Photoluminescent (PL) exit signs are a relatively new technology that absorb ambient light and then illuminates, or glows in the dark using the stored energy. These signs have recently been approved by OSHA and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rated for use under specific conditions.

To meet the qualifications set to use photoluminescent signs and to charge the sign properly, the ambient light of the building must provide 54 lux at the face of the sign. A professional service provider can measure the ambient light of the building and provide insight on your photoluminescent light options.

Photoluminescent exit signs are becoming more popular because of the very unique benefits they have to offer. Since the signs store energy from the buildings ambient lighting the signs require no connection to power, no battery, and no light bulbs or related maintenance, eliminating the cost of upkeep. The lifespan of a glow in the dark light in normal conditions is upwards of 25 years and the light will remain visible for up to 9 hours in total darkness once the light is fully “charged”.

These exit signs must still be tested and documented every 30 days for 30 seconds and annually for 90 minutes. The sign must stay visibly illuminated for the duration of the test. A visual inspection must also be done to ensure the sign is clean and not damaged. If the sign is dirty or damaged it should be wiped down with soap and water or replaced.

Photoluminescent signs offer a much more reliable, cost-effective exit sign solution for buildings that meet the NFPA requirements. Your service provider can tell you if your building meets the NFPA requirements to use photoluminescent exit signs and can install them properly for you.

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