The Essential Guide to Emergency Lighting in New Zealand

emergency lighting

Emergency lighting is a specified system (as described in the New Zealand Building Act 2004) and plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of a building’s occupants during an emergency, such as a fire or a power outage. In this blog, we’ll discuss the New Zealand standards, the testing and maintenance requirements, and answer some frequently asked questions about this vital safety feature. As Master Electricians and IQP-certified professionals, Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical is your trusted partner for annual 12A reports, repairs, and monthly checks. We also provide services for building renovations, including PS1 emergency lighting design, installation, and certification. 

1. New Zealand Standards

The New Zealand performance standard is outlined in the NZS 2293 series, specifically NZS 2293.1:2018. This standard covers the design, installation, and maintenance of emergency and exit lighting systems for buildings. Compliance with this standard is a requirement under the New Zealand Building Code. At Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical, our team of Master Electricians ensures your system is compliant with these standards.

2. Emergency Lighting Testing with Northern Lights

According to NZS 2293.1:2018, emergency lighting systems should be tested at various intervals:

Monthly: A functional test should be conducted to ensure the lights operate correctly during a power failure. This test typically involves simulating a power failure by operating the test switch. Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical’s Master Electricians can help you perform these monthly checks.

Six-monthly: A 90-minute test should be carried out to ensure the battery backup system can sustain the lights for the required 90-minute duration.

Yearly: A full discharge test should be performed, which involves draining the batteries to ensure they can be recharged and function correctly in the event of an emergency. As an IQP-certified company, Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical is qualified to conduct annual 12A reports and help you maintain compliance.

3. Maintenance

Regular maintenance of systems is essential for their optimal performance. The NZS 2293.1:2018 standard recommends that maintenance be carried out at least once a year by a qualified technician, such as the Master Electricians at Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical. This ensures that any issues are identified and resolved promptly, helping to maintain the system’s reliability and effectiveness.

4. Emergency Lighting Replacement and Repairs

The lifespan varies depending on its type, usage, and the quality of its components. Generally, LED emergency lights have a longer lifespan compared to older technologies such as incandescent or fluorescent lights. Batteries, however, have a limited lifespan and should be replaced every 3 to 5 years or as recommended by the manufacturer. Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical’s Master Electricians can assist you with repairs and replacements, ensuring your system remains in top condition.

5. Smart Tips


      • Keep a regular testing and maintenance schedule to ensure your emergency lighting system remains in optimal working condition.

      • Replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer or as needed based on performance.

      • Upgrade older systems to more energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED technology.

      • Ensure that emergency lighting is properly placed and meets the requirements of the NZS 2293.1:2018 standard.

      • Partner with a reliable, Master Electricians and IQP-certified company like Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical for annual 12A reports, repairs, and monthly checks.

    6. Solutions for Building Renovations

    Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical is a one-stop solution for all your emergency lighting needs during building renovations. Our team of Master Electricians can provide an updated PS1 emergency lighting design that complies with NZS 2293.1:2018 and the New Zealand Building Code. We will work closely with you to ensure that the new system meets the specific requirements of your renovated building.

    Once the design is finalized, we will provide a detailed quote for the installation of the new lighting system. Our experienced electricians will handle the installation process efficiently and professionally, ensuring the system functions optimally and meets all regulatory standards.

    Upon completion of the installation, Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical will supply a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) and a Producer Statement – Construction Review (PS3) to confirm that the new emergency lighting system has been installed and inspected in accordance with the approved design, relevant standards, and Building Code requirements.


    Complying with New Zealand standards and maintaining a regular testing and maintenance schedule is essential for ensuring the safety of building occupants during emergencies. By following the NZS 2293.1:2018 guidelines and partnering with Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical, you can help keep your building safe and compliant with local regulations. Trust our team of Master Electricians and IQP-certified professionals for all your lighting needs, from annual 12A reports to repairs, monthly checks, and building renovation solutions. With our expertise, you can have peace of mind knowing that your building’s emergency lighting system is in capable hands, ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone inside.

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      Great team. Booked easily and didn’t have to wait days for the appt. They did a thorough investigation of issue
      ( PowerPoints not working and fuse switches tripping) and discovered we needed an in wall
      … More re wire. Very polite, explained everything well and got the job done. Would use them again for sure
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      Have used the company 3 times, always polite, professional and go the extra yard, nothing is too much. I would 100% recommend them.

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