Lithonia manufactures a wide range of industrial, commercial and residential lighting products, but it specializes in emergency lighting systems, such as battery-powered flood lights, “Exit” signs and other products that illuminate a building when the power goes out and that help occupants find a way safely out of the building.
In order to meet local, state and federal code requirements, and provide plenty of operating time for occupants to get to safety, emergency lights typically must provide at least 90 minutes of illumination. After several years of operation, the original Lithonia battery in each emergency light fixture will start showing signs of age, and it may start causing the fixture to operate poorly or not at all.
Here are five problems that replacing the Lithonia replacement battery will often fix:
1) Fixture Will Not Turn On
When a fixture will not turn on at all, often this means that the replacement Lithonia battery has failed completely and can no longer hold a charge. In most cases, the original battery will not fail suddenly, but its capacity will degrade slowly over time, leading to shorter operating times or dim lights.
Before replacing the battery, make sure the connectors and the wires for the battery are clean and free of damage, and that the bulbs have not burned out. Then test the voltage of the battery and compare it to its specifications, which are usually found on the battery itself or in the owner's manual for the fixture. Also, check that the charging circuit is producing the correct voltage, which should be a few volts higher than the battery specification. If there are no problems with the bulbs, the voltage or the connections, the battery should be replaced with one that meets the same specifications.
2) Short Operating Time
As the Lithonia Battery in the fixture ages, it will gradually lose the ability to maintain a full charge or it will not completely recharge. This can manifest itself as a fixture that shuts the lights off sooner than it may have originally. Capacity will naturally degrade over time, but when it falls below the 90 minutes required by local codes, if applicable, it is time to replace the battery.
Make sure there are no other problems that could affect the operation of the fixture, such as a failed charging circuit or dirty connections, then replace the Lithonia battery with one that meets the same specifications, including battery chemistry, size, voltage and capacity.
3) Dim Lights
If the lights on an emergency light fixture are dim, it could indicate a problem with the original Lithonia battery. First, rule out any other problems with the fixture by checking the bulbs for damage, such as cloudy or soot-coated glass. Also, clean the battery's connections of any dirt or corrosion and check the wiring for damage. Finally, check the fixture's charging circuit for the proper voltage using a voltmeter, as well as the battery. If no other problems can be found, or if the battery voltage is lower than normal, replace the Lithonia battery.
Dim lights are typically caused when the battery cannot provide the proper amount of amperage or voltage for the lights, and it is usually related to a decline in overall capacity, though it can sometimes be caused by dirty connections or corroded wires.
4) Long Recharge Time
If, after a power outage, an emergency light fixture takes far longer than normal to recharge, that may indicate that the original Lithonia battery is starting to fail and will not accept a charge correctly. Before condemning the battery, check its connections and wires for corrosion or damage, then check the voltage of the charging circuit. If the fixture is working properly and there are no connection problems, replace the battery.
The old battery will likely be unable to reach its specified voltage, even after charging for long periods.
5) Damaged Battery
If an emergency light fixture is malfunctioning in any way, with symptoms such as blinking, short operation times or dim lights, be sure to inspect the physical condition of the battery. If the case of the original Lithonia battery is cracked, leaking fluids or has other serious damage, replace it immediately, even if it sill holds a charge.
Batteries can contain dangerous chemicals, such as corrosive acids or flammable lithium, and they should be replaced immediately if there is any damage to the battery. Be sure to dispose of batteries at an approved electronics recycling facility.
Choosing a Replacement for Your Lithonia Battery
Any replacement for the Lithonia battery should meet or exceed the specifications of the original. The most important consideration when selecting a replacement battery is its chemistry. Emergency light batteries typically feature either sealed lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride or sometimes even lithium ion batteries. Choose the same type of battery as the original to be sure that it charges properly in the fixture and does not cause damage to either the fixture or the battery.
Another consideration is the capacity of the battery, usually measured in amp-hours or milliamp-hours. The new battery should have the same capacity as the original, or slightly larger, as long as it is the same physical size. Finally, be sure the new battery has the same voltage rating as the original Lithonia battery, as well as the same type of connectors.
Once you have the new battery installed, keep it operating properly by allowing it to fully recharge between each use and by putting the battery through a full charge and discharge cycle every few months, which can be done by turning power to the fixture off.
With fresh Lithonia battery replacements in each of your emergency light fixtures, you can be sure they will operate properly when you need them.