During a recent vacation, I stayed onboard a river cruise ship that travels in international waters. To my positive surprise, this passenger ship was equipped with PERMALIGHT® Low Location Lighting. My travel partners saw me take photos and were asking me why the markings were installed on the wall so close to the wall base and not at eye level. I explained that smoke is lighter than air and rises under the ceiling, thereby obscuring any electrical lighting. During a fire onboard with smoke quickly spreading, passengers can’t walk upright for long and have to drop low to crawl out underneath the smoke layer where breathable air remains the longest. That is when the photoluminescent Low Location Lighting system guides the passengers to safety.
Over the years I have sometimes heard people refer to these markings as Low Level Lighting which could, in turn, be misinterpreted as dim level lighting. These photoluminescent markings, required onboard passenger ships carrying more than 36 passengers are strictly regulated with high-performance photoluminescent qualifications, certifications and quality assurance enforcement. As with any Life Safety product, this photoluminescent Low Location Lighting is controlled by approvals, a compliant installation, and maintenance enforcement.
The idea of escaping underneath the smoke layer is further described as Floor-Proximity Lighting, Safety Way Guidance System, Exit Path Marking and Egress Path Marking. Many different descriptions of a photoluminescent system that is purposely either installed on steps and floors or along the wall in low location to guide people out of ships, airplanes, buildings, trains, and other occupancies.
Be on the look-out where you find photoluminescent markings when you are out and about.
Travel safe always!