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#6459 - 01/03/02 11:43 AM Artificial light per area
ayrton Offline

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 205
Loc: Pa
I need to install emergency lights in an aprtment complex. I do not have the NFPA book. Does anyone know how much light I need per area?

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#6460 - 01/03/02 02:31 PM Re: Artificial light per area
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
I suggest you talk to the fire inspector or whom ever handles the life safety inspection area in the local jurisdiction.
Most of th time an exit lite at each egress door and a lite to let some one see thru a hallway and/or stair is enough. Some areas have specific requirements that are not seen in others. Some of those can be expensive.
Talk to both the local inspectors fire and electric, most of the time they will be very helpful.
It's a lot easier to do it right the first time.

#6461 - 01/03/02 04:19 PM Re: Artificial light per area
Tom Offline

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
I'd be ashamed to admit how old my copy of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code is. Things may have changed, but if your jurisdiction requires compliance with this publication, the means of egress must be lit to at least 1 footcandle. This amount of lighting could be very expensive, so, as the other post suggests, talk to the authorities in your area to find out what they expect.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#6462 - 01/03/02 04:38 PM Re: Artificial light per area
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
See NFPA 101, Life Safety Code 2000 edition Chapter 31 for Existing Apartment Buildings and then look for Sections 7-8, 10, and 11

Here's a piece from NFPA 101:

31.2.8 Illumination of Means of Egress.
Means of egress shall be illuminated in accordance with Section 7.8.

31.2.9 Emergency Lighting.
Emergency lighting in accordance with Section 7.9 shall be provided in all buildings with more than 12 dwelling units or more than three stories in height.

Exception: Where every dwelling unit has a direct exit to the outside of the building at grade level.

31.2.10 Marking of Means of Egress.
Means of egress shall have signs in accordance with Section 7.10 in all buildings requiring more than one exit.

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 01-03-2002).]
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#6463 - 01/03/02 04:50 PM Re: Artificial light per area
ayrton Offline

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 205
Loc: Pa
Thankyou for the responses. As far as speaking with/inspectors and township people, which I have I would prefer to have it in writing. I have done jobs where I put egress lighting where the stamped and sealed prints illustrated and still run into problems with/someone's interpretation of the code. I have also had inspectors say "its fine what is there" when I know it is not. And I have been in arguments w/ township inspectors over what is to feed the egress lighting, zoning it, required circuits and so on. I found the NFPA web page which is and ordered the Life Safety Code cdrom. I would rather show customers if they ask the literature than price a job based on someone's interpretation.

#6464 - 01/03/02 05:14 PM Re: Artificial light per area
dlabrenz Offline

Registered: 09/04/01
Posts: 25
Loc: Muskegon, MI
I would suggest you check the local building code.
While the 1 ft/candle language shows up in just about every building code, the method of achieving 1 ft/candle is very different.

Some codes require a minimum of 1 ft/candle at the floor for the entire means of egress, and other codes mirror what NFPA 101 says. This tends to be a more performance based method that looks more for an average than an absolute 1 ft/candle.

Usually the requirements for lighting the means of egress are found in Chapter 10 of your building code.

Hope that helps.


#6465 - 01/04/02 11:22 PM Re: Artificial light per area
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
I agree with the others here - run this question through the Building Department, as it's very "Jurisdiction Dependent" [if that makes any sense..].

I would suggest throwing this question at the Head Building Inspector [at least that office], and also the Fire Inspector / Marshall / etc. [whom ever will inspect for Fire / Life / Safety].

This Emergency egress lighting gets somewhat complex in high rise buildings, not sure of the complexity in Residential applications.

I have seen newer apartment complexes and motels with beefy egress / exit lighting, and a diesel powered UPS for the elevator equipment.

1 Fc @ floor level is a common "minimum" level that I have seen / installed. Some also want "X" Fc @ 5'-0", as calcualted using a foot candle calculator [typ. for those involved with lighting designs].
Also backup batteries are rated for 90 minutes minimum [drive the rated load / ampere-hours for no less than 90 minutes begore intensity begins to drop].

Good luck!!!

Scott SET

P.S. edit-ted badd spellll-eng again!

[This message has been edited by Scott35 (edited 01-05-2002).]
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!


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