Tritium Exit Signs of the Future
Tritium Exit Signs of the Future
When it comes to every product, advances in technology allow for improvements to be made which make it cheaper, faster, safer, more powerful and an overall better product. This is true for all things and exit signs are no different.
History of Exit Signs
When they first appeared, exit signs seemed like a simple, but great idea. All that was needed was a sign placed which indicated the emergency exits which should be used in case an evacuation was necessary. Their usefulness was almost immediately noticeable and pretty soon they became mandatory in most facilities in the US. However, the first designs were plagued with issues that made them not particularly effective.
For starters, they lacked visibility. They were using an incandescent light bulb to power them and those were not very powerful, so they only emitted a slight glow. Secondly, they were dependent on a power source, which made them useless in the event of a blackout, which was a common occurrence during emergencies, which required an evacuation.
Advent of Tritium Exit Signs
Over the years innovations have been made that fixed a lot of issues, but it wasn’t until tritium exit signs were invented that a product appeared that dealt with all the problems of the past. These signs glowed very brightly in dark places. Best of all, they were self-luminous, so they did not need a power supply. In fact, in the event of a blackout, they would glow brighter than ever. All problems found with other signs seemed to be resolved. However, it is naïve to think that the future will not bring about even more improvements that will make the tritium exit signs even better.
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Tritium Exit Sign Technology
For starters, tritium is one of the rarest naturally occurring materials on the planet. Even so, there currently is no shortage of it, as it requires very small amounts for each exit sign in order to work properly. However, improvements in the refining process can lower the amounts necessary even more. Furthermore, the illumination produced occurs when the tritium particles released by the decaying nucleus come into contact with a layer of phosphor which covers the inside of the tube where the two are housed. However, future experimentation could determine another material which would produce an even better reaction with the electron particles, so as to achieve a brighter illumination.
Tritium Exit Signs Are Cost-Effective
As it stands, tritium signs are considered very cost effective. They cost a lot more than other exit signs to purchase, but once they are installed they do not need anything else. Besides the fact that they do not require maintenance, the fact that they are independent of a power supply makes them extremely economical. A big facility that has dozens, even hundreds of exit signs installed will save thousands of dollars in utility bills just over the course of a month. Taking into consideration the fact that the average tritium exit sign lasts for twenty years and that equates to a lot of money saved. However, there is no reason why they can’t be even cheaper. Streamlining the production line and using cheaper materials will bring the overall costs down, which will eventually lead to smaller prices.