Standards and laws

On this page we want to give you some assistance to cope with the jungle of standards and laws about emergency and safety lighting. With these topics you will find links to actual requirements, declarations to applicable standards and further information.

Because standardisation is subject to a steady review process, also this page will be actualised reguarly to keep you update.

According to DIN VDE 0100-560 3.1 the emergency lighting counts to the electrical devices for security purposes. It takes place after the failure of the artificial lighting in a building for a defined time.

As a power source for safety purposes battery supplied systems, generators and a second network supply can be used.

In the battery supplied system it is distinguished between emergency lighting, self-contained and centrally supplied emergency lighting.

Self-contained emergency lighting

The luminaire is supplied by battery, which is installed in or close (max. 1m) to the luminaire housing. All required electrical devices such as charger, test- and monitoring devices, control unit and network identification are installed in the luminaire.

Emergency lighting with central battery supply 

All emergency luminaires are supplied by a central battery set close to the central battery system. The electrical devices are installed in the controlling device. For battery supplied systems it is distinguished between the supply of a fire compartment or a fire compartment overall supply. 

Protection target of the safety lighting is:

  • To guarantee the safe leaving of a building in case of a general power failure
  • Finding emergency escape routes easily
  • Enable to find fire fighting and safety installations (eg. First aid post)

This includes:

  • Marking and lighting of emergency escape routes
  • Enabling rescue operations

Escape sign luminaire

  • Emergency sign luminaires indicate the way to the closest exit
  • Marking a meeting point, from which you are guided away in case of an emergency
  • For every change of directions there is a new luminaire
  • Emergency sings are switched continuously (exception: work place)
  • Emergency signs need to be recognisable in case of an emergency and cannot be blocked

    Safety lighting

    • Safety lighting is responsible for the illumination of escape routes
    • Anti-panic lighting
    • Places with high danger
    • Emergency escape routes, stairs/ level changes and potential danger places need to be illuminated
    • Illuminating first-aid facilities and fire-fighting and signaling devices
    • Places with danger 10% of the required luminous intensity, minimum 15lx
    • Non-maintained lighting or switched lighting

    The following links include the most important laws and standards about the necessity and conditions for safety lighting:

    Building law:

    Federal stateBuilding lawAbbreviationStateLink

    BW Baden-Württemberg

    Federal state building regualtion for  Baden-Württemberg




    BA Bavaria

    Bavarian building regulation




    BE Berlin

    Building regulation for Berlin

    BauO Bln



    BB Brandenburg

    Brandenburgian building regulation




    HB Bremen

    Federal state building regulation for Bremen




    HH Hamburg

    Building regulation for Hamburg




    HE Hessen

    Building regulation for Hessen




    MV Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

    Federal state building regulation for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

    LBauO M-V



    NI Lower Saxony

    Building regulation for Lower Saxony




    NRW North-Rhine-Westphalia

    Federal state building regulation of North-Rhine-Westphalia

    BauO NRW



    RP Rheinland-Pfalz

    Building regulation of Rheinland-Pfalz




    SL Saarland

    Federal state building regulation of Saarland




    SN Saxony

    Building regulation for Saxony




    SA Saxony-Anhalt

    Building regulation for Saxony-Anhalt

    BauO LSA



    SH Schleswig-Holstein

    Federal state building regulation




    TH Thuringia

    Building regulation




    Electrical  Standards

    EN 60598-1, 09/09

    EN 60598-2.22 *, 10/08

    DIN EN 50171, 11/01

    EN 50172, 01/05

    DIN V VDE V 0108-100, 08/10

    DIN EN 50272-2, 12/01

    DIN VDE 0100-560, 10/13

    DIN VDE 0100-710, 10/12

    * revised version approximately 2015

    Building supervisory guidelines

    (M)LAR*, 03/00 + 11/05

    EltBauVO*, 01/09 and older

    * Paying attention to the introduction state in the relevant federal state

    Lighting standards

    EN 1838, 10/13

    DIN 4844-1, 06/12

    DIN 4844-2, 12/12

    DIN ISO 3864-1, 06/12

    DIN EN ISO 7010, 10/12

    [Translate to English:] Arbeitsschutzrecht:

    ASR A3.4/3, 04/14

    Special directives/-standards:

    Directive for the building of baths , 2002

    Sports complex lighting, 04/08

    BGR/GUV-R 108, 06/09 Status 06/11

    Overview about the requirements concerning the electrical device for safety lighting acc. to DIN V VDE V 0108 from 08/10 and DIN VDE 0100-560 from 10/13

    Examples for communal facilities

    Illumination level, lx

    Changeover time max.

    Rated service time , h

    Escape sign luminaire in permanent use

    Central Power Supply System

    Assembly facilities/- rooms113XX
    Exhibition halls113XX
    Theatre, cinema113XX
    Sales rooms 113XX
    Medical rooms / Areas in hospitals/ practices/ Treatment centre/-facilities/ Spa treatment/ Therapy Centres/-Facilities and more115 f)24 e)XX
    Hotels, guest houses, accomodation, homes 115 a)8 d)XX
    Skyscraper115 a)3 c)XX
    Schools115 a)3XX
    Car parks1151XX
    Escape routes at working places11510X
    Working places with particular risk / particular risk areas≥150,5b)0X
    Airports, station113 g)XX
    Examples for communal facilities

    Power supply system  with power limit 

    Single battery system

    Power generation unit without interruption  (0s)

    Power generation unit with short interruption(max. 0,5s)

    Power generation unit with med. interruptions (max. 15s)

    Dual system/  separate supply

    Assembly facilities/-roomsXXXX--
    Exhibition hallsXXXX--
    Theatre, cinemaXXXX--
    Sales rooms XXXX--
    Medical rooms/ Areas in hospitals/ practices/ Treatment centre/-facilities/Spa treatment/ Therapy Centres/- Facilities and more XXXXX-
    Hotels, guest houses, accomodation, homesXXXXX-
    Car parksXXXXX-
    Escape routes at working placesXXXXXX
    Working places with particular risk/ Particular risk areasXXXX-X
    Airports, StationsXXXX--


    X allowed
    - not allowed
    0 not required 

    a) Depending on the risk of panic of 1s to 5s and the risk assessment.

    b) The time period with the threat for people. 

    c) In houses 8h, if the switch is not operated according to 4.4.8 . 

    d) 3h are enough, if switching according to DIN V VDE V 0108-100 from 08/10, Pkt. 4.4.8.

    e) 3h are enough, if the medical need and use in the medical area are finished and the building can be evacuated within 3 h.

    f) Depending on classification of the medical used room ≤ 0,5s bis ≤ 15s (see DIN VDE 0100-710 from 10/12 Anhang B) 

    g) For overground areas of stations 1h is allowed depending on the evacuation concept.

    Type of lighting Required illuminanceUniformity (Emin/Emax)Rated service time Existence of Emin (*1)
    Safety lighting of escape routes:1lx (*3) on the centre line of the  escape route1:40At least 1h.50% of E min in 5s, 100% in 60s
    Safety lighting for working places with particular potential risks: 10 % of the general lighting, at least 15lx (*3)1:10The rated service time has to be the same as the period of danger for the people.(*2)The required illuminance has to exist constantly or reached in 0,5s
    Anti-panic lighting:At least 0,5lx (*3) on the free floor area 1:40At least 1h.50% of E min in von 5s ;100% in 60s

    (*1) on german workplaces acc. ASR A3.4/3 in 15s.
    (*2) Evaluation is the task of the operator. 
    (*3) measuring plane ≤ 2cm over the floor.

    Highlighted parts acc. to EN 1838 from 10/13

    *1 max. 2m distance in horizontale

    *2 vertical illuminance 5 lx

    Federal State(M)LAR Status introduced 03/2000(M)LAR Status introduced 11/2005 Link
    Baden-WürttembergNov 06Link
    BavariaJan 08Link
    BrandenburgDec 06Link
    BremenJan 07Link
    HamburgJan 07Link
    HessenDec 06Link
    Mecklenburg-VorpommernAug 06Link
    Lower SaxonyFeb 07Link
    North Rhine-WestphaliaAug 01(die 1600m² für Brandabschnitte gelten nicht)Link
    Rhineland-PalatinateNov 06Link
    SaarlandApr 08Link
    SaxonyJun 06Link
    Saxony-AnhaltFeb 07Link
    Schleswig-HolsteinMay 07Link
    ThuringiaAug 07Link

    Inspection period acc. toDIN V VDE V 0108-100 and sample inspection order

    Initial inspection

    • Measuring of the lighting values of the safety lighting acc. to DIN 5035-6 and EN 1838.
    • Initial inspection acc. to DIN VDE 0100-600.
    • Inspection of ventilation and exhausting of the installation room for batteries and the associated facilities acc. to EN 50272-2 (VDE 0510-2).

    Daily inspection*

    • Presenting the central power supply device on the correct function at the device, or at a clearly visible location via meldetableau or observation system 

    Weekly inspection *

    • Function test of the safety lighting by adding the  emergency power supply (for battery supplied systemes) including function test of all connected luminaires.
    • When using automatic test systemes these have to accord to EN 62034 (VDE 0711-400).

    Monthly inspection *

    • Additionally to weekly tests the correctsystem of the observation devices of the central battery system has to be tested. 
    • Please keep ISO 8528-12 und DIN 6280-13 in mind for the generator set.

    Yearly inspection *

    • The yearly inspections can just be initiated manually.
    • In addition to the monthly inspection all luminaires of the safety lighting have to be tested on their fully, necessary duration.
    • Test of all luminaires according to the existence, cleanliness and right function of their safety lighting.
    • Generators acc. requirements of ISO 8528-12 and DIN 6280-13.
    • Test of batteries  and their operating conditions acc. to EN 50272-2 (VDE 0510-2).
    • Inspection of the charging device.

    At least  every three years *

    • Measuring the lighting values of the safety lighting acc. to EN 1838.
    • Repeating inspections of the safety lighting via legally recognised expert from the Federal State Building Order.

    *The date and the result of the inspection have to be documented in the logbook of the  system.

    Who is authorised to execute inspections, service and restorations?

    • Authorized persons (euP) acc. to DIN VDE 0105-100 from 10/09 and DIN VDE 1000-10 from 01/09
    • Electrician acc. to DIN VDE 0105-100 from 10/09 and DIN VDE 1000-10 from 01/09
    • qualified person acc. to BetrSichV from 09/02, status 11/11 and TRBS 1203 from 03/10, status 02/12
    • registered inspector acc. to MPrüfVO from 03/11 and DIN V VDE V 0108-100 from 08/10


    German Commisssion for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE. The DKE is the German organisation responsible for the elaboration of standard, guidelines and safety requirements for the field of electronic and electrical engineering and information technology.



    German Electric and Electronic Manufacturers' Association represents the economic-, technological - and ecological interests of the medium-sized electrical industry.



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