Emergency Lighting

The design of emergency lighting is very important in custodial applications. Consider the paradox for a moment, specifically the need to provide a means of escape in a building that is based entirely on keeping people inside it.

Recommended Products

Please move your cursor through the illustration and click on the blue squares for more information about recommended products for Emergencies.

Recommended products for emergency lighting



Gemini Bulkhead luminaire

Robust vandal resistant rectangular bulkhead fitting. Available with exit legends to ISO 7010.

more information


Gateline Emergency luminaire

Robust MoJ specific emergency luminaire designed to provide 15 lux at security doors on evacuation routes.

more information


Parkalux Angled Versatile vandal and weather resistant linear fitting

Hard wearing angled vandal and weather resistant linear fitting.

more Information

Best Practice Advice

Emergency Lighting

Typically emergency lighting standards assume one of two scenarios: stay or go. Staying put is understandably the preferred option.

Emergency lighting requirements understandably differ depending
on the type of custodial facility.
In prison association areas, back of
house, education, workshops and
indoor recreation areas emergency
lighting is a requirement. However, the lux levels vary and are listed in the MoJ Technical Standards

The Safest Place

Emergency lighting is required in, for example, holding cells in magistrates courts and police custody suites. However, in a typical prison cell there is no emergency lighting. This is on the
basis that, provided there is no risk to life, the safest place to hold a prisoner is behind a locked door.

Power Sources

Luminaires specified in custodial emergency applications have to work with a number of different power sources. This includes uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), central battery and integral 3 hour emergency – or a combination of the three.

In addition, emergency lighting for custodial applications must have increased levels of vandal resistance
and ingress protection.

Emergency Lighting

Technical Support

Many general custodial areas can be lit to BS5266-1:2016. However, the MoJ and Home Office have a very stringent set of Technical Standards which require enhanced emergency lighting levels.

This includes custodial cells, high risk areas, secured doors or gatelines and defined escape routes. This means that higher levels of illuminance are needed in certain applications, combined with specific light distribution requirements, to achieve the correct lux level at various defined task heights. For example, for over-door emergency luminaires, the MoJ and Home Office require a minimum of 15 lux at all secure door and gate positions on escape / evacuation routes where operational personnel need to handle keys / locks.

To achieve these light levels, a luminaire will have to be specifically designed, like our Gateline product, rather than adapting a standard fitting. Consideration must also be given when changing light sources from fluorescent to LED. This is because the light distribution from the original light source can be vastly different in the new LED luminaire or replacement LED gear tray. Therefore, by upgrading to LED in a drive to save energy, the light levels of the new or amended luminaire must also be considered to ensure emergency lighting levels remain compliant.

Lighting Controls

An important factor for cell lighting is the lighting control strategy. Lighting designers and consultants will need to meet specific standards and operational requirements whilst reducing energy use where practical. At Designplan we can provide control solutions for traditional switched applications and standalone luminaire operation, through to full networked
systems utilising the DALI protocol.

PDF Lighting Guide

Our 24 page lighting guide identifies typical custodial applications, focusing on the principles of good lighting. We examine the benefits of robust construction, standards compliance and specific design requirements including anti-ligature luminaires for “safer” cell applications. To download your copy click on the button below.

Why Choose Designplan?

Cost of ownership

  • Robust and durable luminaires are essential.
  • Reduced maintenance costs and energy consumption.
  • Competitive initial purchase costs.


  • Proven approved standard cell and “safer cell” luminaires.
  • “Fit for purpose” application experience.
  • Specifically designed test rig and MoJ spec prison cell in our UK factory.
  • Installed lighting CE certified again, following LED retrofit upgrade.


  • Metal bodies and specially designed diffusers provide vandal/burn resistance.
  • Fully sealed luminaires with tamper proof fixings.
  • Removable gear trays enable quick and easy maintenance.


  • Made in Britain.
  • Significant sector experience.
  • Site surveys to suggest ways installed lighting can be upgraded to LED.
  • Project management team.

Custodial Projects

Other Applications

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