Self Luminous Exit Sign Overview

Self luminous exit signs have a wide variety of features that set them apart from other exit signs, but the main advantage is the tritium technology they use to illuminate EXIT in glowing green.


The self luminous difference

Traditional exit signs use incandescent light bulbs or Light Emitting Diodes (LED) to display EXIT above doorways and near exits. These styles of exit signs are powered and charged by the facility's AC electricity. Under normal operations the exit sign would be powered by a wired connection, while simultaneously charging the backup battery pack. When AC power is cut, the backup battery automatically kicks in to power the exit sign for a minimum of 90 minutes. This ensures the building's occupants have a clear path of egress. These precautions are important not only for personal safety, but also to comply with a variety of fire and building codes. 

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Self luminous efficiency

Although traditional exit signs provide adequate safety levels, a more efficient option is available in the form of self luminous exit signs. Self luminous exit signs use tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, to illuminate EXIT in brilliant green. The illumination process works through radioactive decay. This is not nearly as dangerous as the name implies. The tritium decays over time, emitting electrons, that when contacted with phosphors in the fixture, produce constant illumination. This simple reaction ensures reliable and maintenance-free operation for up to 20 years. Once installed, the self luminous exit sign requires no maintenance because there is no battery pack that can loose charge, wires that can corrode, or bulbs that can burn out. Traditional exit signs also require monthly and yearly tests, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If the self luminous exit sign is lit, then it is fully functional and ready for emergency scenarios.

UL compliance

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has a set of specifications that all exit signs must comply with. UL 924 is the listing for emergency illumination fixtures. Although self luminous exit signs do not work like their more traditional counterparts, they are fully compliant with UL 924. These exit signs can be installed in any situation that would require a hardwired and battery operated exit sign. Self luminous exit signs are just as safe, if not safer than traditional exit signs because they have no electrical components that are susceptible to failure and will always meet the 90 minute baseline because they are always on.

Contact us

Self luminous exit signs will provide up to 20 years of reliable illumination. At the end of their lifespan, these fixtures must be properly disposed of, as is mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Email us or call at 800-379-1129 for more information about self luminous exit signs or help with tritium recycling.

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