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The Lifespan of Emergency Lights: When Should You Replace Them?

Posted: December 14, 2023

Emergency lights, particularly exit lights, are must-haves for any commercial space. Their role becomes paramount in times of crisis, guiding occupants safely through darkened corridors and stairwells. However, like all equipment, emergency lights have a finite lifespan, necessitating careful attention to their maintenance and replacement. In this blog, we'll delve into the crucial aspects of the lifespan of emergency lights and discern the signs indicating when it's time to replace them.

Understanding the Lifespan of Emergency Lights:

Before deciphering the signs of replacement, it's imperative to comprehend the typical lifespan of emergency lights. These lights are not designed to last indefinitely, and various factors influence their longevity:

1. Battery Lifespan:

The heart of any emergency light system is its battery. Typically, the lifespan of lights and their batteries can vary based on aspects such as usage, temperature, and the type of battery employed. Regular emergency exit light testing and monitoring are crucial to ensure the batteries remain reliable.

2. Bulb Longevity:

The light source in emergency lights, often LED bulbs, also has a finite lifespan. LEDs are known for their durability, but over time, they can lead to failure. 

3. Environmental Conditions:

The environment in which emergency lights operate plays a pivotal role in their lifespan. High temperatures, humidity, and other adverse conditions can accelerate wear and tear. Regular inspections, especially in challenging environments, are vital for early detection of potential issues.

Signs That It's Time to Replace Emergency Lights:

Now that we've established the lifespan factors, let's explore the signs that indicate it's time to replace emergency lights within a commercial or business setting:

1. Flickering or Dimming:

If emergency lights flicker or appear dim, it's a clear indication that the bulbs or battery may be nearing the end of their lifespan. Consistent brightness is crucial for effective emergency illumination.

2. Inoperative Lights during Testing:

Regular testing of emergency lights is a standard practice. If any lights fail to operate during testing, it's a red flag. This could signal issues with the battery, bulbs, or other components that may require immediate attention or replacement. The team offering electrical services and maintenance can help you detect this vital sign.

3. Discoloration or Physical Damage:

Physical wear and tear can compromise the integrity of emergency lights. Discolouration, cracks, or other visible damage can indicate that the lights may not function optimally during an emergency. Regular inspections should include a visual assessment of the lights' physical condition.

4. Expired Batteries:

As mentioned earlier, the batteries in emergency lights have a limited lifespan. If the batteries are past their recommended replacement date, they may not provide the necessary power during an emergency. Timely battery replacement is essential for reliable operation.

5. Changes in Regulatory Standards:

Regulatory standards for emergency lighting may evolve over time. If there are changes in standards or new requirements, it may necessitate updates or replacements to ensure compliance and maintain the highest level of safety.


The lifespan of emergency lights is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of occupants in commercial spaces. Regular emergency exit light maintenance, adherence to regulatory standards, and proactive replacement based on signs of deterioration are integral to maintaining a robust emergency lighting system. By being vigilant and responsive to the signs discussed, businesses can uphold their commitment to safety and emergency preparedness, providing occupants with the assurance that even in the darkest moments, a path to safety is well-lit.

Voltec Maintenance Pty Ltd emerges as the trusted ally for emergency light testing and preventative maintenance in Townsville and beyond. With a specialised focus on ensuring the reliability of emergency exit lights, their services resonate with businesses across Cairns, The Tablelands, Townsville, and Charters Towers, illuminating the path to safety.

So if you need expert assistance for your business? Reach out to them today!