Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Light me up!

So, what happens when the lights go out?  Do the emergency lights lights come on?  Are there any emergency lights?  In the storage room?  In the restroom?  In that back hallway, trap room, or catwalk?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  When was the last time that battery pack or generator was tested?  Hard to say. The installation of photoluminescent tubes or solid bars in fluorescent light fixtures is one way to have an "always ON" back-up.  They work after earthquakes, floods, or just about anything else.

The sleeve solution:  It is a plastic sleeve that is designed to slide over the glass tube of the lamp and be continuously charged by the light.  When the power shuts-off, the tube keep on glowing.  This is a cheap, zero maintenence solution.  You can use on just one lamp, or on many, depending how much light you need. 

One caveat:  This will ever-so-slightly change the color content of the light, so if you are using this in a dressing room, make-up room, costume shop, or paint shop, be aware of what this will do to your color rendering.  This shouldn't be a big deal, as you will typically only have one or two of the lamps in the whole room equipped this way.

Luna Glow Luminite Light Sleeves  (www.lunaglow.com.au/sleeve.htm)
Shat-R-Shield Lamps (www.shattershield.com/catglowlamps.html)

The Bar Solution:

These are just thick bars of photoluminescent material that magnetically attach to the inside of a metal light fixture.  Simple to install, and don't have to be swapped-out when the lamps are changed.  You can use one or many per light fixture.  Being so close to the light source, these bars get maximum charge from the lamps and as a result glow really brightly as soon as the lights go out.

SafeGlow (http://www.safeglow.com/PhotoluminescentProducts.Emergency.L..html)

An alternate solution is to appply photoluminescent tape or paint to the interior of the light fixture.

Cavaet:  Make sure that anything you put into a light fixture is designed to take the heat and doesn't violate any building codes!  These solutions are not yet qualified to provide code compliant emergency lighting, but they are still way better than nothing.

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