The Best Emergency Battery Backup For The Money

The Lithonia PS1400QD Power Sentry is an emergency battery backup for fluorescent lights. The battery can produce at least 90 minutes of 1400-lumen output during a power outage.

The battery has a reduced profile that makes it fit in tight spaces where other batteries may not fit. The Power Sentry is a nickel-cadmium battery housed in metal and thermoplastic to ensure safety.

Also, each battery comes with a quick-disconnect connector that makes battery replacement fast and painless.

These battery packs are a must if you’re in storm-prone areas where outages are frequent but short-lived. Lithonia’s reputation is a great one and their Power Sentry is part of their commitment to quality lighting accessories.

Here are a few more helpful specs:

  • Weighs 2 lbs.
  • Shipping weight is 4 lbs.
  • Battery is 13 7/8” long
  • 90-minute use is based on one 32W lamp.

What Is It Compatible With?

The Power Sentry 1400QD is compatible with the following Lithonia lamps and ballasts:

  • One 24” to 48” T5/T5HO
  • One to two 24” to 48” T8S or U-Lamps
  • One 60” to 96” T8
  • One 96” HO T8
  • One Circline T9
  • One to two U-Lamp T12S
  • One to two 24” to 48” T12/T12HO/T12VHO
  • One 60” to 90” T12/T12HO/T12VHO
  • One PL Twin-Tube (4-pin)
  • One to two PL Quad-Tubes (4-pin)
  • One to two Triple Tubes (4-pin/18-32W)
  • One Triple Tube (4-pin/42W)

Talk with one of our lighting specialists if you want to learn more about the POwer Sentry’s compatibility.

What Accessories Can I Buy?


One of the most popular accessories for the Power Sentry is its self-diagnostics module, or “PSSD”.

This module provides essential safety checks that ensure you know when a battery is in working condition and when it may be failing. Each module has a red and green light that represent the following battery status:

  • Battery working normally: Steady green light
  • Self-test: Flashing green light
  • Emergency mode: No lights
  • Insufficient charge: Flashing red and green
  • Battery failure: Single-flash red
  • Lamp failure: Double-flash red
  • Fixture failure: Triple-flash red
  • Over/under charge: Quadruple-flash red

The PSSD has the following features:

  • Tests battery each month for five minutes
  • Performs a 30-minute test every six months
  • Has a button you can press for a manual test

The module tests the battery’s AC to DC transfer, its charge and the condition of the battery. The module is small enough to fit into the wireway (1.1”x1.1”x5.6”) and its manual test button is easy to access.

Also, like the battery itself, the self-diagnostics module has its own quick-release mechanism for easy removal.

Why Nickel-Cadmium Batteries?

Most of the emergency backup batteries you’ll find use either nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries. Nickel-cadmium batteries tend to be lighter than lead-acid and they have some distinct advantages:

Nickel-cadmium’s operating temperature is more forgiving in colder environments. They typically operate in temperatures between –76 degrees and 140 degrees, whereas lead-acid batteries have a range of –40 to 140.

Ni-Cd batteries have more specific power than lead-acid batteries, too, which means they perform at their best when in use. This is one of the reasons why they’re such an effective emergency battery backup.

In their rechargeable form, these batteries were once the go-to choice for power tools. In their non-rechargeable state, they’re often used for medical equipment, two-way radios and other emergency services devices.

The main drawback of these batteries is that they contain cadmium, a toxic element. This requires that you follow local regulations for recycling these types of batteries.

What Do the UL Standards Mean?

Each Power Sentry 1400QB battery meets UL-924 and UL-94V-0 flame ratings.


The Power Sentry meets standards for backup illumination supply in branch circuits of 600 volts or less, per UL guidelines. The battery also meets the requirements for its corresponding sections in the National Electrical Code, the Life Safety Code, the Fire Code, the International Building Code and the International Fire Code.


Each battery’s thermoplastic meets UL standards for flame resistance. To achieve the V-0 rating, each battery was held vertically and exposed to a test flame at the bottom of the battery.

The Power Sentry passed the test because any flames that ignited on the outside covering didn’t reach the top of the battery nor did the battery drip molten material. Also, the flames on the battery cover extinguished in the desired amount of time.

What Does The Warranty Offer?

Each Power Sentry 1400DW battery comes with a five-year limited warranty from Lithonia’s parent company, Acuity Brands.

The warranty for nickel-cadmium batteries works off of an introductory three-year replacement or repair period. In year four, any replacements you’d need come with a 40% discount. In year four, that discount drops to 20% and the warranty is void after five years.

Acuity considers your battery defective if it fails to pass its annual testing. Furthermore, in order to maintain the warranty, your batteries must be “continuously connected to an AC input power source” within 90 days of the day you bought the battery.

Factors that could void the warranty include:

  • Physical damage to the battery
  • Damage from using harsh cleaners
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Power failure
  • Power surges/dips
  • Insect activity
  • Failure to comply with codes

Need Advice? We Can Help

We’ve provided as much pertinent information as we could in this post. However, if you have more questions about Lithonia’s PS1400QD, call us at (888)865-7988 to speak with one of our lighting specialists. Or, you can connect with us through our live chat option in the bottom right-hand corner of our website.

Our specialists can answer questions about product availability, specs and provide further advice about how to install the battery and which Lithonia lights and ballasts are compatible with the Power Sentry.

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