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attractive opportunities to reduce energy and maintenance costs. Because emergency exit signs should operate 24 hours per day, energy savings quickly recover retrofit costs. There are generally two options, buying a new exit sign, or retrofitting the existing exit sign with new light sources.

Most retrofit kits available today contain adapters that screw into the existing incandescent sockets. Installation is easy, usually requiring only 15 minutes per sign. However, if a sign is severely discolored or damaged, buying a new sign might be required in order to maintain illuminance as required by fire codes.

Basically, there are five upgrade technologies: Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), incandescent assemblies, Light Emitting Diodes (LED), Electroluminescent panels, and Self Luminous Tubes.

Replacing incandescent sources with compact fluorescent lamps was the "first generation" exit sign upgrade. Most CFL kits must be hard-wired and can not simply screw into an existing incandescent socket. Although CFL kits are a great improvement over incandescent exit signs, more technologically advanced upgrades are available that offer reduced maintenance costs, greater efficacy and flexibility for installation in low (sub-zero) temperature environments.

As Table 13.7 shows, LED upgrades are the most cost-effective because they consume very little energy, and have an extremely long life, practically eliminating maintenance.

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