Self Luminous Exit Signs vs Explosion Proof Signs

Explosion Proof Exit Signs

If you work in a factory, processing plant, paint spray room or any other enclosed space that produces combustible material, you need a special type of exit sign that is deemed 'explosion proof.' Because flammable gases, vapors and dust can be detonated by the spark of a an electrical circuit board, these units must be built with reinforced housing and hermetically sealed internal components.


See Our Green Self Luminous Exit Signs

Explosion proof led signs are typically made of hardened steel, using rubber gaskets to seal off all outer seams. However, any standard self luminous exit sign is inherently explosion proof, yet cost hundreds of dollars less.

If your business has any space that is given a Class I, II or III rating, you will need to ensure that all electronics are completely sealed and rated for hazardous locations. 

Self Luminous Exit Signs


  • Standard models only cost $197
  • Absolutely no maintenance needed
  • Require no electricity or battery
  • Will outlast any battery backup-powered exit sign in an extended power outage
  • Completely waterproof, flame and corrosion-resistant
  • No wires mean you won't have hire an electrician
  • Last between 10-20 years


    • Aluminum housing cannot withstand as much abuse as steel
    • Tritium must be disposed through EPA-approved vendors
    • Cannot accommodate emergency par-style lights

Explosion Proof Exit Signs


    • Do not contain tritium
    • Steel housing and mounting brackets are very strong and tamper-proof
    • Can be fitted with emergency lights


    • Requires an electrician to wire conduits
    • Cheapest unit starts at $700
    • Monthly and yearly maintenance required
    • Unit has a lifespan of 8 years
    • Battery backup only lasts 90 minutes during a blackout

Combining SL and LED Signs

So really, the only advantage steel explosion proof exit signs have over self powered exit signs is their robust design and the ability to accommodate lights (on certain models). SL signs beat them in nearly every other category, especially price.

Self-luminous fixtures are lit by compact tritium tubes, which naturally produce light for 10-20 years without fail. The tubes are tightly secured inside the unit's aluminum and polycarbonate frame which can still sustain a great deal of impact without any damage to the tubes.

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