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Maintained vs Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting: What’s the Difference?


As a trusted provider of emergency lighting systems, The Exit Store understands the importance of emergency lights in every commercial or public establishment. By ensuring a lighting system is installed and regularly maintained in your building, you’re investing in safety and compliance.

When it comes to choosing an emergency luminary system, there are two types of lighting designs you’ll have to consider: maintained and non-maintained emergency lighting. Familiarizing yourself with these available lighting models will help you make an informed decision. Take a look at this infographic for some key differences between maintained and non-maintained emergency lighting, then continue reading to learn more about which system is best for your establishment.

What Is Maintained Emergency Lighting?

This term describes an emergency lighting system that is in continuous use. The lighting remains illuminated 24/7, and each light has two purposes — one as a regular lamp, and the other as an emergency light. Maintained emergency lighting systems are found in the following buildings:

  • Movie Theaters
  • Concert Venues
  • Night Clubs

These systems are typically recommended in buildings where the occupants are unfamiliar with the evacuation route. These spaces use their emergency lighting to illuminate spaces to get more bang for their buck.

What Is Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?

As you might have guessed, non-maintained emergency lighting only activates during an emergency or power failure. All other times, the lights remain off. Non-maintained emergency lighting systems are in the following establishments.

  • Commercial Buildings
  • Schools
  • Offices

You can generally find non-maintained systems where the occupants are familiar with the evacuation plans.

Which One’s Better?

Every public building, by law, must have an emergency lighting system installed. Therefore, the best system is going to be what’s most appropriate for the given nature of the area.

For example, an area that is purely an exit or escape route doesn’t need maintained lighting. Alternatively, if you’re completely replacing the lighting in a communal space, then it makes sense to select maintained as you have to get fewer fittings, less wiring, and fewer components to test and maintain. There is also an aesthetic concern as well.

While neither system is always superior over another, we understand that you may have some questions about which is best for you and your building. If you’d like to hear more about all of our emergency lighting products, contact The Exit Store today!