2023 Emergency Light Battery Selection Guide
Table of Contents
- 2023 Emergency Light Battery Selection Guide
- Charging & Energy Use in Emergency Lights
- Types of Emergency Lighting Batteries
- Costs of LFP Batteries in Emergency Lighting
- Changing Batteries vs. Fixtures in Emergency Lights
- Top Batteries for Emergency Lighting
Emergency lighting is an absolute necessity across many industries and even for personal use. Whether you need to keep a hospital or senior care center lit during power outages, or you are concerned about lighting your own home during an emergency, emergency lighting systems are crucial. You can’t just rely on flashlights and headlamps in such situations.
However, the power solution you use for an emergency lighting system is a bit more complicated than it is for other applications. There are very specific factors you need to consider to ensure your emergency lighting system will perform well when it’s time for it to go to work.
Today, we’re going to walk you through the main factors you need to consider and provide some solutions to common problems.
Charging & Energy Use in Emergency Lights
These are two of the most crucial factors to consider. When the power goes out, your emergency lighting system obviously can’t rely on the grid. Instead, there is a series of lithium batteries set up to provide power to the emergency system throughout the outage. While not a permanent solution, it does provide long-term emergency lighting necessary to carry out core tasks within a facility.
However, none of that matters if the batteries run out of power before the emergency is over.
To prevent that, you need to focus on the charging capabilities and energy consumption.
Energy consumption is the primary concern. Most emergency lighting systems are designed to provide just enough light to continue operations or find your way to an exit, but not enough to drain more power than needed. That helps preserve battery life, but the battery itself needs to be able to discharge energy efficiently, too. If it’s wasting energy, it drains faster, and you’re left without a backup system.
Charging capabilities are important in the event of a long-term power outage when you also have the capability to charge your batteries. Whether that’s via solar panels or a gas generator isn’t overly important, but having some means of topping your batteries off after they discharge in a power outage is key.
However, the emergency lighting battery you use needs to be able to charge to full quickly. The longer it takes, the longer you’ll go without lights, and the more resources you’ll waste; especially if you’re relying on a gas generator. With solar, resources aren’t a concern, but charge times tend to be higher.
You want a lithium battery that can charge as quickly as possible while maintaining its peak performance.
Types of Emergency Lighting Batteries
To get a battery that meets the unique needs of an emergency lighting system, you need a specific type of lithium battery. While lithium batteries are great in general, there are various types, and each one has a few different characteristics.
For an emergency lighting battery, LFP batteries are the standard, now.
LFP stands for Lithium Iron Phosphate, and it describes the makeup of the electrolyte and node used to generate electricity. You’ll also see these batteries branded as LifePO4 batteries.
The reason LFP batteries are the best option is because of how well they conserve energy while still supplying the necessary amount to whatever you’re powering. They’re mostly used in situations like emergency lighting where there isn’t a large amount of power required to operate the system, but the longevity of consistent use is high.
Think of an LFP as a slow-burn candle. When you light it, you get plenty of light, but it can stay lit for 24 hours instead of just an hour or so like a normal candle. Except, in the case of LFP batteries, emergency lighting can be operated for days, or even weeks, depending on the way the lighting system itself is set up and the quality of the batteries used.
In a situation where you need the lighting system for serious reasons, and you don’t know when the power will come back on, that trait is extremely desirable.
Costs of LFP Batteries in Emergency Lighting
This is where the average consumer starts to think about alternatives. Trust us. It isn’t worth it. Other types of lithium batteries aren’t as energy efficient as LFP.
Unfortunately, LFP batteries are fairly expensive in comparison to many of the other options available. Higher prices, even when warranted and not too much more than the alternatives, always tend to make consumers think twice. However, it’s well worth it when you’re talking about an emergency lighting system.
As we said earlier, emergency lighting systems need to conserve their energy as long as possible to keep the lights on. Even when you have a generator or solar panels to top them off, that requires resources that run out or an extensive amount of time. If those two things aren’t available, the energy in the battery is all you have before the lights go out.
LFP lets you stretch out your power for as long as possible.
Also, they last a considerably long time. LFP batteries can last for roughly 10 to 15 years, and if you buy the recommended batteries we’ll talk about later, they’ll even maintain their performance.
On average, an LFP battery costs almost $100 per KWH. On top of that, you usually need multiple batteries to power more sophisticated emergency lighting systems.
Luckily, they’re not just worth the investment. The price is also likely to lower as time goes on. They used to be nearly $1200 per KWH, but as demand rose and manufacturing quantities improved, the price dropped. With them continuing to be highly popular, you can expect the price to continue dropping.
That doesn’t mean you should put off your purchase, though. Emergency lighting isn’t something you can afford to put off until the price is right. However, you do know that future replacement batteries or expansions to your system will get less and less expensive.
Changing Batteries vs. Fixtures in Emergency Lights
With lights that are hooked up to the grid, you usually just change a bulb or the fixture when something goes out. With emergency lighting, it’s a little different.
Now, we’re only talking about emergency lighting systems that are set up to be powered by lithium batteries. The less effective ones that run on nickel batteries vary depending on the make and model.
When a battery dies, you usually just want to replace the battery.
The lights that rely on lithium batteries are typically built to last a considerable amount of time, and you should almost never need to replace the entire fixture. However, the battery will need to be replaced as soon as its expected lifespan is over. Even if they’re still working, you risk the power going out when your batteries are just about to die for good.
It’s also a lot easier to change the battery with these types of lights. There’s no need to shut off the power to the entire area, it’s less laborious, and it’s of course, it’s most cost-effective.
One thing you should consider is changing every battery at once, though.
It sounds like a massive expense, especially if your emergency lighting system is more substantial and relies on a large number of batteries. Replacing them all at once ensures that all batteries remain operational, and you can sometimes get better deals with bulk orders than if you do single battery purchases.
Top Batteries for Emergency Lighting
Emergency light systems are typically used in facilities that need to remain lit at all times. They’re not optional, and in many cases, they’re legally required. As such, the power source you’re using to power those lights is just as important as the fixtures themselves.
That’s where MANLY Battery comes in.
We have 4 batteries that will function as the best emergency light batteries available.
Any of those four battery options will provide you with unmatched safety features, industry-leading reliability and longevity, and a price you’ll love. Of course, we also offer custom battery options if you need something to match a more unique system.
When it comes to powering your emergency light system, you need a battery supplier you can rely on. Contact MANLY Battery today.
Emergency lighting systems, hopefully, aren’t something you rely on often. As such, we know there are a few questions you probably have when it comes to maintaining your emergency lighting.
Here are 3 of the most frequently asked questions and answers to each one.
How to Replace Emergency Light Batteries?
This depends on the exact system you’re using. If you’re simply replacing the battery in emergency signage lights, such as the emergency exit light most buildings have, it’s as simple as unscrewing the front housing, unplugging the battery, and plugging a new one in.
How Long Do Emergency Light Batteries Last?
Per OSHA guidelines, all emergency light batteries must be able to provide at least 90 minutes of lighting. Of course, the exact battery you get, the type of emergency lighting you’re talking about, and other factors can change that number for the better.
How Often Should Emergency Light Batteries Be Replaced?
Lithium batteries can frequently last longer than ten years, but since your emergency lights are crucial, it’s best to replace all your emergency lighting batteries every 5 years.
This is regulated for businesses, treatment centers, and other professional settings, but if you have emergency backup lighting in a private setting, you can use your better judgment.