Emergency lighting is there to provide adequate illumination in the event of a power failure.


BS 5266-1 was extensively overhauled in 2016 and is the base standard for emergency lighting 

This is a guidance document, and outlines recommendations for the design, installation, commissioning and testing of emergency lighting systems.

It details lighting requirements for emergency evacuation, open areas, high risk task areas, and now includes provision for safety lighting. This applies to buildings for which a staged evacuation plan is implemented during power failure. Emergency safety lighting is sufficient to allow occupants to stay in an area of the building during a power failure but is not enough for functional tasks to be continued.


Part 1 refers to system standards and how they should co-ordinate.

System standards contain absolute requirements to achieve outcomes in line with currently accepted good practice.


BS EN 1838 (2013) replaced BS 5266-7 and is the standard for emergency lighting applications.

It specifies minimum illuminance requirements for emergency lighting installed in premises or locations where such systems are required. It is principally applicable to locations where the public or workers have access. 


BS EN 50172 (2004) is dual numbered with BS 5266-8.

It is the standard for emergency escape lighting systems.

It contains details of system records & reporting, and servicing & testing regimes.


There are further product standards applicable to emergency lighting.


BS 60598-2-22 is the standard for emergency luminaires.

Luminaires used in emergency lighting systems must conform to this standard.

If you wish to learn more about the standards required for your building please contact us here