Emergency Lighting Regulations

emergency exit

Emergency lighting is critical in commercial and industrial buildings, offering illumination and guidance when normal lighting fails for any reason.

Why do I need emergency lighting?’

Providing illumination when people need to exit the building in an emergency, this lighting is required by law, specifically as part of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The four types of emergency lighting

There are four typical types of emergency lighting to choose from, either individually or to build as a system:

Escape route lighting – This type of emergency lighting ensures that the quickest, safest routes to an exit are illuminated for the occupants of the building to use.

Open area lighting – This lighting is put in place to help reduce panic in building occupants by providing more illumination, thereby allowing people to exit the building calmly.

Standby Lighting – Depending on how a building is used and the people within, standby lighting can be used, but it is not a legal requirement. This is a simply a type of lighting which allows normal activity to continue in a building.

High risk task area lighting – This is the part of the system which gives light in areas where dangerous situations could occur – with machinery, for example – and allows for the safe shutdown of operations.

Classifications for emergency lighting

Replacing the old NM/M system of classifying lighting, there is now a different system, using a letter-number-letter-number system from the following categories:


X = self-contained

Y = central battery

Mode of operation

0 = non-maintained

1 = maintained

2 = combined non-maintained

3 = combined maintained

4 = compound non-maintained

5 = compound maintained

6 = satellite


A = includes test device

B = includes remote test device

C = includes inhibiting mode

D = suitable for high risk task areas

Duration in minutes

10 minutes

60 minutes

120 minutes

180 minutes

Request a Callback

Just fill in your details below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!