Emergency exit lights not working

A brief guide of what to check when your emergency exit lights are not working

Sometimes the first time that you realise that there is a problem with your emergency lighting is when they do not work during a power cut or when they fail the three hour duration test. Once you do know you have a problem, what are the first things to check for when your emergency exit lights are not working?

Bulkhead with damaged / burnt diffuser, not working

Obvious things to check first

It may sound silly but…….
Are all the cables connected correctly?

  • Is the mains cable correctly terminated to the correct inputs?
  • Are the battery positive and negative terminals correctly plugged in?
  • Is the lamp / LED strip connected to the PCB correctly?

Are there any signs of damage?
Is there water inside the emergency light?

Did the emergency exit lights work at all?

When the power was cut, did any light come on? If there was some light, even briefly, then the lamp or LED’s and battery must be connected correctly. In this case it is probably the battery that either hasn’t been charging correctly or the battery itself is not holding any charge. Another way to check this is when the power is normal, was the green charge LED indicator illuminated?

First thing to change is the battery itself. Batteries are designed to last 4 years, but high and low extremes of temperatures and infrequent testing degrades this lifespan. When you change to a new battery, you must give it a full 24 hour charge before testing again. Even then certain batteries require several cycles of charge / discharge before they reach their 3 hour duration.

Broken Light
Broken Light

If after changing the battery it is still not working correctly or the green charge indicator is not illuminated, then the next probable cause is the PCB control gear. The control gear monitors the main incoming power and charges the battery. This is perhaps a little more complicated to swap out, but should be possible as most emergency lights are designed for this to happen.

No light at all!

If there was no light when there was the power cut, then check the lamp or LED’s. If the emergency light is still a fluorescent lamp then you should change it to a LED version. You will not be able to get a replacement fluorescent lamp and LED emergency lighting has been common place for many years. An old fluorescent lamp would more than likely be the culprit, especially if the ends are black.

If it is a LED light source, then they can usually be easily replaced. If you have more than one unit that is working you can swap components to verify which is faulty. You may then need to check the battery or PCB as above if you do get some light when testing.

If you need assistance with fault finding your emergency lights, then please contact us, I’m sure we will be able to help.

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