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Fail-Safe Emergency Lighting in Buffalo

Ecoglo’s superior brightness ensures safe passage during outages, saves on energy costs compared to alternative lighting systems

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 2008) – When designing public or commercial buildings, architects point to emergency lighting as one of the most critical safety features. It’s absolutely essential that the lighting system is fail-safe when evacuating people during a power failure.

Read our article about changes to the building code for emergency lighting and stair nosings.

Ecoglo® repesents the latest in emergency lighting systems. The energy-efficient Ecoglo system requires no electricity while emitting a steady, highly visible green glow that guides people to safety in any type of building.

“We’re very excited about our line of Ecoglo products because they have proven themselves to be highly effective, durable and long-lasting,” said David Murray, vice president of sales and marketing for Access Products, Inc., the Buffalo, N.Y.-based firm that manufactures and distributes Ecoglo products in North America.

“The principles behind Ecoglo’s patented emergency lighting technology are really very simple,” Murray said. “The active photoluminescent element is a naturally occurring rare-earth crystal that absorbs natural or artificial light and then re-emits the light to quickly guide people to safety under any conditions.”

The Ecoglo product line includes:

• Exit stairway products that feature photoluminescent and anti-slip properties for step-edge contrast strips, stair nosings and thresholds;
• Way-finding products that feature photoluminescent and anti-graffiti-coated emergency signage, handrail strips, aisle markers and seat numbers.

Ecoglo products are most commonly used for supplementary emergency lighting in stairwells and aisles in theatres, stadiums and buildings of all types to provide safely lit pathways.

Murray explained that unlike some competitors’ products, “The technology behind Ecoglo was not adapted from novelty items or signage. Our Ecoglo products are built with a high-grade metal base and the high-visibility photoluminescent strip is bonded to the metal at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for long-lasting durability. They are designed to be walked on, even the signs.”

Ecoglo’s built-in photoluminescent strip is made up of rare-earth crystals in a pigment that absorb light from both solar and artificial sources. The patented application process embeds the pigment in a clear, durable polymer that ensures maximum glow efficiency. The strips quickly become charged and emit a steady green glow that will continue to glow in the event of a power outage until all the absorbed energy is exhausted. Ecoglo’s high brightness design ensures that it will be visible to people in a darkened stadium or high-rise building for hours following a blackout, allowing sufficient time for egress.

“All of our products have been tested for durability in the lab and in real-life installations,” Murray said. “What we’ve found is that Ecoglo’s hard, long-lasting finish will maintain its luminescence for the life span of most buildings, and it’s a less expensive alternative to standard emergency lighting systems.”

On the subject of cost, Murray pointed out, “There are many issues associated with using the traditional form of stairway egress lighting. It becomes costly to not only run these lights all day, but to also pay the high costs of regular maintenance.” Instead of using electricity, Ecoglo emits a glow after absorbing any type of light. After charging for about 20 minutes, signs and strips will glow for hours afterward. Ecoglo serves as a reliable lighting source in the event that backup generators also fail during a power outage.

Murray also pointed out these features of Ecoglo products:

• Work in any lighting conditions, whether dark, dim, twilight or bright;
• Easily installed or retrofitted into existing emergency lighting systems;
• Easy to maintain using most cleaning chemicals or high-pressure water treatment on the luminescent strips;
• Built with a high-grade aluminum base that is corrosion- and impact-resistant;
• Can last up to 30 years outside and indefinitely if used indoors;
• Suitable for any public, commercial, institutional, industrial and residential buildings;
• Environmentally friendly, non-radioactive and non-toxic;
• Meet and exceed national, provincial and city building code requirements.

“And Ecoglo products are not just for emergency power failure situations,” Murray said. “With illuminated seat numbers, handrails, stairs and aisles, our products make it easy for people to leave their seats and find their way to washrooms and concession stands. In fact, Ecoglo encourages people to visit these areas because they’ll be able to find their way back.”

Access Products, Inc.’s Ecoglo line provides a range of exit-stairway and wayfinding products that absorb light and provide superior visibility in the dark. The company’s systems currently are installed in stadiums, arenas, performing art centers and movie theatres in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

Ecoglo has been installed at numerous locations in the U.S., including the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; Tulsa Convention Center, Tulsa, Okla.; Coral Springs Center for the Arts, Coral Springs, Fla.; Denver Coliseum, Denver, Col.; Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.; San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif. and Time Warner Center, New York City.

Read more articles about Ecoglo’s emergency lighting products in our articles section.

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