Entrance areas and foyers

The first place you encounter when you enter a building doubles as an exit in an emergency. Well-marked and properly illuminated escape routes, emergency exits and assembly points are key.

These spaces play a crucial role in terms of emergency lighting. They need to be organised accordingly in order to ensure the safety and efficient escape of people during evacuation. At the same time, due to their location, these spaces contain all of the most important additional elements associated with protecting the occupants’ health, signalisation, initial firefighting activities and monitoring.


Enough exits for everyone

Contrary to what the name of these spaces may suggest, entrance areas actually always serve as exits during evacuation. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the proper lighting intensity throughout the escape routes, in addition to making it possible for people to reliably, correctly and immediately locate the emergency exits. When designing the emergency lighting, it is also important to provide a sufficient number of emergency exits for the number of people who may be in the building. Adequate emergency lighting in close proximity to the last emergency exits and outside the building up to the safe evacuation assembly point is also essential. All this should be done in order to prevent panic and to ensure that everyone can safely exit the facility during an evacuation.


Considering crucial areas

At the same time, the space should include additional elements that must be included in the emergency lighting design: assembly and call points for people with disabilities, medical first aid points of interest, and fire protection points. It’s also crucial to consider any other points of interest that are specific to the escape route and any changes to its course (changes in direction, height, inclination, obstructions, etc.).


Functionality and design

Entrance areas and foyers are diverse spaces with various types of equipment and numerous functionalities. This means that the emergency lighting used in these areas may be subject to various provisions.

At the same time, the representative functionality of these spaces must not be forgotten during normal use. The design of the luminaires used here will be especially important. We can use general lighting luminaires equipped with emergency lighting functionality in addition to impeccably designed emergency lighting fixtures.


EU guidelines require proper evacuation conditions for all occupied workspaces

Important emergency lighting design principles to remember about for entrance areas and foyers:

  • the extensive functionality of these types of spaces, which translates to a large variety in terms of emergency lighting solutions
  • the need to cleverly organise evacuation procedures that include people with disabilities
  • a sufficient number of appropriately placed emergency exits in addition to ensuring enough space in their immediate vicinity


Emergency lighting requirements:

Type of emergency lighting  task / activity area

Illuminance level (Emin) / Luminance level (Lmin)

Diversity ratio (Ud)



Time until 50% / 100% illuminance is achieved
Open area lighting 0.5 lx 1:40 Floor area excluding
a 0.5 m margin
1 h 5 s / 60 s
Escape route lighting 1 lx 1:40 2 m on the floor 1 h 5 s / 60 s
Exit signs on the escape route 2 cd/m2 10:1 Safety sign 1 h 5 s / 60 s
Lighting of points of emphasis 5 lx Not applicable Point of emphasis 1 h 5 s / 60 s