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 updated reguarly to keep you up to date as well.

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

Luminaires for marking safety equipment

  • Illumination according to EN 1838
  • Lighting of first aid facilities and fire fighting and alarm systems
  • Safety marking in permanent light
  • Illumination in standby light

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


Working conditions rights

Working Conditions Act

Workplace ordinance

Technical rules for ordinances

[IS Argebau|] - Musterbauordnung November 2012


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




NI Lower Saxony

Building regulation for Lower Saxony




NRW North-Rhine-Westphalia

Federal state building regulation of North-Rhine-Westphalia




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




SH Schleswig-Holstein

Federal state building regulation




TH Thuringia

Building regulation




Electrical Standards

  • EN 60598-1, 10/15
  • EN 60598-2.22, 06/15*
  • 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

Building supervisory guidelines

  • (M)LAR*, 03/00 + 11/05 + 02/15
  • EltBauVO*, 01/09 und älter

* 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

Occupational health and safety law

  • ASR A3.4/7, 07/17

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 roomsXXXX--
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.

*1 max. 2m distance in the horizontal

*2 vertical illuminance 5 lx

Land(M)LAR Stand 03/2000 eingeführt(M)LAR Stand 11/2005 eingeführt
Baden-Württemberg Nov 06
Bavaria Jan 08
Brandenburg Dez 06
Bremen Jan 07
Hamburg Jan 07
Hessen Dez 06
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Aug 06
Lower Saxony Feb 07
North Rhine-WestphaliaAug 01 (the 1600m² for fire compartments do not apply) 
Rhineland-Palatinate Nov 06
Saarland Apr 08
Saxony Jun 06
Saxony-Anhalt Feb 07
Schleswig-Holstein Mai 07
Thuringia Aug 07

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.



The publication series bundles the complete knowledge of the lighting sector in 20 titles by now. In every edition you find many examples from real life, information concerning lighting technological fundamentals and find out, which lamps and luminaires suits best for which application. 
Pursuing writing about general, actual and practical themes all about lighting. Published by