ISA Wins Exemption for Nighttime Usage of Electric Signs

The International Sign Association’s (ISA) advocacy work on behalf of its members has earned an important exemption for sign manufacturers and end-users. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the organization responsible for developing new standards for energy efficiency of new or substantially renovated commercial buildings, recently incorporated specific exemptions for electric signs in the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 Standard.

The new standard will be finalized and published later this year. Many municipalities adopt the ASHRAE standards as part of local building codes.

ISA submitted formal proposals for changes to the 90.1 Standard in 2012 and also presented detailed information on the technical and performance properties of electric signs during the ASHRAE Lighting Subcommittee and Standing Standard Project Committee (SSPC) meetings held in January and March. Based on these presentations, ASHRAE approved changes in relevant sections of the 2013 edition of the standard.

The ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Standard mandates a 30 percent reduction in the lighting power of signs operated during overnight hours. The revisions recently accepted by ASHRAE’s SSPC provide exceptions for lighting integral to signage, which is installed by the manufacturer. These exceptions encompass all electric signs equipped with lighting integral to the sign body regardless of light source. The exceptions do not apply to external illumination of signs by detached light fixtures.

“This is a tremendous win for the on-premise sign industry,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “By presenting a well-informed technical argument, ISA was able to persuade the ASHRAE committees of both the importance of illuminated signs to businesses as well as the unique properties affecting their operation.”

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