Emergency lighting is of great importance for buildings that require a continuous power supply.  For businesses, the use of emergency lights will help for work continuity and prevent loss that can occur due to power outages.

Emergency lights are provided with a rechargeable battery that powers the lamps or fixtures during emergencies i.e. when there is a disruption in the main power supply.

Such emergency lights come with different types of battery and lamp technologies that we will discuss in this article.


Emergency Light Battery Technologies

In the market, there are emergency light products available with different battery technologies. However, the major emergency light battery technologies used in an emergency lighting battery pack are:

  • Nickel cadmium (NiCd)
  • Nickel metal hydride (NiMH)
  • Lead acid
  • Lithium ion

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd)

Nickel-cadmium batteries are rechargeable batteries where the electrodes are nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium.

Although NiCd contains cadmium which is toxic, it is still used in emergency lighting products because their alternatives are just a few till recently.

NiCd batteries are commonly used in stand-alone emergency light lamps and emergency power packs or conversion kits.

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH)

These batteries are used in emergency conversion kits instead of NiCd batteries where some advantages can be gained by doing so.

The way these batteries look different than NiCd batteries is that NiMH batteries look slimmer.


The lead-acid battery is the type of rechargeable battery that is created first-ever. Lead-acid batteries are not commonly used in emergency lighting these days as they have mostly been replaced by modern rechargeable batteries.

However, they are still used in central battery systems and self-contained emergency lighting bulbs like twinspot.


This is a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium (Li) ions move from cathode (negative electrode) to anode (positive electrode) through an electrolyte.

The use of Lithium-ion batteries in emergency lighting products is increasing as they have several advantages over other types of rechargeable batteries.

A lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery is more efficient than a NiCd battery as LFP batteries lose less charge over time and also less energy in the form of heat during their charging process.

LFP batteries also have a longer life span than NiCd batteries.

Emergency Light Lamp Technologies

There are two major lamp technologies used in modern emergency light products.


LED has become the new-norm lighting technology these days. It is because LED technology is at the forefront when it comes to saving energy and reducing energy bills.

Unlike other traditional lighting technologies, there is no need for heating a separate light-emitting load like the filament in LEDs. In the case of LEDs, the light gets emitted directly from the source as the current passes through a semiconductor diode.

So, there will be less energy wasted as heat. LEDs are commonly used in various types of lighting products recently including emergency lighting products.

LED lamps come in various shapes and sizes. LEDs are replacing previous lighting technologies in the market today.


Fluorescent bulbs or lamps are more efficient than a regular incandescent lamp but not as efficient as LEDs. They are inexpensive and come in a wide range of sizes.

Fluorescent lamps consume 20 to 30% less energy than a regular incandescent lamp to produce similar illumination and also last longer.

Compared to LEDs, fluorescent lamps have higher energy consumption and shorter product lifespan.

T5 and T8 are common linear fluorescent lamps used in emergency lighting in high ceilings. Here, the letter ‘T’ means Tube and the number indicates the diameter of the fluorescent tube measured at one-eighth of an inch.

So, T8 has a diameter of (1/8 x 8) i.e. 1 inch. CFLs (Compact Fluorescent lamps) are also used for emergency lighting.

Emergency Light Operation Types

Based on the operation mode, there are two types of emergency lights available in the market. They are:

  • Maintained: Maintained emergency lights are the emergency lights that illuminate all the time, no matter there is a main power supply or not.
  • Non-maintained: Non-maintained emergency lights are the emergency lights that only illuminate when there is a disruption in the main power supply or when controlled by a light switch.


Emergency lights are beneficial for work continuity as they illuminate even the main power supply is disrupted. If you are more concerned with energy-saving, then go with LED emergency light bulbs for your needs.

Contact Sanforce for your emergency lighting needs. Sanforce is a leading manufacturer and distributor of quality emergency lighting products including emergency driver or ballast, fluorescent emergency kits, etc.

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