of an emergency or power failure, the emergency lighting operates, ensuring that people can safely evacuate the building.

Because of the possibility of a failure of the normal lighting supply occurring shortly after a period of testing of the emergency lighting system or during the subsequent recharge period, all full duration tests shall, wherever possible, be undertaken just before a time of low risk to allow for battery recharge. Alternatively, suitable temporary arrangements shall be made until the batteries have been recharged.


The following minimum inspections and tests shall be carried out at the intervals recommended below. The regulating authority may require specific tests.


Daily emergency lighting inspection (only for central backup systems)


This check only applies to emergency lighting systems with one central backup battery system / emergency generator. In this case there is a daily visual inspection of indicators on the central power supply to identify that the system is in a ready condition. No test of operation is required.


Monthly emergency lighting tests


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 emrgency lighting log book.




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.

We offer package deals on all our testing which will save you a lot of time and money.

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