Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

April 6 2016

Jeff Beare 

Although it often goes unnoticed, emergency lighting has been safeguarding the public in buildings in Canada for several decades. The Canadian building code has been the national reference used to ensure that occupants are protected and have a safe and reliable means of evacuation out of Canadian buildings. Since the introduction of LED exit signs in the early 1990s, product development in this segment has been relatively static until recently. 

Emergency lighting has seen major development over the last decade with significant changes to the 2010 building code, which introduced the green “running man” and photoluminescent technology. In addition, LED chip technology has dramatically changed the performance and life of remote heads and battery units, and the most recent proposed changes to CSA C22.2 141-15 Emergency Lighting Equipment are tightening performance characteristics of a variety of products offered to the emergency lighting electrical industry.

Let’s look at three recent changes in greater detail.

1. Changes to the NBC

In 2010 the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) published a new standard for emergency lighting specifically related to exit signs whereas exit signs now consist of a green pictogram and a white or lightly tinted graphical symbol meeting the colour specifications referred to in ISO 3864 and to the dimensions indicated in ISO 7010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2010 NBC also has provisions for non-electrically lit exit signs that spell out the use of “running man” graphical symbols and stipulates the use of photoluminescents as well as the method in which these signs are tested and applied. Photoluminescence is simply rare earth metals that have a unique characteristic of glowing in the dark when the ambient light that is used to energize the sign extinguishes. 

Photoluminescent exit signs must be ULC 572 compliant for 50, 75 foot and 100 foot visibility, and provide a green substitution for electrically powered signs. Another advantage of photoluminescence when properly used as outlined in the NBC, is that electrical wiring isn’t required and thus no direct electricity expense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The changes to the NBC have been slowly implemented by Canadian provinces and territories, with Quebec being the last province to have adopted this new standard, which came into effect in June of 2015 with an 18-month transition period. 

2. The use of LED chip technology in remotes and battery units. 

Battery units and remote heads are the most commonly used, stand-by unit equipment in buildings throughout Canada. 

Battery unit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remote unit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their operation is quite simple. When an emergency lighting unit senses a power failure (Ac fail), the relay on the circuit board which contacts are normally open, close allowing the DC power (from battery) to flow through them and to the remote(s) and exits illuminating them for the prescribed duration identified in the National Building Code. 

In this system, the lamp technology that has been the most commonly used in these applications has been incandescent or halogen with wattages ranging anywhere from 8watts quartz to as high as 70watts quartz. The standard lamp source and wattage commonly used has been the 9watt wedge base. Although the 9watts wedge is the standard lamp, the use of higher wattages and halogen MR16 type lamps are also commonly used when larger spacing’s, higher ceilings or greater light levels are required. 

With the introduction of LED chip technologies we have seen a dramatic change in the type of lamp sources required to achieve the performance criteria mentioned above. As an example, 9 watt tungsten lamps offer anywhere from 80 to 110 lumens , have an average life of 100 hours and achieve a rule of thumb spacing ranging between 15 and 25 foot spacing’s. By using 3 watts LED remotes we are seeing up to 100 000 hours of life, performances of up to 377 lumens and spacings ranging from 44 to 77 feet. The use of LED lamps has also increased the duration of battery units from 1 hour to over 4 hours. 

Example of a spacing comparison between 9 watt tungsten and 3 watt LED

Compare: where the building code requires an average of 1 foot candle and a minimum of 0.1 foot candle at the floor level along the path of egress on a 150’ x 9’ x 9’ corridor with an egress door at one end, a 150’ x 6’ path of egress, and an 8’ unit mounting height. 

Incandescent Lamp: standard wedge-base 9W • PAR18-12V09W • Quantity: 15 • Average: 1.00:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3W LED Lamp: PAR18-6V3W LED • Quantity: 2 • Average: 1.00:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits of LED lighting are clear:

  • higher lumens resulting in increased spacings and therefore less remote units to install. In the above example, we have gone from 15x 9w double remotes to 2x 3w double remotes
  • longer life resulting in a more reliable and safe system
  • longer run times allowing the public more time to evacuate
  • economy passed on to the building’s owner -- smaller battery sizes and less copper wiring between remotes

3. Changes to CSA141 (-15)

CSA has recently proposed changes to the current standard for emergency lighting CSA C22. 141-15. In these proposed changes, particular attention needs to be given to auto diagnostics/auto test.

An auto test is a means for an emergency lighting system to automatically test itself in order to comply with the National Fire Code of Canada. It states that emergency lighting should be tested for one minute once a month and full discharge once a year and again 24 hours after the yearly discharge. The rationale behind this is that all batteries must be cycled regularly. If not, similarly to the battery in an automobile, they will most likely not work.

The discharge is to simulate an emergency situation whereby NFC law is required to do so. CSA states that all emergency packs should be completely charged within 24hrs. The second discharge 24hrs later is to ensure that the product is ready for another power failure. 

NFC requirements are part of emergency standards and most manufacturers have some version of auto testing. CSA141-15 now has guidelines for auto test, which take into consideration that diagnostic systems should be tested to ensure they do the following:

  • automatic testing every 30 days or less, verify/monitor load transfer, verify/monitor battery charge operation, and have a visual diagnostic with markings adjacent to the status indicators
  • maintain normal intended operation regardless of the functional status of the auto test, meaning if during an auto test if the AC fails the battery unit will default to full emergency mode

This standard also has provisions for optional centralized computerized monitoring systems, enhanced visibility, and exit sign flashing options, and has defined testing criteria for temperature environments. 

To recap, the green running man offers increased brightness and visibility when compared to traditional exit signs, and is understood by all nationalities. Building owners and managers now have the choice to add photoluminescence to signage, stairwell markings and supplemental directional signs, creating a redundant emergency system. The use of LED chip technology allows for increased light levels and over 100 000 hours of life, and increases battery back-up run times. And as prescribed by the NFC and now regulated by CSA141-15, if selected, the auto test/diagnostic option for battery units ensures that battery units will be in proper working order in the advent of a true emergency. We can safely say that Canadian buildings are truly safer than ever!

* CSA C22.2 141-15 Emergency Lighting Equipment applies to exit signs, unit equipment, emergency luminaires, and central power systems intended for connection to circuits with nominal voltages of 600 V and less and providing illumination in the event of a failure of the normal power supply for nonhazardous locations in accordance with the Rules of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I. 


Jeff Beare is Vice President of Marketing at Stanpro Lighting. He has over 21 years in the lighting industry, has spent the last 10 years at Stanpro Lighting in the capacity of Vice President of Marketing, and is heavily involved in product development. He sits on Electro-Federation Canada’s lighting committee and has chaired the Emergency Lighting subcommittee.

Changing Scene

  • Prev
 Canada’s National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that IDEAL ...
The Government of Saskatchewan is engaging the public to help ensure health and safety legislation ...
Despite electrical shock being a serious and potentially dangerous event, it is frequently ...
Acuity Brands, Inc. has announced its Care222® filtered far-UVC module with patent-pending ...
LEDVANCE, the makers of SYLVANIA general lighting in the United States and Canada, recently ...
The federal governemnt launched a Call for Proposals under the new Apprenticeship Service, to ...
ECAO and OEL are working on obtaining more contractor experiences with the ESA permit system. ...
Agents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build ...
Schneider Electric is introducing a personalized digital experience for logged in customers ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated announced the successful completion of the acquisition of FLIR ...


 

SaskatchewanThe Government of Saskatchewan is engaging the public to help ensure health and safety legislation meets the needs of employers and workers in the province. From August 16 to October 18, 2021 citizens can provide input on part III (occupational health and safety) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act.

"Our province has a plan for growth that includes ensuring we have safe and healthy workplaces" Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. 

 


Read More


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 



 

Desert HomeA combination of stunning design, a spectacular desert setting, and exceptional architectural lighting is a winning combination for a private residence just outside of St. George, Utah. JRC Lighting was hired by the homeowner to create the lighting concept for the showpiece home.

"The house has an almost industrial look to it, with a focus on clean lines," said Kevin Meredith, principal at JRC Lighting. "My goal was to keep the lighting understated and let the architecture, and the views, sell themselves.”

 

Read More


 

 

David GordonBy David Gordon

This summer EiKO is launching its Z10 product offering. I know, what is Z10 other than the sports cars some of us remember (’69 Z10 Camaro or a 2009 BMW Z10, but let’s go with an American muscle car!)?

So, since it seemed like a sports car “name” (since sports car naming seems to be in numbers), we reached out to Sarah Eastman, VP Marketing for EiKO, who shared that Z10 is an alliance of manufacturers who have developed standards to support an easier lighting controls process within fixtures (remember, I’m not a product maven).
Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
With Cerberus Cloud Apps, accessing fire protection systems has never been easier. Cerberus ...
Milwaukee Tool adds to their fish tape lineup with new 120’ and 240’ 1/8” Stainless Steel Fish ...
Stanpro’s L2WMG is a LED linkable wrap that is perfectly suited for utility rooms, corridors, ...
Klein Tools Rechargeable Safety Lamp with Magnet, a quad-directional visual alert beacon that ...
Mersen's finger safe IP20-rated Power Distribution Blocks are part of the new Compact EP® line of ...
Whether you’re working on a single-family, multi-family, or commercial construction project, the ...
INEXO is the electrical box designed specifically for insulated concrete form construction (ICF). ...
DLC Premium listed for maximum energy rebates. No need to discard of entire original fixture -- ...
Specifications: Easily adjustable LED strips for multiple beam angles. 1200-1300 lumen output. ...
Installing a robust control or contactor box in the field can be a lot of work. From gathering ...

 

Milwaukee M12 Cable StripperM12™ Cable Stripper Kit for Cu THHN / XHHW aims to improve the cable stripping experience. With no exposed blades, the cordless cable stripper provides safer stripping than with a knife. The cable stripper's compact, right-angle design allows you to maneuver it more easily in tight spaces with less strain on the wrist. The bushing design and adjustable depth gauge deliver cleaner, more accurate and consistent strips across all sizes.

The cable jacket stripping tool is not only compatible with all MILWAUKEE® bushings but is also compatible with competitive quick-change bushings.

 

Read More


 

 

Incoplas HybridThe Incoplas® LED Hybrid is a durable multi-purpose and corrosion-resistant LED lighting solution that can be used in heavy industrial applications where hazardous location lighting is required.

Certifications

Class 1:

Flammable Gases and Liquids

Division 2: The hazardous atmosphere is only available infrequently (i.e. in case of spill).

 

Read More


 

 

EarthTronics 25-Watt Emergency Driver for Linear HighbayEarthTronics LED emergency drivers regulate the power supplied to the LED fixture so that it can operate as a light source in the event of a power failure. The purpose of emergency lighting is to ensure that lighting is provided promptly, automatically and for a suitable time when the normal power supply fails.

This insures that people within the building can evacuate safely in the event of an emergency. All EarthTronics emergency drivers meet specific UL, CSA and NFPA requirements. Always consult local code requirements when specifying emergency lighting products.

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada.   ...
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. ...
As a 34-year-old female owner of an electrical contracting business, Danielle Gray may be unique. ...
Mark Klein is Co-President of Klein Tools, managing Sales & Marketing activities, alongside ...
Bryan Smith started his now 20-year career at the ground floor, so to speak, as a draftsperson and ...
From small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been ...


EngWorksBy Blake Marchand

EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After a short time we realized there was a niche in hazardous locations, in particular in hazardous area classification design requirements for various facilities. And also helping people understand just how the Canadian Electrical Code applies to hazardous locations.”

Given the complexity of hazardous locations, Bozek saw a need for education while working in the field and began developing training courses designed.

Read More


 

 

Eric TordjmanBy Blake Marchand

Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, multi-residential/commercial property management, energy service companies (ESCO), and auto dealerships. “From design to specifications, we offer turn-key services that go beyond the typical distributor model,” explained Mercury Lighting Vice President, Eric Tordjman. Their value-added approach leverages well-established supplier relations to help clients find a lighting solution that suits their needs.

“How we differentiate ourselves is we’re lighting specific, we do very little in the way of electrical, and really emphasizing our expertise towards solutions selling...

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil