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Emergency Lighting, Testing and Maintenance

Emergency lighting testing is the testing of the emergency lighting system in a building. These series of tests ensure compliance with i.s. 3217:2008. They must be carried out on a quarterly basis and on an annual basis. We provide your staff with a schedule for weekly checks of the system.

Irish legislation places a mandatory requirement for the provision and regular maintenance of emergency lighting in all public and commercial buildings. Not only can Rayal Energy design your emergency lighting systems and luminaires, we can also advise on appropriate locations and light levels in accordance with current Irish regulations.

You will have peace of mind in the knowledge that your lighting will work efficiently and safely in the event of an emergency. Our dedicated engineers will service your system quarterly, provide detailed reports on failed emergency luminaires and make all necessary repairs.

Why do I need emergency lighting testing carried out in my building?

All property owners have a legal obligation to commission and maintain the emergency lighting in their premises. Similar to the fire detection & alarm system regulations, quarterly inspection and annual tests of the emergency lighting system must be carried out and records maintained.

What is involved in emergency light testing?

Quarterly tests should be carried out in accordance with a systematic schedule. During the tests, each emergency light is illuminated from it’s battery source for 30 minutes for the quarterly test and 3 hours on the annual test. All fittings are examined to ensure that they are functioning correctly. The logo book is checked and filled out as appropriate and a certificate of testing is issued on completion.

As part of our service agreement we supply and complete an emergency lighting log book for your premises and label all emergency lighting fittings. We provide a full range of standard and decorative emergency luminaires, led lighting, emergency lighting management systems, central battery, static inverters, central test and automated intelligent testing units. Our experienced staff can certify your premises to current Irish emergency lighting standards in addition to offering you advice on how to maintain your emergency lighting system whilst keeping costs to a minimum.

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Emergency Lighting – The Facts of (Battery) Life

Mains powered emergency lights contain a backup battery. Regular maintenance tests will identify battery failures, and when an emergency light fails the annual 3 hour test, either the fitting or the battery must be replaced. That’s the Law! RAYAL can help your compliance in this matter.

In general, emergency lighting batteries are required to last 4 years, as per EN60598 2 – 22 which states: “Self-Contained Luminaires shall incorporate batteries which are designed for at least 4 years of normal operation. These batteries should only be used for emergency related functions within the luminaire or its satellite.” That does not mean that you must replace either within or after four years, it just states the minimum. All RAYAL’s Emergency Luminaires come with a 5 year warranty!

In terms of a manufacturers guarantee, typically you will find a quote like this in the guarantee section of their literature. “For rechargeable emergency batteries with a physical rated life of ≥ 4 years of operation, [NAME] offers a guarantee for a period of 12 months after delivery.” 

Batteries, like any other electrochemical component are always subject to ageing. The minimum expected lifetime of the battery is 4 to 5 years. The precise value depends on matters such as the surrounding temperature and the number of discharge cycles. Emergency lighting batteries (or whole fittings) must be replaced if the specified emergency lighting operating time is no longer achieved.

WHAT HAPPENS IN PRACTICE

Any sizable building may have 300-400 or more emergency fittings, between dual purpose and stand-alone fittings. This takes quite some looking after as the fittings age. Building and Facilities Managers are usually well tutored in the laws and regulations around Emergency Lighting. As the luminaires age however, failure looms, at least once a year during the annual 3 hour test. For newer buildings, Five, six and seven years into the buildings life, a ‘difficult-to-budget-for’ decision arises, depending on the results of the test, and as each year rolls on, more and more failures show up.

The solution is simple, replace the failures, and roll on to next year. On a unit cost basis however, this replacement exercise is expensive. Typically with a callout charge, time on the job and luminaire cost will come to not less than €110-130 per fitting. In addition, having procured both fittings and a qualified electrician, you then must brief and supervise the operation where the random distribution of failed fittings are as wide around the building as the building is wide around!

STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE

There comes a time when you must stop and ask “Is there another way, with less hassle and lower costs?” and the answer is “Yes!” RAYAL offer a solution that addresses cost and addresses the headache of frequent ongoing failure.

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Accelerated Capital Allowances

In a positive sign that improvements in the economy are having a decisive impact on activity in Irish companies, many are now increasing capital spending on equipment. It’s critical that this capital expenditure is spent prudently, and delivers real value to the business. A cost-effective way to do this, which is not being availed of fully by many Irish companies, is to invest in energy-efficient equipment, and so benefit from the accelerated capital allowances that are potentially available. Not only will this help increase the sustainability of the business, which is becoming increasingly important to customers, stakeholders and employees alike, but it will also result in cost efficiencies. At a time when many companies are striving to reduce both their consumption costs and their carbon footprint, this is an area that has particular relevance to anyone with responsibility for procuring energy efficient equipment, including LED Lighting.1 RAYAL, as an Energy Savings and Management Company, can assist through an end to end service that identifies, proposes, designs and installs energy saving equipment for businesses, on a self-financing pay-as-you-save basis. Energy Management is simply the application of the general principles of management to controlling energy use and costs. The first step is to understand and monitor usage, then to identify saving opportunities and progressively reduce usage and costs. The Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) is a tax incentive to encourage companies to invest in energy efficient equipment. It allows companies to deduct the full cost of such equipment from their taxable profits in the same year of purchase. This is significantly more attractive than regular “wear and tear” capital allowance. These tax incentives are available for a wide range of energy efficient equipment and lighting through the (ACA) scheme.

The scheme enables companies to claim 100% of the capital cost of certain energy efficient plant and machinery (including Lighting) against corporation tax in the year of purchase. The Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) is only applicable to energy efficient equipment on the Triple E Product Register. Organisations who invest in eligible energy efficient capital equipment can deduct the full cost of the equipment from their profits in the year of purchase. 1 (See Revenue.ie for a copy of the Tax and Duty Manual, which includes specific reference to lighting: “Lighting equipment and systems designed to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and that meet specified efficiency criteria.”)

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Cost of Waiting

Recently RAYAL priced a 60-bedroom hotel for a full LED retrofit of over 900 lamps.

The job offered significant savings in a very short period (75% ROI). Now it is generally the view that, once the savings case is made, then ‘the Genie is out of the Bottle’ and carrying out this lighting work is now inevitable, at some stage! Only when?

TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE

RAYAL’s quote was shaped and moulded specifically to the Hotel building in question and to their needs. However, time is the biggest enemy of any business, and procrastination costs!

The critical point about time is this: Once a business can satisfy themselves on RAYAL’s ability to deliver, RAYAL can commence almost immediately, so the savings begin to flow before the next bill can get in the door.

Should the company delay their decision, as the Hotel did, by giving it a low priority, or by going to the market for multiple quotes, (which can take months) they will lose the early benefits of the savings on offer.

DELAYS COST MORE THAN YOU THINK

For example, in the case of the Hotel, with estimated annual savings at €44k, a 3-month delay, based on the savings calculation, cost them about €11k and would require the Hotel Management to obtain a price of €23k against RAYAL’s price of €30k, which would require a discount of 25% from the original RAYAL price just to stand still. The Hotel did eventually go ahead, and were very pleased with the result, but 12 months later, losing out on €44,000!

DECIDE, DON’T DELAY

RAYAL are here to answer all your questions, we assure you of the quality of our materials which are all Triple-E registered with SEAI, we assure you of the expertise and professionalism of our installers and the length of our guarantee, only you can make the decision, but, be aware, delay costs