Electric Exit Signs VS Photoluminescent Exit Signs

Jan 21, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Zachary L. Green


Electric Signs Vs LumAware

thumbnail_Electric Side by Side


There have been significant improvements in electrical emergency lighting. For example, LED exit signs are more energy efficient than traditional compact fluorescent lights. However, even LED exit signs need energy, light bulbs, batteries, and constant maintenance. With over 100 million electric exit signs in use in the United States, there is a tremendous opportunity to improve electric exit signs.

Some of the challenges with electric exit signs are: 

1. They are expensive to use and maintain

Usually, electric exit signs have to be powered by generators or batteries. Backup generators can fail anytime, without warning. Not only have you lost the source of emergency lighting, but you have the exit signs off too.

Also, with batteries, you will need constant replacement to make the signs work effectively. This can cost 10 to 30 dollars per sign. Meanwhile, you will also have to call and pay someone who will help replace it. This makes exit signs quite expensive to maintain and sometimes unreliable.

2. Consumes lots of energy

Electric signs are always soaking up energy because they need to be on 24/7. Meanwhile, moving to higher efficient LED signs doesn't stop this energy consumption.

3. NFPA requirements

In the US, you're meant to test all-electric exit signs for 30 seconds once in a month and 90 minutes once a year. This test is essential because, in case of emergencies, if you can't provide the testing logs, you can fall into heavy fines and damages.

Also, if the fire department comes in for inspection and finds than an electric light is not working, you will fall into trouble for fire code violations.

4. They do not last a long time

LED bulbs last longer than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, however, they don't last forever, especially if they are going to be on 24/7. They get overworked, get hot, eventually, burn out their capacitors, and they may only last a few years.

So what is the alternative?

There's a better alternative to electric exit signs, and that is photoluminescent exit signs. They don't require light bulbs, electricity, monthly testing, or even batteries.


Lumaware signs are a type of photoluminescent exit sign. They last long, have up to 25 years of life expectancy, and need little to no maintenance.

Also, Lumaware signs come in different aesthetically pleasing styles and designs. This includes a Green and Brushed Aluminum background exit sign using a poly-metal material and a patented Lucite Clear and Mirrored finish, something no other company has.  

Another thing that makes Lumaware unique is that our products are made in America by the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Our products are UL listed and tested to meet the UL standard, which is required in the IBC, IFC, and NFPA codes. 


Electric exit signs not only consume lots of energy, but are costly to maintain and cause trouble when it comes to emergencies.

Lumaware signs are easier to maintain, last longer, and do not need electricity or batteries. With the various designs and styles, be sure our products are added-aesthetic to your buildings.

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Zachary L. Green

Written by Zachary L. Green

Zachary Green is a 1991 graduate of Roger Bacon High School and a 1995 graduate of Bowling Green State University. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former lieutenant with his local fire department, Zachary is the founder and CEO of MN8 LumAware/Foxfire. MN8 is a global leader in photoluminescent safety solutions used by over 80,000 firefighters in more than 25 countries. In addition, Zachary has developed a line of safety items ranging from products that help people find their way out of dark stairwells to code approved EXIT signs that never need batteries, lightbulbs, electricity or testing. These products save over 7 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 30,000 batteries and 60,000 lightbulbs per year. Zachary recently received the President of the United Sates “E” award for exporting and has been honored as Exporter of the Year by the Ohio Small Business Administration. Zachary was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, the front page of Yahoo.com, MSN.com and in USA Today along with numerous other local and national media outlets. Zachary has testified in front of the US House of Representative Small Business committee and was named Entrepreneur of the year by Governor John Kasich. Zachary was also selected by the Obama White House as one of 10 entrepreneurs to represent the United States at the Global Entrepreneur Summit. Zachary Green has presented to hundreds of trade organizations, facilities and architectural firms, and was an expert witness for the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee. As an American Institute of Architects HSW presenter, he has lectured to hundreds of architects representing dozens of architectural firms throughout the nation. A specialist in photoluminescent safety applications and the associated International Building and Fire codes, Zachary has developed the International Code Council (ICC), International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC) curriculum for the state Fire Marshal of South Carolina that featured egress and EXIT sign safety-approved training. Zachary has presented to various state fire and building inspectors throughout Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and internationally. Zachary Green lives in the City of Wyoming (Cincinnati),Ohio was recently elected to the Wyoming (Ohio) City council.