Viewing Distance - Self Luminous Exit Signs

I Saw The Light!

During an emergency or major power failure, self luminous exit signs will provide brilliant lit markers for egress paths and doors. Exit signs are an essential part of any building's emergency preparedness.

During the day these tritium powered exit signs will not appear to be on. Don't worry, your sign isn't broken. Turn off the lights and you'll suddenly see how well these long-lasting luminaries work.


Check Out Our 10 Year Self Luminous Exit Signs

If you're ready to buy UL and NFPA-approved self luminous exit signs, call SLES Co. at 800-379-1129. We are open days, nights, weekends and holidays. Feel free to email us as well if you'd like to get an invoice or quote for your next project.

How Far Can I See a Self Luminous Exit Sign?

The Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) tend to coalesce and refer to each other's literature regarding exit signs.

They both specify that manufacturers must individually test each product for their viewing distances. This number can vary, but usually is between 50 and 175 foot viewing distances.

This viewing distance is then recorded and stamped onto the self luminous exit sign's housing.

UL Analytical Luminance Visibility Test

UL 924 guidelines demand that 100-ft viewing tests be conducted before the product can be approved for the market. This is recorded with a photometer, a device which is pointed directly at the sign from 100 feet away.

Check Out Our 20 Year Self Luminous Exit Signs

However, different signs have different viewing distances. Typically internally illuminated fixtures like self powered exit signs and LED units are brighter than externally illuminated ones. External lit signs like photoluminescent signs are cheaper and easier to maintain, but have the shortest viewing distance.

Exit Sign Viewing Distance Comparison

  • Photoluminescent Exit Signs - 50 ft
  • Incandescent Exit Signs - 75 ft
  • LED Exit Signs - 75-100ft
  • Self Luminous Exit Signs - 100ft

Going the Distance

If you really need to come in at the lowest price possible, consider buying an emergency lighting fixture. Supplementing light will usually boost your sign's visibility up to 175 feet. However, electric lights require conduits to be run, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a self powered sign.

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