A Guide to National Sign-Illumination Standards


  • Scientifically verifiable sign-illumination standards and how they impact both aesthetics and traffic safety 
  • A legal framework for "time, place, and manner" sign-illumination regulation post-Reed vs. Town of Gilbert
  • Key factors that local communities should be aware of when implementing sign-illumination restrictions  


Increasingly, municipalities across the United States are involved in regulating outdoor lighting at night and enacting codes to accomplish those goals. On-premise signs are often included in outdoor lighting regulations. This course introduces national sign-illumination standards, based on research conducted at the Larson Transportation Institute at Pennsylvania State University. These standards are the first of their kind.

The course will help you take the guesswork out of developing lighting regulations for signs. You'll learn about the fundamentals of the research process, legal and constitutional issues of sign-illumination regulation as they may relate to the First Amendment and the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed vs. Town of Gilbert,  and the practical aspects of sign-illumination standards implementation and enforcement.