With NHS budgets under growing pressure, it is becoming increasingly important to reduce costs in non-clinical areas so that funding can be channelled into patient care.
Using LED light sources in emergency lighting will deliver a very significant reduction in the power consumption of the systems. These benefits are probably greater in healthcare applications than other projects because emergency lighting needs to provide higher levels of illuminance in critical areas.
Using LEDs in emergency lighting delivers big reductions in power consumption"
In fact, because evacuating a healthcare facility is often more complex than other buildings, there are generally more stringent demands on the emergency lighting. It is essential to carry out a thorough risk assessment when designing the emergency lighting systems for these buildings.
Another advantage of LED lighting, of course, is the longer life of the light sources so that the maintenance costs associated with replacing lamps are greatly reduced. In parallel, capital and installation costs can be reduced by integrating emergency lighting into the general luminaires.
However, perhaps the biggest saving comes from using centralised monitoring and testing systems for emergency lighting. This avoids the need to have maintenance staff walking around the building making visual checks. Instead, all of the test data relating to any faults can be viewed on a central computer.
Technologies exist to maximise battery life and reduce power consumption through intelligent charging regimes which apply a charge when needed rather than
a continuous charge. Adaptive charge regimes reduce power consumption and extend battery lifetime to reduce long-term operating costs.
While it’s vital never to lose sight of the safety-critical role of emergency lighting, it’s also important to apply the right technologies, in the right way, to deliver cost-saving solutions that also address all of the safety criteria.