Emergency exit lights are something that every commercial building has, but many people don’t think about. So what happens when your emergency exit light burns out?

Emergency exit lights exist for a reason, and your commercial building needs to have them in place and functioning properly to meet code requirements and keep your occupants safe. But, you don’t ever really expect them to burn out. Most emergency exit lights have such a long lifespan, it can feel unexpected when they do go out. It’s your job to keep those lights on and working, so what do you do? Here’s how to replace an emergency exit light.

Why Did Your Emergency Exit Light Burn Out?

Emergency exit lights are relatively simple. They have three main components that can cause them to stop illuminating: the main light bulb, the low-voltage bulb, and the reserve battery. Once you figure out which of those three components caused your emergency exit light to burn out, you can fix it.

Main or Primary Emergency Exit Bulb Burned Out

If the main or primary bulb in your emergency exit light burned out, your emergency exit light won’t turn on when it’s connected to power. In general, if the power in your building is on, and your emergency exit light isn’t, then the main bulb has burned out.

Low-Voltage Emergency Exit Bulb Burned Out

Emergency exit lights also have a backup, low-voltage bulb to illuminate the sign in the event that the power goes out. If there is no power to your building, all of the lights are off, and your emergency exit light is still burned out, then it’s likely that your low-voltage bulb has burned out. Before you replace this bulb, though, make sure you’ve checked the sign’s battery first.

Emergency Exit Light’s Battery is Dead

The third component of your emergency exit light is the reserve battery. This battery works to power the low-voltage bulb in the event of a power outage. Before you replace a low-voltage bulb, it’s a good idea to make sure you have charged batteries in the unit. If not, the low-voltage light won’t come on, whether the lightbulb is in good shape or not.

How to Replace An Emergency Exit Lightbulb

Once you’ve checked your emergency exit light, replaced the batteries, and the light still isn’t working, you’ll know that it’s the bulb that’s the problem. Let’s walk through the steps of replacing an emergency exit light bulb.

4 Steps to Replace Your Emergency Exit Lightbulb

  1. Gather your materials.

To get to your light, you’ll probably need a ladder. You’ll also want to get your replacement bulbs, a screwdriver, and a pair of gloves to ensure you’re safely handling the bulbs.

  1. Open emergency exit light cover.

Once you have all of your materials handy, it’s time to get to work. Look for a little gap on the side of the emergency exit light cover. You can use that gap to pop the cover open with your screwdriver.

  1. Replace emergency exit lightbulb.

Remove the burned-out bulb — either the main or low-voltage bulb — and replace it with a new bulb of the same size, color, and wattage. In most emergency exit lights, you should hear a clicking sound that indicates the light is properly in place.

  1. Put the cover back.

With the bulb replaced, all you have to do is put the cover back on the light, and you’re good to go!

The process of replacing an emergency exit light is simple, but there are a few steps you have to take to make sure you’re replacing the right component of your light. If you’ve never replaced an emergency exit light before, it can sound a bit daunting to tackle, but by following these simple steps, you should be able to get your emergency exit light back up and running in just minutes.

Can You Avoid Burned Out Emergency Exit Lights?

A great way to avoid replacing burned-out emergency exit lights is to work with a dedicated fire protection specialist on a regular service and maintenance schedule. When technicians come out for inspections and maintenance, they can easily replace emergency exit bulbs and make sure that reserve batteries are always charged, so you never have to worry about your emergency exit lights again.

If you’re interested in monthly or annual emergency exit light inspections, or if you have more questions about your building’s fire and security systems, the Vanguard team is here to help. For any concern, from a small replacement light to full-system fire protection and inspection, we have the experience and the expertise to make sure your building is protected. Give us a call at 800-444-8719 or contact us online today.