How To Light up the Exit Stairwells in Your Facility

The exit stairwells in your facility are the primary egress path way once emergency strikes, can they rise to the occasion?

As an imperative aspect of egress safety, the exit stairwells in your building must be well equipped to provide an efficient egress, under stressful circumstances. In the case of an emergency, such as a fire, the building could lose power, leaving the exit stairwells in total darkness.  

To avoid tragedy and ensure the exit stairwells in your building can provide a safe passage for occupants, here are our top tips for lighting up the exit stairwells in your building. 

Lighting Exit Stairwells in your Facility

Fail Safe Emergency Lighting

If the power in your facility fails, don’t get left in the dark! Emergency stairwells can especially be susceptible to darkness so the importance of installing completely fail-safe, bright source of emergency lighting cannot be understated.

Luminous egress path markings are a number one choice among property and building managers as a code compliant, fail safe source of emergency exit lighting. The photoluminescent particles in these emergency lighting products absorb lighting from surrounding light sources and then releases it as luminescence once the power goes out. That is to say, they glow in the dark. This seemingly simple technology does not require any electrical power or batteries, so as long as luminous egress path markings are exposed to a sufficient light source, they will come on and light up the exit stairwells in your facility when you need them the most!

Adequate Light Sources

For a safe and efficient emergency egress it is important the whole exit pathway is lit up and easy to follow. Installing emergency lighting, such as luminous egress path markings, in one or two areas but not the whole pathway, may not provide enough lighting to allow patrons to quickly and confidently exit the building.

According to international fire, building and life safety codes, luminous egress path markings should be installed in a number of locations throughout the exit stair wells, to provide an adequate source of emergency egress lighting. 

Fail safe luminous egress path markings should be applied in the following areas:

Stair Nosings:

A continuous strip of photoluminescent material along the step-edge, running the entire length, provides step-edge visibility in all lighting conditions, giving occupants the confidence to exit the building quickly. Photoluminescent stair nosing can also be installed with a non-slip strip to add an additional level of safety.


A photoluminescent strip shall be applied to the top of all handrails within exit stairwells to provide clear egress direction and support for occupants descending the stairs.

Perimeter Demarcation:

Installing photoluminescent strips around the perimeter of the egress pathway keeps occupants on track to the exit discharge, while also providing a visual warning of any obstacles along the pathway.

Low-Level Lighting

To ensure the emergency lighting, such as luminous egress path markings, installed in your facility remain visible, opt for low-level installation. Overhead lighting can easily become clouded by smoke during a fire, or cast shadows making the path of egress unclear.

One of the many benefits of photoluminescent egress path markings is they do not cast any shadows which may impede egress speeds. Additionally, low-level installation ensures enhanced visibility.

Egress Signage

The products you chose to light up the facility’s stairwells should clearly communicate to occupants the location and direction of discharge. Installing photoluminescent exit signs guides patrons to the exit, not matter the lighting conditions. Further, the installation of photoluminescent floor identification signs  provides critical egress information both to occupants and emergency responders. Their photoluminescent material ensures these luminous egress path markings remain visible at all times, in all lighting.

When emergency strikes, your facility can be expertly prepared, by ensuring the exit stairwells are well lit and able to support an efficient egress! Ecoglo has been manufacturing and installing luminous egress path markings in buildings across the nation, and around the world, for decades. Our patented manufacturing process ensures each of our emergency lighting products has the best photoluminescent technology on the market. Our wide range of egress products, including photoluminescent exit signs, ensures there is a code compliant solution for every building! Contact us today and create a safer egress pathway in your facility.