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Posted: 1/1/2012 9:04:46 PM EDT
After purchasing some new fire fighting equipment, including a couple of 2.5 gallon water fire extinguishers (love these things) and half a dozen 5.5lb ABC extinguishers I got to thinking about automatic emergency lighting....like the kind you find in commercial buildings.

Like most, I have a couple dozen flashlights stashed around the house; lamps plugged into UPS..etc.\ and glow in the dark crap floating around my house. But was thinking of purchasing some automatic lighting boxes to put up strategically around the house in the event of a catastrophic failure of the aforementioned lighting.

Question: Any recommendations on the equipment, good brands? I am big into OPSEC, think this will peek the interest of visitors to the home? etc...
Link Posted: 1/1/2012 9:27:44 PM EDT
I believe that if you installed these into your home with no camouflage then yes it would peak interest from those coming to your home. However, I'm sure that you could rig something up that could be camouflaged as simple recessed lighting. As for it coming on when the lights go out and that peaking interests...just hang some opaque drapes and call it good. I don't believe that much will happen in the first 48 hours of no lights only...it's the other stuff that can accompany the no lights that scares me into thinking that you don't want anyone to know you have, or may have power. I also think that a simple circuit breaker or maybe a light switch...if they can be set up to do that...would work. Use it as you see fit rather than it being on all the time. It'd last longer this way in my mind.

I am not a power guy at all and I hate working with electricity because I don't know enough about it. More training and experience would solve that for me I think.
Link Posted: 1/1/2012 9:38:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blackoperations:
was thinking of purchasing some automatic lighting boxes to put up strategically around the house in the event of a catastrophic failure of the aforementioned lighting.


Automatic "power failure" lights tend to have a short run-time before the batteries die. Most of 'em use inefficient incandescent bulbs and a small-ish lead-acid battery. They're designed to help people find their way out of buildings - not to provide long-term illumination.

Personally, I like the idea of mounting brackets for small flashlights next to wall switches. Most folks can find a wall switch in the dark (and you can make it even easier by using a glow-in-the-dark switch cover) - after that, they can use the flashlight to break out their long-term light sources.
Link Posted: 1/1/2012 9:48:16 PM EDT
You could always use some of the newer LED emergency lighting, it has a much longer run time. Personally I think it might be a good idea for use near exits, but I'd rather have flashlights and some battery powered lanterns for general use in an emergency.
Link Posted: 1/1/2012 10:24:53 PM EDT
I too prefer flashlights and unless their's a special reason for dedicated emer lights, they just complicate things.

Now motion sensing lights to light up an intruder are another thing.

The same motion sensing lights if battery operated [and charged by AC] would do both things.
Link Posted: 1/1/2012 10:53:22 PM EDT
Radio Shack sells bright 10MM white LEDs. I've used them before in projects for christmas tree ornaments and decorations. Its bright enough to use as a flashlight if desired.


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3125355



Wire this to a 9V battery and a switch and put it in a project box. You can velcro it anywhere you might need light. If you want to be really creative, you can put in a circuit that turns on the light once you lose house power. Total cost for the whole project should be under $20.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 6:28:45 AM EDT
Here is what I use. They work very well, can be used as handheld lights, etc... and can be turned off, low or high with a simple button push.

Manufacturers site

2 pack on amazon.com
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 6:39:28 AM EDT
If your really interested in commercial buildings they wire some lights as "night lights" they are powered through the night and are the same as the regular lights

This is all done with the wiring and the ballast (for drop ceiling lights) recessed lights could be done.

The power for theses comes from the panel but you could run it through a UPS or battery back up at the panel
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 8:00:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 8:44:33 AM EDT
The emergency lights usually have a run time of 60-90 minutes per code requirements. I use the flashlights that plug in and come on upon power failure or can be night lights. They are Energizer brand from Lowes and are around $12.00

The emergency lights you asked about are in the $75-150 range. Cheaper options with the standy plug in type flashlights, IMHO

However you could use a 8D battery going to a NO relay with a 120 volt coil, and install a couple retrofit 12V can lights, or RV type surface mount lights, track lights, really it is budget that you can live with.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 8:47:43 AM EDT
These are the ones I have been using and they work fine so far.

Energiver plug in light
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 9:09:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Blackoperations:
But was thinking of purchasing some automatic lighting boxes to put up strategically around the house in the event of a catastrophic failure of the aforementioned lighting.

i abhor the idea of anything "automatic" which takes control of SHTF resources away from me.

example:
you are not home.
utility power goes off.
automatic lights come on.
many hours later you return home.
batteries in fancy automatic lights are dead.

what did you solve here?

keep control of your SHTF resources.

this same situation can occur with propane-powered standby generators. you go hunting overnight with some friends. you return home. utility power has been off for a day. and the generator has been running for a day. propane tank supply has been reduced by a day. ugggh.

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 10:18:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Blackoperations:
But was thinking of purchasing some automatic lighting boxes to put up strategically around the house in the event of a catastrophic failure of the aforementioned lighting.

i abhor the idea of anything "automatic" which takes control of SHTF resources away from me.

example:
you are not home.
utility power goes off.
automatic lights come on.
many hours later you return home.
batteries in fancy automatic lights are dead.

what did you solve here?

keep control of your SHTF resources.

this same situation can occur with propane-powered standby generators. you go hunting overnight with some friends. you return home. utility power has been off for a day. and the generator has been running for a day. propane tank supply has been reduced by a day. ugggh.

ar-jedi


This is worth it for me because I don't come home to pipes that froze and busted or a freezer that has melted into the floor.

Grove

Link Posted: 1/2/2012 11:33:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ddrongowski:
Here is what I use. They work very well, can be used as handheld lights, etc... and can be turned off, low or high with a simple button push.

Manufacturers site

2 pack on amazon.com


Read the reviews on Amazon. Good concept. Iffy product.

Link Posted: 1/2/2012 11:52:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By callgood:
Originally Posted By ddrongowski:
Here is what I use. They work very well, can be used as handheld lights, etc... and can be turned off, low or high with a simple button push.

Manufacturers site

2 pack on amazon.com


Read the reviews on Amazon. Good concept. Iffy product.



Yes, I read those who posted bad comments also. All I can say is I purchased 8 of them and they all work like a champ, and without any issues. I purchased them in 3 separate orders, so I would not say it is a fluke. During an 4 hour blackout I ran them on half power and they lasted the whole time. I often wonder how much to really trust internet reviews. After all could it be a competitor that is giving a poor review?
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 4:55:45 PM EDT
You can buy cheap emergency lights at lowes for $30. I keep one at a friends's bussiness. Rather then gehave to get a reinspection on a fire inspection if one of the emergency lights fails, they just substitute this one. BTW, our local fire marshal's rule on emergency lights is to pretend you are a 80 yo elderly lady with a walker who has lost her driver's liscense due to vision, and has ever been to this bussiness before- Can you still see to get out? I know he drives the A/E firms nuts, but it makes more sense than some arbitary footcandle level.

I think these are of limited value in a residence. People know how to get arround their own house in the dark, where the exits are, etc. Most people carry cellphones that will provide a minimum level of illumination. I almost always have my surefire E2D with me. However, I have one of these in my shop, just because stuff get moved arround (both stuff being worked on, and things like stands, sawhorses, welders, and my horizontal bandsaw.), and a fall could be much more dangerious then in a house.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 11:57:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Blackoperations:
But was thinking of purchasing some automatic lighting boxes to put up strategically around the house in the event of a catastrophic failure of the aforementioned lighting.

i abhor the idea of anything "automatic" which takes control of SHTF resources away from me.

example:
you are not home.
utility power goes off.
automatic lights come on.
many hours later you return home.
batteries in fancy automatic lights are dead.

what did you solve here?

keep control of your SHTF resources.

this same situation can occur with propane-powered standby generators. you go hunting overnight with some friends. you return home. utility power has been off for a day. and the generator has been running for a day. propane tank supply has been reduced by a day. ugggh.

ar-jedi


If you use lower powered LEDs, those lights will run for years.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 5:26:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Country_Boy:
You can buy cheap emergency lights at lowes for $30. I keep one at a friends's bussiness. Rather then gehave to get a reinspection on a fire inspection if one of the emergency lights fails, they just substitute this one. BTW, our local fire marshal's rule on emergency lights is to pretend you are a 80 yo elderly lady with a walker who has lost her driver's liscense due to vision, and has ever been to this bussiness before- Can you still see to get out? I know he drives the A/E firms nuts, but it makes more sense than some arbitary footcandle level.

I think these are of limited value in a residence. People know how to get arround their own house in the dark, where the exits are, etc. Most people carry cellphones that will provide a minimum level of illumination. I almost always have my surefire E2D with me. However, I have one of these in my shop, just because stuff get moved arround (both stuff being worked on, and things like stands, sawhorses, welders, and my horizontal bandsaw.), and a fall could be much more dangerious then in a house.

That is an excellent point I never considered. Off to Lowe's I go...
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 8:15:13 AM EDT
I have a different philosophy: I don't mind automatic power failure lights at all.

Went with these little guys:
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/07/06/86/71/0007068671134_180X180.jpg

in every room in the house. Not a huge amount of light, but enough to navigate. and should my 5 bedside flashlights (pathetic, I know!) decide to fail at the same time, this model power failure light can be used as a flashlight. I like that. I also have kids, so while _I_ may know my way around in the dark, the last thing I need is a 4 y/o to tumble down the stairs.

Had two of them and experienced a winter power failure. Worked really well, so now I put one in every room.

In the power faillures we've had, they have performed well, and I was thankful that I had them in place. Certainly not necessary, but tremendously convenient. Worth the price.

To each his own, I guess.

Link Posted: 1/3/2012 11:51:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Country_Boy:
I think these are of limited value in a residence.

Unless you have a large black dog that likes to get under your feet. As many times as I've tripped over mine in the dark, I swear he's half cat.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 2:19:53 PM EDT
thanks for the input guys, I purchased a harbor freight model and intend to convert it to LED (the 4hr run time should increase to 10+ hours). It will be installed in the garage, will buy some plugin automatic flashlights.

Link Posted: 1/7/2012 3:03:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Blackoperations:
But was thinking of purchasing some automatic lighting boxes to put up strategically around the house in the event of a catastrophic failure of the aforementioned lighting.

i abhor the idea of anything "automatic" which takes control of SHTF resources away from me.

example:
you are not home.
utility power goes off.
automatic lights come on.
many hours later you return home.
batteries in fancy automatic lights are dead.

what did you solve here?

keep control of your SHTF resources.

this same situation can occur with propane-powered standby generators. you go hunting overnight with some friends. you return home. utility power has been off for a day. and the generator has been running for a day. propane tank supply has been reduced by a day. ugggh.

ar-jedi


worth it to me as well.

Suppose the power went out at dusk/night, no one else has lights showing in their houses. Your lights automatically come on, making you less of a target for intruders (some would argue more of a target), as they would think you are home....instead of choosing one of the dozens of random of house with the lights off. Your point is very well taken, as you use it as you need it, but I think there are added benefits.

Link Posted: 1/7/2012 3:43:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By uncool:
Streamlight

Yeah, we have a couple of these in our server rooms at work, and I have a standard Litebox at home.

The power failure Litebox is great, because you can pop it out of the cradle and use it as a handheld lantern as well

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 5:42:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/8/2012 2:41:52 AM EDT
Swap out an unused outlet for one of the LED lights found in the switch section of the electrical area of HD/Loews. Uses pennies of electricity per year and is always on for a night light. This is to prevent trips and falls.

That said if they made a version that stayed on on a power failure, I would be all over it.
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