Shedding Light on the Benefits of Illuminated Railing Systems
Gone are the days when architects must decide between aesthetics, cost, code compliance and functionality when choosing an architectural railing system. As LED lighting continues to become integrated into other systems, manufacturers are now able to produce illuminated railings –incorporating LED lights in both linear and point-source configurations – to provide a wide range of benefits including pleasing aesthetics, combined life-safety requirements, minimal maintenance, and moderate costs.
Point-source lighting allows designers to either judiciously select which areas of a walkway to highlight with unconventional splashes of interest, or pave the entire walking surface with light. Aesthetically, point-source lighting can be leveraged as an element of design, adding a theatrical effect to appropriate applications.
The very small form factor of a point-source LED fixture lends itself to handrail applications – especially curved installations – allowing for exceptional flexibility while maintaining optical performance and longevity. Combined with the ability to serve as either a design element or uniform surface illuminator, point-source lighting offers a variety of benefits otherwise unavailable in more traditional lighting systems.
LED lights consume minimal energy and are long-lasting products; in fact, many LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than a typical incandescent light. This efficiency promotes increased reliability and decreased maintenance efforts which minimize the operating costs over the lifetime of the LED application. Factoring in these reduced maintenance costs allows designers and architects to think beyond simply lighting a space and focus on creating an immersive environment for the safety and experience of those who use it.
In conjunction with reduced power and maintenance requirements, specifiers should be aware of other additional financial benefits. By combining both lighting and railing into one seamless application, illuminated railing systems streamline production, installation and required code compliance, thereby saving time and money.
Combined Code Requirements
IBC (International Building Code) requirements impact both the structural and luminary aspects of a handrail system. The combination of these life-safety requirements in a lit rail system provide a one-two punch in terms of installations. However, navigating across multiple divisions – specifically Division 5 and Division 26 – can be daunting. To ease the process, it is critical to engage a partner who is bilingual in those CSI Divisions and their applicable codes. An experienced supplier of both code-compliant handrails and egress illumination needs will help meet those requirements in almost any application and assist with creating a solution that enhances the site.
Leverage the Experts
A skilled Illuminated railing manufacturer can act as a resource and bring a precise evaluation of all factors that influence specific lit railing system requirements. In the end, it comes down to the experience and capability of the partner you choose to work. In today’s market for lit railing systems, a manufacturer that brings expertise in handrail – as well as lighting – is hard to come by. Those that do provide a valuable understanding of the equipment that is being combined.
Trusted, innovative and proven – characteristics that are essential in a railing supplier. Wagner has been delivering innovative railing systems for over 60 years, with thousands of installations worldwide. We deliver proven railing solutions for any environment with a focus on providing handrails that combine style and sophistication with quality and durability. To learn more about Wagner Architectural handrail systems, contact us.