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maritime DC & PPE Information Center


Emergency Lighting


Ships are equipped with emergency lighting systems that are energized from thebuses on generator and distribution switchboards, through suitable transformers. Emergency lighting is provided in certain vital locations and for all exterior signals. NSTM Chapter 330  Lighting contains general information regarding the proper operating and maintenance procedures for lighting installations and also emergency lighting. There are several types of Emergency lighting in use today.


One type of emergency lighting is  through Battle Lanterns Relays.  In event of complete failure of ship’s service and emergency lighting systems, automatic-type lanterns are provided to supply an instantaneous source of illumination at vital stations for the crew operation and movement. Automatic-type battle lanterns are supplemented by non-automatic-type battle lanterns, installed at strategic locations throughout the ship, to provide a dependable self-contained source of light for performing emergency action when other means of lighting are inoperative.



Another type of emergency lighting is New Emergency Automatic Lighting System (NEALS) Fixtures. New Emergency Automatic Lighting System (NEALS) is comprised of a rechargeable battery pack mounted on a standard Navy lighting fixture. The NEALS unit automatically energizes one of the lamps in the fixture in the event of an interruption of ship’s power. NEALS was developed to significantly improve shipboard emergency lighting as well as reduce frequent maintenance associated with relay-operated non-rechargeable battery battle lanterns used during emergency conditions. Some ships now entering the fleet have NEALS installed in place of relay-operated non-rechargeable battery battle lanterns.

For more information, see the Index