How to Install Exit Sign Light

Exit sign lights play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of occupants in buildings during emergencies and power outages. These illuminated signs serve as essential markers that guide people towards exits and escape routes.

Whether you are setting up a new facility or replacing old exit signs, knowing how to install them correctly is vital to comply with building codes and fire safety regulations. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to install exit sign light, covering the necessary tools, safety precautions, and best practices.

How to Install Exit Sign Light

By following these instructions, you can ensure that your exit signs are properly installed, fully functional, and ready to provide clear directions in times of crisis. Prioritizing the installation of exit sign lights is an investment in the safety and well-being of everyone within the building, making it an essential responsibility for property owners and facility managers alike.

Importance of Exit Sign Lights in Emergency Situations

Exit sign lights are essential to ensure the safety of everyone during emergency situations. In any public building or facility, exit signs help alert people where they need to go in case of an emergency. In some instances, these could be life-saving. Exit sign lights inform individuals on which exits they should use when evacuating a building during a fire or other crisis situation.

They also provide guidance to people who may be unfamiliar with the building. Furthermore, exit signs can help fire fighters and other first responders quickly identify where people will need to go in an emergency.

The importance of exit sign lights cannot be overstated. Without them, it would be difficult for individuals to find their way out of a structure during an emergency situation and they could even become confused or disoriented when the building is filled with smoke or there are limited light sources.

This could lead to serious injury or death as well as delay rescue efforts. Therefore, it is important that these signs are installed correctly and maintained on a regular basis so that they remain visible at all times.

Different Types of Exit Sign Lights

When it comes to exit sign lights, there are several types of lighting solutions available on the market. These different types of exit signs can be used to suit different needs and budgets.

Photoluminescent Exit Sign Lights:

Photoluminescent exit sign lights use a special type of paint that glows when exposed to light, allowing them to be used in areas without power. They are usually cheaper than other types of exit signs and require very little maintenance.

Led Exit Sign Lights:

Use a Special Type of Paint That Glows When Exposed to Light

LED exit sign lights are energy-efficient and typically last longer than other types of lighting. They can be used with either battery backup or an AC line, making them versatile. They are often found in commercial and industrial buildings due to their long lifespan and low maintenance cost.

Fluorescent Exit Sign Lights:

Fluorescent exit sign lights are the most common type of lighting used for exits. They are usually powered by AC line and require low maintenance. They can be found in a variety of colors, allowing for easy visibility.

Incandescent Exit Sign Lights:

Incandescent exit sign lights use a filament to produce light. They typically require more maintenance than other types of lights and do not last as long. They are often found in older buildings due to their low cost.

Tritium Exit Sign Lights:

Tritium exit sign lights are a type of self-luminous lighting which do not require an external power source. They are powered solely by the radioactive decay of tritium, a gas contained within the light. Due to the fact that they are independent of electricity, they are often used in areas where power is unreliable or unavailable.

No matter what type of exit sign lights you choose, it’s important to ensure that they are installed correctly and maintained regularly. By doing so, you can ensure the safety and visibility of your exits in an emergency situation.

10 Steps How to Install Exit Sign Light

Step 1: Understand Building Codes and Regulations

Before beginning the installation process, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the relevant building codes and regulations regarding exit sign placement and requirements.

Different jurisdictions might have specific rules governing the installation of exit signs, including the type, size, and location of the signs. Check with your local building department or fire marshal to ensure you comply with all the necessary guidelines.

Step 2: Gather the Required Tools and Materials

You Will Need a Set of Essential Tools

To install exit sign lights, you will need a set of essential tools and materials. Ensure you have the following items on hand before proceeding:

  • Exit sign lights (LED or incandescent)
  • Screwdriver or power drill with bits
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Wire nuts and electrical tape
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Ladder or scaffolding (if the installation requires height access)

Step 3: Choose the Ideal Locations

Careful consideration of the exit sign locations is crucial for their effectiveness during emergencies. Identify the primary exit paths and locations where visibility is optimum. Install the signs above doorways, stairwells, and corridors leading to exits. Place them at eye level, making them easily noticeable even in low-light conditions.

Step 4: Turn Off Power

Safety should always be a top priority when dealing with electrical installations. Before starting the installation, turn off the power to the area where you will be working to prevent any electrical accidents. Use a voltage tester to double-check that the power is indeed off.

Step 5: Remove Old Exit Signs (if applicable)

If you are replacing old or non-functional exit signs, remove them carefully. Unscrew the signs from the wall or ceiling, disconnect the wiring, and set them aside for proper disposal or recycling. Make sure to follow local regulations for disposing of electronic waste.

Step 6: Install the Mounting Brackets

Using the appropriate screws and anchors, mount the brackets for the exit sign lights securely to the chosen locations. Ensure the brackets are level and stable to provide a solid base for the sign.

Step 7: Connect the Wiring

Next, it’s time to connect the wiring for the exit sign lights. Depending on the type of sign, you may have to connect two or three wires (typically black, white, and green or bare for grounding). Carefully strip the wires at the end and connect them to the corresponding wires in the junction box. Secure the connections with wire nuts and wrap them with electrical tape for added safety.

Connect the Wiring for the Exit Sign Lights

Step 8: Install the Exit Sign Light

Place the exit sign onto the mounting brackets and secure it in place using the provided screws or clips. Ensure the sign is level and aligned correctly with the exit path. Turn on the power to test the sign’s illumination and functionality.

Step 9: Conduct a Test Run

After the installation is complete, conduct a thorough test run to ensure all the exit sign lights are working correctly. Verify that each sign is adequately illuminated and visible from all angles. If any issues arise during the test, double-check the wiring connections and power supply.

Step 10: Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Once the exit sign lights are installed and functioning correctly, it is essential to establish a regular maintenance and inspection routine. Periodically check the signs for any damage, loose connections, or burnt-out bulbs. Keep the signs clean and free from obstructions to maximize their visibility.

Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Exit Sigh Light

When installing exit sign light, it is important to take the time to make sure you are doing it correctly. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when installing exit sign light:

1. Not Following Proper Safety Guidelines

Incorrectly installed exit lights can lead to injury or even death. It’s important that all safety regulations are followed during installation and that the proper type of exit light is used. Be sure to read the installation instructions carefully and follow them closely.

2. Not Using Adequate Tools

Using the wrong tools or inferior quality tools when installing your exit sign light can cause problems later on. Make sure you use the right drill bits, wrenches, screwdrivers and other tools necessary for a successful installation.

3. Not Testing the Exit Sign Light

Once you’ve installed your exit sign light, it’s important to test it thoroughly. Make sure the light is working properly and that all connections are secure. If any problems arise during testing, you should take the time to fix them before turning on the power to your exit sign light.

Make Sure You Use the Right Drill Bits


Installing exit sign light fixtures may seem like a daunting task, but it can be surprisingly easy if you have the right tools and knowledge. With these tips, you can now confidently install a safe and effective lighting system for your business or other location. And since it is such an important safety feature, make sure to regularly check the lights for any problems or changes in brightness. Doing so will ensure that your exit signs are always kept in top working order.

So why wait? Get started on installing your own exit sign lights today – it’s one of the best ways to keep your staff and customers safe! With our guide, How to Install Exit Sign Light, you can easily equip yourself with the skills and equipment necessary to get the job done right and create a hazard-free environment for your workers or guests.

Leave a Comment