Airport Business

APR 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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TERMINAL LIGHTING illumination times and intensities based on the estimated time it takes to exit the building. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has its own set of building safety codes. NFPA 101: Life Safety Code, for example, requires emergency illumination for all buildings including lighting stairs, aisles, ramps, corridors, escalators – any path that can lead to an exit. The NFPA also requires emergency lighting to illuminate within 10 seconds of a power failure. Battery powered lights have to provide 1 fc of illumination for a minimum of 90 minutes. After 90- minutes the requirement drops from to a minimum of 0.6 fc (0,65 lux). When assessing your emergency response strategy, be sure you know what specific regulations apply for your airport. The fines for non-compliance can be expensive. THE NEED FOR LED EMERGENCY LIGHTS One common characteristic of all emergency lighting standards is that they require battery backup; as the outage at Hartsfield-Jackson shows you can't rely on centralized backup power. One of the trends we are seeing in emergency lighting is battery power migrating away from a central battery source to self-contained emergency lights. Central battery power for emergency lighting does simplifies maintenance and testing. It also tends to provide a stable environment so factors such as high and low temperatures don't affect battery life. However, centralized batteries for emergency lighting tend to be expensive when the higher cost of the batteries and the wiring needed for a large structure are considered. Centralizing battery power also requires maintaining a large battery room with additional cooling. And it presents a single point of failure if a circuit or connection fails. With the cost of solid-state lighting continuing to drop, self-contained LED emergency lights are proving more versatile and more cost-effective. LEDs are more compact, so they can be installed anywhere, including being retrofitted into existing light fixtures. A growing trend in facilities is to install small LED light bars in fluorescent fixtures to provide emergency lighting. Their compact size and lower power requirement mean LED emergency lights can use smaller batteries, so they can be retrofitted into existing light fixtures; no new luminaires required. The LED emergency lights also can be programmed to deliver 90, 180, or even 360 minutes of illumination. Battery technology is advancing as well. Lead-acid batteries are being replaced by nickel-cadmium batteries that are smaller, lighter, easier to recharge, and last longer. Manufacturers also are introducing higher capacity lithium iron phosphate batteries for use in emergency LED lighting. Most batteries last from five to 10 years and are easy to swap out without having to replace the entire light fixture. Many emergency LEDs have indicator lights to show the status of the unit; an important consideration since most regulations require periodic testing. These emergency lights can be tested manually, or they can be wired to a central controller to monitor battery life and readiness. Some newer models offer a self-diagnostic feature, running a test monthly for unit health and displaying an easily noticed red light if there is a problem. Janitorial staff or anyone noticing the red light can then raise a maintenance issue. Linking programmable LED lights into a single infrastructure simplifies monitoring and management, but the lights still operate independently, eliminating risk from a single point of failure. After the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport power failure, managers should be rethinking their emergency procedures including upgrades to your emergency lighting. Talk to your maintenance team, your electrical suppliers and your contractors about the current state of your emergency lighting. It might be time to upgrade to LED emergency lights through an easy retrofit or as a part of new construction. Either way, LEDs are a worthwhile investment to ensure your airport complies with the latest safety regulations, and that you are prepared the next time the lights go out. Fulham Co. Inc. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Russ Sharer Fulham Co., Inc. Russ Sharer is Vice President of Global Marketing and Business Development for Fulham Co., Inc., manufacturer of innovative and energy-efficient lighting sub-systems and components for lighting manufacturers worldwide. 22 airportbusiness April 2018

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