Emergency Lighting

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What is emergency light testing?


Emergency lights must comply with BS 5266:2005 on emergency light testing. In the event of a mains power cut, emergency lights must stay switched on using an alternative power supply.

Monthly Emergency Lighting Tests – Emergency lighting must be tested once a month via a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004. With the mains power out, a short period of simulated power failure is enough to complete this test without wasting the lamp life of the emergency lights.

Annual Emergency Lighting Test – A test called “The 3 Hour Test” must be carried out to ensure the emergency lights still work after 3 hours of power outage. The result must be logged and remedial work carried out if there are any failures.

Why you need testing?


As part of Health & safety requirements and legislation all commercial and public premises are required to have emergency lighting installed which should comply with the regulations set by BS5266:2005. Emergency lighting is required to ensure a building meets the requirements for fire safety legislation, showing a clear exit in the event of a fire and power cut for personnel inside the building.

Frequency of testing?


Emergency lights must be maintained in full working order which is achieved through regular testing. Legislation demands that emergency lights are tested and maintained so they can be expected to function effectively in an emergency. Routine tests are required to ensure the continuous illumination during a mains power outage. This helps to prevent panic, provide lighting and show a clear exit during the power cut. Testing should be carried out monthly and annually. 

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How do we test emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting needs to be checked regularly to ensure proper working condition. Lighting systems need to automatically operate between 1 and 3 hours on a backup battery supply. To test this, you will need to recreate a mains power failure. In most cases, this requires your mains power supply to be turned off. Included in our testing are the batteries, luminaries, switches and control equipment. Our tests cover all requirements as stipulated by BS 5266:2005 including its full rated duration.

Annually – 3 hour test of the emergency lighting.
Logged and recorded.

6 Month Test – 1 hour test of the emergency lighting.
Logged and recorded.

Monthly – 15 minute flick test
Carried out to ensure fittings activate in “test mode”
Logged and recorded.

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1st Floor Cavell House
Stannard Place,
St. Crispins Road,


01603 821035