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Photoluminescent signs: What are they and why do you need them?

Braden Lewis

In this article we are going to explore what photoluminescent signage is, what the benefits for those who implement them are, and why they are so important in mitigating risk and maximising safety.

Photoluminescent safety signs are vital in minimising risk in the event of an emergency, or if there is a power failure. These signs, which glow in the dark, offer a wide range of benefits – both for work personnel and business owners. In this article we are going to explore what photoluminescent signage is, what the benefits for those who implement them are, and why they are so important in mitigating risk and maximising safety.

What are photoluminescent signs?

In short, photoluminescent signs illuminate when there is sudden darkness. These signs are used for:

  • Guiding personnel through an escape route
  • Showing the location of a muster point
  • Highlighting fire exits
  • Illuminating key areas in the circumstance of a power outage
  • Providing information on safety equipment

These signs are able to light up in the dark through a process called photoluminescence, in which the photoluminescent material they are made from absorbs natural or ambient light and stores it. This allows them to continue to glow brightly in the dark and provide essential messages and wayfinding for all personnel.

glow in the dark exit sign

How long do photoluminescent signs glow for?

Unlike traditional emergency signage, photoluminescent signage cannot be turned on or off. The signs are activated when there is sudden darkness, and as time goes on, the glow will fade until an external light is re-introduced again to "re-charge" them. Depending on the grade of photoluminescent material used, these signs will glow for an average of 90 minutes from the moment the light source goes out. 

Why are photoluminescent signs important?

During an emergency, work personnel and any visitors to the facility will rely on these photoluminescent signs to guide them to safety. And in the event of a power outage, these safety signs will streamline the evacuation process.

Any industry that requires a high level of workplace safety will understand the importance of implementing photoluminescent signage. This is especially important for those working offshore or in marine environments, as these environments are not only high-risk but are also prone to blackouts and power failures.

photoluminescent exit route

What are the benefits of photoluminescent signs?

In addition to keeping workplaces and work personnel safe, photoluminescent signs have many notable benefits which include:

Reduce Operating Expenses

Because photoluminescent signs do not require electricity to activate, they are a cost-effective alternative to traditional emergency signage as they will reduce electricity, installation, and maintenance costs.

Aid responders

When an emergency or power outage occurs, responders will need to know exactly where all points of importance are to be able to resolve the outage or help personnel evacuate the facility. These self-illuminating signs show the way in dark, wet, or smoky conditions.

Long-lasting and low maintenance

Traditional LED safety signs are often prone to electrical failure, leading to costly replacements and repairs. Due to photoluminescent signs' being electricity-free and made from hard-wearing material, they require little to no maintenance and can last up to 10 years. 

Code Compliant

Photoluminescent safety signs meet the same code requirements and standards as those of traditional or electrical safety signs. When installed properly near ambient light for charging, these signs are code compliant and an acceptable alternative to traditional safety sign models.


Due to their low-maintenance, self-charging qualities, photoluminescent signs are extremely reliable. Reliability is one of the most important features any safety equipment and signage should have, making photoluminescent signs a sensible choice for your business.

Photoluminescent signs by REGALTAGS

At REGALTAGS, our tough photoluminescent signs are made from industry-standard materials and are suited to survive the harshest of environments. We have a large range of offshore grade photoluminescent signage, available in both self-adhesive and rigid materials. These include escape route signage, directional arrows, projecting signs, muster point signage, and photoluminescent tape with chevrons or arrows. Many clients take advantage of our customised signage with site specific details, including emergency contact numbers, lifeboat details and detailed escape routes. 

If you’re looking for photoluminescent signs that your business can rely on, get in touch with our expert team at REGALTAGS today – we’re just a call or click away.


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