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National Electric Code


Signs are subject to numerous regulations intended to ensure product safety and to protect the public. In most countries, electric signs are subject to a product safety standard (ensuring that an electric sign is properly designed and fabricated) and an installation standard (ensuring that an electric sign is properly field-wired and installed). In the United States, these standards are the UL 48 Standard for Electric Sign Safety and NFPA 70 National Electrical Code (NEC).


Contact Kenny Peskin , Director of Industry Programs



First published in 1897, the National Electrical Code is a standard for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment in the United States. It is published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a private trade association.

Despite the use of the term “national,” the NEC is not a federal law; rather, it is typically adopted by states and municipalities in an effort to standardize their enforcement of safe electrical practices. In some cases, the NEC is amended, altered and may even be rejected in lieu of regional regulations as voted on by local governing bodies.

The NEC is developed and updated by a committee of key stakeholders and expert individuals. Standards relevant to electric signs are located in Article 600 “Electric Signs and Outline Lighting.” The provisions in Article 600 are overseen by a subcommittee (currently NEC Code-Making Panel 18). ISA has been a full-voting member of this subcommittee for more than 45 years, since the 1978 NEC development cycle. 

The current 2023 edition was released in August 2022; the 2026 edition currently in development will be released in 2025.


Because the NEC must be adopted by state legislatures or local councils, the version of the NEC in force in each jurisdiction may differ. As of January 2024, the current versions of the NEC are:

Technically Speaking: Updates to the NEC

In 2024, ISA represented the sign, graphics and visual communications industry in changes to the National Electrical Code.
The provisions in Article 600 affecting electric signs are overseen by a subcommittee of stakeholders; ISA has been a full-voting member of this subcommittee for more than 45 years, since the 1978 NEC development cycle. Representatives Wes Wilkens (Watertown, SD) and Kenny Peskin (ISA) encouraged positive changes and discouraged bad proposals to the latest NEC updates. These actions help protect the interests of ISA member companies.

Learn more about what changes were on the table and what passed into the latest NEC in this short update by Kenny Peskin, ISA:


Electrical Codes Forum
ISA Sign Expo
April 11, 2024

Gain insights from a panel of ISA, UL and IAEI experts during this in-person education session.

Registration is now open at

Interested in latest updates with NEC Article 600 & UL 48?

ISA is looking for new representatives for 2024 ISA Electrical Codes & Standards Subcommittee. Email for more info.