How to Find the Right Battery for an Emergency Light
Imagine you are five hours into your graveyard shift and all of a sudden everything goes black. Did your company forget to change the battery in the emergency lighting and now you will be finishing your shift by flashlight?
Emergency lighting is a battery powered light source that kicks on in the event of a blackout. Ensuring you have the right battery to power that lighting is of the utmost importance and makes all the difference between being able to clearly see to walk out of your workspace to safety and stumbling around, lost, in the dark trying to feel your way to the exit.
Choosing the right battery for your emergency light will help guarantee that you will walk out of the work space with a bright, reliable lighting source.
Important things to consider when purchasing a battery for your emergency lighting are the following: battery capacity, battery life, and the type of battery.
Battery Capacity for An Emergency Light
The most important thing to consider when purchasing an emergency light is the battery's capacity. Batteries are rated in milliampere hours (mAh) or ampere hours (Ah).
Choosing the correct battery depends on what kind of lighting you will be powering.
First, you must determine how much power your emergency light uses. If your light uses 1 mAh and you purchase a 1 mA battery you should (in theory) be able to power your light for 60 minutes on the dot.
On average, a battery will last anywhere between 500 and 900 charge/discharge cycles before it dies. The more a battery is used the shorter its life may be, but emergency lighting should be used very infrequently so the charge/discharge cycles should never come anywhere close to 500 cycles.
Many SLA batteries have a shelf life between 1 and 3 years, how often the battery is used affects this time period.
Considering that the battery you are looking for is one for an emergency light the battery is likely to last closer to the 3 year mark. However, you should regularly test your battery to ensure that it remains fully functional.
Types of Batteries for An Emergency Light
There are two major categories of batteries: absorbent glass mat (AGM) and gel batteries (both types of sealed lead acid [SLA] batteries).
Gel batteries are more expensive to produce than AGM batteries and are able to withstand jostling movements well.
Emergency light batteries will be in a fixed location so AGM would be the most cost effective choice and is often used for "standard backup applications."
What to Remember
Battery capacity for an emergency light has to last for 90 minutes or more .
The average life span of a battery is somewhere between 500 and 900 charges and discharges combined. Many SLA batteries have a shelf life between 12 and 36 months.
Lastly, a SLA battery is the ideal type because it will remain in a stationary position. There is no need to seek out a gel battery for something that won't undergo any jostling.
Good luck and happy battery hunting!
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