NZBC F8 Compliance - Exit Signs

Since April 2012 the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) Acceptable Solution for emergency exit signage (F8/AS1) has allowed photoluminescent (PL) exit signs to be used wherever ‘illuminated exit signs’ are required.

There are strict performance requirements specified in F8/AS1 to ensure PL signs will meet all the requirements of NZBC. To Ecoglo’s knowledge, Ecoglo signs are the only PL signs available in New Zealand that are bright enough to meet F8/AS1.

If you’re not sure if Ecoglo signs are right for your project, please read through our FAQs below, or work through our F8 flow charts (available for download below).

F8/AS1 requires 100 lux illumination on the signs to ensure they are charged ready for possible emergency use.

To check whether the existing illumination (from daylight or electrical lighting) will provide 100 lux you can do one of the following:

  • See System Design > Lighting Models – these show typical lighting scenarios with the calculated illumination where the exit signs would typically be;
  • Use your own lighting model, using DIALux or similar, to measure the illumination on site;
  • Discuss your specific project with Ecoglo.

If there isn’t 100 lux on the signs, it is still possible to utilise Ecoglo signs using an Alternative Solution.

Please consult the relevant technical documents below to help answer any questions regarding this, however if you still need help feel free contact us. Ecoglo can review your project and provide alternative solution documentation if appropriate. This service is provided free of charge for the first 2 hours (normally sufficient to complete most small to medium projects.) Contact us for details.

F8 Technical Documents

F8/AS1 Flow Chart
How to check if an Ecoglo sign will meet F8/AS1.

F8 Alternative Solution Flow Chart
How to check if an Ecoglo sign will meet F8 with an Alternative Solution.

F8/AS1 Compliance Checklist (Indoors)
This checklist can be used to show your building consent authority that Ecoglo signs will meet the requirements of NZBC.

F8/AS1 Compliance Checklist (Outdoors)
This checklist can be used to show your building consent authority that Ecoglo signs will meet the requirements of NZBC.

Exit Sign Design Flowchart
This flowchart shows which signs are suitable and which compliance pathway to follow when replacing battery back-up electrical signs with Ecoglo signs in existing buildings.

Designer’s Handbook for Ecoglo S20 Signs
Provides guidance for designing systems using Ecoglo S20 signs to meet the requirements of NZBC.

Technical Justification for Ecoglo S20 Signs
This detailed report provides the technical justification for the product performance specification and design of Ecoglo signage to meet the requirements of NZBC Clause F8.

F8/AS1 Hybrid Sign Compliance Report
Details how Hybrid Signs can be used to meet F8.

Hybrid Decals Observation Test Report
This report shows how Ecoglo hybrid signs with pictogram decals for a viewing distance of 24m meet F8/AS1

F8 Specifiers Checklist
Details information that you need to design a safe and compliant system.

F8/AS1 Luminance (Brightness) Test Report
Summary of luminance performance of Ecoglo signs after testing with different light sources.

Luminance of Different Grades of PLM

Photoluminescent Lighting Council (PLC) Standard PLCS 102

PLCS 102H(NZ) Hybrid Photoluminescent Exit Signage: Inspection and Maintenance

PLCS 102(NZ) Passive Photoluminescent Signs and Path Markings: Inspection and Maintenance

Photoluminescent Lighting Council (PLC) Standard PLCS101 – Photoluminescent Exit Signs

PLCS 101 Part A – Definitions
Defines terminology referenced in standard.

PLCS101 Part B – Product Specification
Defines performance requirements, graphical requirements, viewing distance requirements, and classification of PL exit signs.

PLCS101 Part C – Inspection and Maintenance
Sets out clear procedures for ensuring PL exit signs remain in an ongoing state of readiness for operation at any time.


Most commonly around $62.50+GST trade price, but signs that need to be seen from more than 16 metres cost more, and if brackets are required to mount the signs from a ceiling, or to protrude from a wall, the cost is approximately an extra $10+GST trade price. Ecoglo also offer a range of architectural brackets to complement any environment – contact us for details and pricing.

No, they are designed to make use of the existing light in the building.

A minimum of 30 years when installed indoors before there would be any measurable change in performance and a minimum of 15 years outdoors for outdoor coated signs.

Make sure they are cleaned of dust or dirt build up. If the building doesn’t need any other emergency lighting, in many cases Ecoglo S20 exit signs will not need to be part of the annual building WOF schedule.

Ecoglo S20 signs are designed to work in most normal lighting situations. Ecoglo’s professional engineer can design an alternative solution to meet F8 in situations where there is as little as 55 lux available. This service is provided free of charge for the first 2 hours (normally sufficient to complete most small to medium projects.) Contact us for details.

Yes, any lighting, including LEDs, with a colour temperature of 4000K or more, is suitable for charging Ecoglo exit signs, 4000K or more is typical for schools, offices, commercial and industrial lighting, and most retail stores.

No. Ecoglo exit signs have been independently tested to confirm they meet the F8/AS1 luminance (brightness) requirement for Risk Group C buildings* after, at most, 5 minutes charging at 100 lux.

*Almost all buildings with less than 1000 occupants are Risk Group C

In most cases a sign will have sufficient residual charge from when there was light on it before, but even if the sign has become fully discharged and someone enters a dark space and turns on a light, the signs will meet the F8/AS1 brightness requirement for a longer evacuation time than the time since the light was turned on. By the time 5 minutes has elapsed the signs will have the full 30 minutes charge required for Risk Group C buildings.

They have no moving parts or components that will need replacing. As long as they are installed where there are normal indoor light levels, and they are kept reasonably clean, and not physically damaged, they will be visible in an emergency for the time required by F8 and F6 for at least 30 years.

They are designed and manufactured in Christchurch using a unique process that was developed locally over twenty years ago.

Ideal places are in building spaces that are normally occupied when the signs may need to be used, such as classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, retail spaces, factories, and warehouses. In these places if the space becomes dark, the occupier will turn on a light, making sure that the signs remain well charged. Ecoglo Exit signs can also be used in spaces that aren’t normally occupied (such as corridors, linking rooms and stairwells), but there needs to be a management process for making sure that the signs are always sufficiently charged when someone may need to use them.

Anyone who knows how to put a screw into a wall, and knows where the exit signs need to be installed to meet F8.

They are made in New Zealand in a factory that uses electricity (from a supplier committed to sustainable electricity production) as its only energy source. The factory creates no commercial liquid effluent, and negligible air emissions. The products have no replaceable parts which would need to be disposed of, and no cadmium, mercury or radioactive material. They normally don’t require any electricity to be used to keep them charged. They have an extremely long life, and if for any reason they need to be disposed of, they can be included with other aluminum products for aluminum recycling.

Yes, they are designed to meet the rigours of long term outdoor exposure in our harsh Southern Hemisphere environment. No matter what the weather, they can meet the requirements of F8 for several hours after sunset, or 24/7 when the distance they need to be seen from is no more than half their rated viewing distance. Contact us for details.

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New Zealand
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