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Social Housing

The lighting of social housing poses numerous challenges; the lighting should provide enough illumination to ensure a safe and secure environment whilst being robust enough to withstand vandalism where necessary.

For housing providers reducing the energy load is vital and the use of Thorlux LED luminaires combined with lighting controls can offer up to 90% energy savings, particularly in communal areas where the occupancy levels are low and daylight can be plentiful.

Our lighting application guide identifies typical areas within social housing and focuses on robust, energy saving and low maintenance lighting solutions.

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Social housing providers also must adhere to extremely strict emergency regulations which not only require emergency lighting to always be functional, but also necessitate monthly functional and annual duration tests on all emergency luminaires. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order failure to provide a compliant system and failure to regularly test and maintain it can result in prosecution for the employer or building owner who may face fines and imprisonment if convicted.

Guidance documents include:


Social housing buildings have a specific security issue because they need to be easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Guidance on the importance of lighting for security is provided in the Secured By Design Homes Brochure. See Secured by Design website*

*(Secured by Design is an official police organisation offering guidance on incorporating security into building design. Guidance includes all aspects of building security, including lighting and lighting controls for multi-home buildings).

Lighting Controls

A comprehensive lighting management system can achieve significant energy reduction and assist with operational checks & maintenance. Maintenance teams often aren’t aware of lighting outages until reported by a member of the public or a resident. Yet in locations such as corridors without natural daylight, such lighting failures can create additional hazards and risks. SmartScan monitors the performance of all luminaires, so if there is a failure it is reported promptly to the maintenance teams.

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SmartScan Internal

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SmartScan External

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Adding lighting control to a luminaire often requires the addition of a sensor which can reduce the structural integrity of a luminaire. Using the latest high frequency sensor technology SmartScan Radar is mounted directly to the LED light engine which is integral to the luminaire therefore protecting these sensitive components. This is ideal for applications where the luminaire aesthetics and impact rating are important factors.

SmartScan Radar offers energy saving through presence detection and daylight control, user control via SmartScan scene setting or timed override from the SmartScan website.

SmartScan Radar Benefits:

  • Radar presence detectors are integral to the luminaire, providing improved impact-resistance and aesthetics.
  • Fully programmable light levels, detection range (sensitivity), time delays and security levels via the SmartScan Programmer.
  • New advanced SmartScan technology allows photocell control with the LED lamp on or off.
  • Full status monitoring via the SmartScan website.
  • Automatic testing and record keeping of emergency luminaires via the SmartScan website.
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Emergency Lighting

Good emergency lighting is essential to ensure residents can evacuate calmly and safely in the event of an emergency. Exit routes should be clearly identified with exit signs, and each tread on stairs should be clearly illuminated. Fire-fighting equipment should be lit to a minimum of 5 lux. BS5266-1 recommends that a minimum of two luminaires, or one luminaire and an exit sign with a useable downward element , should be fitted in every section of an escape route.

Emergency luminaires should meet the same standard of ingress protection as the general lighting. High and low ambient temperatures can be an issue for batteries in self-contained and maintained luminaires, so please contact our technical helpline for advice.

Thorlux offers a comprehensive range of emergency lighting control solutions from standalone emergency, through to full wireless control and monitoring systems.

The emergency lighting design must take into account the following:

  • Escape route signs
  • Stairs so that each flight receives direct light
  • Changes in floor level
  • Changes of escape route direction
  • Corridor intersections
  • First aid posts
  • Fire alarm call points or pieces of fire fighting equipment
  • Outside the final exit door and to a place of safety
  • Moving stairways and walkways
  • Toilet facilities exceeding 8 m² or any multiple closet facility without borrowed light
  • Toilet facilities for disabled use
  • Motor generator, control and plant rooms
  • Manual release controls for electronically locked doors
  • Escape equipment for disabled people
  • Refuges and call points, including disabled toilet call positions
  • All other areas as deemed by the Risk Assessment

Note: The majority of Thorlux luminaires are available with an integral emergency option.

Emergency Lighting

Exit Signage


Social Housing Projects

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Emergency Demonstration Experience
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