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Emergency Lighting Calculations

I am fairly new to the lighting program, so bare with me. We are required to run the photometrics for emergency lighting.  We have been using LED light fixture, but continue to run into the problem with not being able to calculate for emergency lighting as the IES files cannot be altered to mimic emergency ballast output.

Is there a way this can be done?

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Hi. I can tell you how I do it which may not be the best way. 

  • Do a save as to create a copy of the design. In 'Rooms, Surface Editor', change all the room surfaces to 0.01 and direct flux only. 
  • Use the 'Edit calculation' command to move the calculation grids to the floor, I don't like to use the 'specify calculation points for room' when creating the room because it won't post edit. So you may need to re-add the calculation grid depending on how you set it up. 
  • Next go to the scene manager and crate a new scene, the name of this scene will read on the calculation schedule, then a new channel and turn the original off. 
  • Now go to the 'define luminaire' command box. Create a copy of the luminaire with your choice of label. I like to label mine alphabetically, A then becomes AE etc. Now edit the lumens to the emergency output and save it. 
  • Use the 'edit luminaire' command to select the luminaires you wish to run in emg mode then change the 'label' and the 'channel' to the ones you have just set up. Either bulk modifications or individually depending on how many you wish to change. eg. AE and channel emergency which will be on. If you do a bulk modification make sure you tick the tick boxes or it won't happen. 
  • Calculate. Now you can see the room in emergency mode. Sit back and enjoy. 

There is one pit fall. The room surfaces don't edit backwards so if your mains operation changes the entire emergency edit needs to start again. 

I am very willing to be corrected if anyone has a better method. 

Hi, Barbara.

Elizabeth has provided a method to getting a result; it might be that it is ok, but there's a very real danger that you're getting involved in something that could endanger peoples' lives.

To properly answer your question, first we need to ascertain two things: where are you (which country), and is the emergency lighting calculation you're doing part of a mandatory requirement in your country, or is it just something that is for additional assistance?

To give you an example, I'm from Australia - due to the Building Code of Australia we must have a properly designed and maintained emergency lighting system in a new or largely refurbished commercial/industrial/public building, but not inside residential homes, or in exterior areas such as car parks or sports fields or roads. Emergency lighting and lighting for safe movement are the only two Standards that are mandatory for compliance with our BCA - all other lighting Standards here are recommendations (although compliance with the other Standards is usually necessary for commercial reasons).

So, if your emergency lighting is for an area that does not actually require emergency lighting, but a client would like to add in the emergency lighting for an extra level of safety, you've probably got more leeway in terms of doing something a little bit rough.

If, on the other hand, you're needing to make your design compliant with a local standard, you can definitely NOT afford to follow Elizabeth's suggestion above - if your design does not actually prove that your emergency lighting is sufficient for safe evacuation in an emergency, you are probably leaving yourself and your company liable for being sued in the event of deaths due to people being unable to find their way out of a burning building, or some other such tragedy.

If you can provide some clarity as to your situation, we may be able to suggest ways that you can move forward with more confidence.

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