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There are many variations on the definitions for the term “Sustainability” but we believe that the simplest definition is probably the best.

Sustainability: Establishing policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

In keeping with the statement above consider the following:

Exit Sign Power Consumption and Carbon Footprint

The numbers below represent the power consumption and CO2 pollution values for a single exit sign. When these values are multiplied by the number of signs in a large facility (100 to 500 signs) or more importantly, the estimated 100 million exit signs installed in the United States, the positive environmental impact of Safe Glow’s signs becomes very clear.

1) One Kilowatt-hour of electricity produced in the United States ≈ 1 pound of carbon released into the environment (source: BlueSkyModel.org)

2) 25 years is the expected lifespan of Safe Glow’s Photoluminescent exit signs. During this timeframe the typical electric exit sing will generate infinitely more CO2

3) Older pre Energy Start LED exit signs consume as much as 10 watts of energy per hour of operation

NiCAD Batteries - The Hidden Exit Sign Pollution

Most electric exit signs utilize a battery backup that will enable them to function for a minimum of 90 minutes in the event of primary AC power failure. The most common type of battery found in exit signs are Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that has been shown to cause cancer in humans at very low levels - NiCad batteries contain about 16% Cadmium by weight.  

Exit Sign


Typical Energy





CO2 Pollution1

CO2 Pollution
Over 25 Years

Safe Glow



0 lbs

0 lbs

Ultra efficient LED

≈ 2 watt


17 lbs

425 lbs

Pre Energy Star LED3

≈ 7 watt


61 lbs

1,525 lbs


≈ 21 watt


183 lbs

4,575 lbs


≈ 40 watt


350 lbs

8,750 lbs