Choosing A Color For Your Exit Sign


Any exit sign you have in your building, whether it's for an emergency exit or otherwise, needs to be visible and long-lasting. Many older signs you see actually use LED bulbs, but another technology that's available is the photoluminescent sign. These do use technology similar to glow-in-the-dark stickers that you had as a kid but the signs' version is much better and more durable, lasting for hours even in the event of a power outage. One thing that has gotten some attention is that these photoluminescent signs are often green instead of red. That has to do partly with the technology and partly with a human phenomenon.

Tritium vs. Photoluminescent

First, these photoluminescent signs are not only green in color but also green in general build. As they don't require bulbs, batteries, or electricity, they generate little waste; they still have packaging that you have to dispose of, but no bulbs or related attachments. These signs absorb light instead, releasing it slowly. That allows the sign to stay lit for hours at a time.

On the other hand, tritium signs last for years, not hours, but tritium is a radioactive isotope, and while the exit signs that use tritium aren't dangerous when intact and used correctly, if the signs are broken, then you could have a release of tritium. Think of it as the difference between compact fluorescent and LED bulbs, where breaking a CFL could release mercury; the bulb isn't dangerous, but breaking one and cleaning it up poses risks. It's the same concept with tritium. Photoluminescent signs don't have this problem at all. They recharge every time you turn on the light in the room or expose the sign to sunlight, and a "charge" takes maybe an hour or a few hours, depending on the sign.

Contrasting Colors

The glowing red exit sign is a classic, but now a number of states are requiring signs to light up in green, which is perfect for photoluminescent technology. Given that a requirement for exit signs often includes making them a contrasting color when placed against the background of the office, hallway, or other location they're in, green might not seem so bright — but that's where the sign face comes into play. You can have green lettering surrounded by colors like red, black, and even brighter green to add contrast and ensure the sign is visible.

Stop Versus Go at a Glance

Why is green suddenly the color of choice for signs? It often has to do with the perception that "green means go" which is such a basic assumption that people make. While red for emergency exits is well understood (red being a visual symbol of something urgent), it can also indicate "stop." Green can be a subtle but effective choice when someone's trying to find an exit.

If you need to purchase photoluminescent exit signs, contact a sign company near you. 


29 September 2022

Signs For Success

When I started focusing on my business a few years back, I realized that there were more than a few things I needed to do if I wanted things to get off the ground. First and foremost, I needed to work on our advertising campaign. Instead of using the same old boring slogans, I worked hard with a graphic design team to come up with something new and different. Within about three weeks, we started to see an improvement in our customer counts. This blog is dedicated to other business owners who want to improve their business and turn things around for the better.