The Complete Guide to Spitfire Emergency Lights 2024


What is a Spitfire emergency light?

Introducing the Spitfire®: the OG in emergency lighting! The Spitfire, designed by Stanilite, is an iconic recessed emergency light that has become so well-known that people often use its name to describe any recessed emergency light.

We might not notice them, but emergency lights play a crucial role in providing sufficient lighting during power outages or emergency evacuations. They are strategically positioned throughout a building's stairwells and corridors in accordance with Australian standards AS/NZS2293. While various types of emergency lights exist, such as exit signs and battens, recessed emergency lights like the Spitfire constitute around 30% of all emergency lighting.

But, why were they so popular?

The popularity of recessed emergency lights comes from their simple design and affordability. Their sleek and seamless form allows for the integration of emergency lighting without compromising the aesthetic or style of a building. The straightforward components and installation process have led to an affordable solution that has transformed the industry. The widespread adoption of the Stanilite Spitfire has resulted in a diverse range of brands, styles, and unique designs for recessed emergency lights available in the market today.

The history of the Spitfire

In the 1980s, the Spitfire began with a 25W halogen globe in a recessed dish, with a 5W standby mode. These were non-maintained, activating the lamp solely during power outages, drawing power from heavy lead-acid batteries installed in the ceiling alongside them.

Fast forward to today, and we've witnessed a remarkable transformation. Now, recessed emergency lights, such as our Sunrise, use a single LED chip. With buildings commonly having up to several hundred fittings, an improved standby consumption of 0.5W results in a significant drop in energy consumption!

Components of a Spitfire

Recessed Dish with Lamp

While older recessed dishes were often crafted from metallic materials, today's fittings predominantly use lightweight plastic, making installation easier and more practical. In modern fittings, you'll typically find an LED positioned in the centre of the dish to provide illumination.

While some brands may divide their recessed discs into smaller plastic rings to accommodate various hole and cut-out sizes, Elumen simplifies the process. With its expanded diameter footprint, our lighting effortlessly covers all standard cut-out sizes, ranging from 70mm to 145mm, ensuring comprehensive coverage every time.

Sunrise dish
Our Sunrise dish
Spitfire adapter rings
Spitfire adapter rings

Control Gear / Battery Pack

Let's explore the control gear, the backbone of your recessed emergency light. Comprising of a power supply, battery and inverter, this includes all the necessary elements to power your recessed emergency light. Under normal circumstances, the control gear charges the battery pack to ensure that there is always sufficient power when needed. In the event of a power outage, the control gear discharges the battery pack to power the emergency lamp.

In our Sunrise, all power-related components are consolidated into a single pack. This all-in-one pack serves as the power supply, battery, and inverter, making installation and replacement easier than ever.

A traditional control pack and battery
A traditional control pack and battery
Sunrise integrated control pack
Sunrise integrated control pack

Flex and Plug

Typically all recessed emergency lighting on the market today will come with a 3-pin flex and plug.

Thanks to its flex and plug wiring, installing or replacing recessed emergency lights is usually as effortless finding the closest power socket.

Flex and plug cable

Installing and Replacing a Spitfire emergency light

When it comes to installing recessed emergency lights, it's a breeze with a flex and plug setup. All you need is a 70-145mm circular cut-out in the ceiling. Simply plug the recessed emergency light into a general-purpose outlet inside the ceiling cut-out. Then push back and insert the metal clips into the hole so that the dish sits flush with the ceiling, and you're all set!

Now, what about surface-mounted emergency fittings?

They come in round or box shapes and are fixed directly onto the surface of the ceiling. They're perfect for situations where recessing just isn't an option - like concrete ceilings or standout feature ceilings made of metal or timber. Think car parks and other industrial spaces.

But here's the thing: surface mount emergency fittings need to be hard-wired directly into the mains power during installation. For those jobs or if you're ever unsure, it's best to call in a qualified electrician to handle the rewiring and replacement.

Surface mount Sunrise
Sunrise in a surface mounted box

For a step-by-step guide on the installation process, be sure to check out our Sunrise Installation Guide and the Surface Mounted Sunrise Installation Guide.

Do I need a spitfire?

Your escape path may already be covered by emergency lighting without you knowing it. Elumen's dual-function exit signs are seamlessly equipped with an emergency light, serving as your all-in-one solution for both exits, and emergency lighting.

Learn more

Maslin side LED highlight

What testing requirements are there for the Spitfire?

Australian standards AS/NZS2293 dictates the procedure for keeping an emergency system running smoothly. Regular check-ups, testing, and maintenance tasks are necessary to ensure that the emergency system operates in accordance with the minimum standards specified in the original fire design. Testing and servicing need to be conducted every 6 months, annually, and once every 10 years.

In NSW, when evaluating the performance of emergency lighting circuits and components and generating the necessary Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS), it's important to consult with an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety).

Testing requirements will vary between states and councils. Always contact your local authority for the latest rules and regulations.

Where do I buy a Spitfire?

The Spitfire and other recessed emergency lights can be found at most leading electrical wholesalers. When choosing a replacement, make sure to confirm that the emergency classification meets or surpasses that of the original fixture.


LED Recessed Emergency Light



Cut-out range:




Sunrise dish