Codes + Standards

NEMA Publishes Controlled Emergency Lighting Technical Clarification Bulletin

In December 2022, NEMA published NEMA LS 20009-2022 Controlled Emergency Lighting, a Technical Clarification Bulletin, which is a revised version of the bulletin previously titled NEMA LSD 81-2019, in order to reflect changes in the 2023 National Electrical Code® (NEC). There have been updates to the 2014, 2017, 2020, and 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC), NFPA 70, to address the increasing complexity of emergency lighting systems, specifically regarding the newly defined Directly Controlled Luminaires.

These updates were needed to adapt to technology changes that could enable luminaires to be specified with controls or components that can influence the emergency light level. This bulletin clarifies the technology and evaluations that are required for different emergency lighting system designs. In particular, detailing systems that ARE NOT Directly Controlled Luminaires, including:

  1. Distributed Battery Packs.
  2. Non-integrated solutions, including field-installed products that bypass normal control and default to the required emergency illumination level.
  3. Most luminaires with Integrated Automatic Load Control Relays (ALCR).
  4. Some configurations of Branch Circuit Emergency Lighting Transfer Switches (BCELTS).

The information in this bulletin was collected by a shared task force of the NEMA Lighting Division, including representatives of the Ballast and Driver, Emergency Lighting, Lighting Controls, and Luminaire Sections, as well as in consultation with safety and standards development organizations.

The full technical clarification bulletin can be downloaded here.

Image: NEMA

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David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.


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