What is the UL label? Electrical signage is covered by Underwriters Laboratories Section 48 and a UL label is applied, called a UL48 label, to certify that it was made and tested in a UL registered facility and that it conforms to all UL48 standards. Each label has a unique identification number.
Where is it applied? The label is applied on or next to a Manufacturer Data Plate label that contains the manufacturer name, address and electrical specifications, along with the listing of indoor or outdoor signage. This is normally on the cabinet by the cutoff switch or where primary power enters the cabinet.
Who can apply the label? UL48 labels can only be applied by the manufacturer of the signage, in their registered facility, after the sign has been assembled and tested. UL48 labels cannot be applied in the field by anyone, including the original manufacturer and the labels may not be shipped to be applied later, they must be applied in the registered facility. Additionally, a SignResource UL label cannot be applied by another UL registered manufacturer, not even in their own registered facility.
What can we put our UL48 Label on? We can only apply our UL48 label to a completely assembled sign, they can never be applied to faces or retrofits, as it is not ever allowed by UL.
What is a completely assembled sign? It is only a fully enclosed sign, front and back, with all the electrical components installed inside. In common terms, there is no opening large enough to stick a finger into on any part of the sign.
Are Channel Letters or Red Bar completely assembled signs? Completely enclosed components that are wired together or connected to each other in the field will have a UL48 Sectional Sign Label, which follows all the same requirements as the standard label, but each piece of the final assembly bears its own label, stating “Section X of X“ so the total number of parts in the kit is identified. Each piece must still follow the UL48 standards.
What cannot receive a UL label? Cabinets without faces, faces without cabinets, anything with exposed AC wiring, signs without electrical connections or electrical data plates.
What if the order is plain faces (non-LED) without any changes to the cabinet? Generally speaking, face replacements only, that do not have LED price displays or lighting retrofits, fall under maintenance or repair and do not alter the original listing of the sign cabinet. This is allowed by most municipalities. However, no new UL label can be applied, nor can the new faces have a UL label.
What if we ship an empty cabinet with faces, but ship an LED retrofit kit separately, can the UL48 Label be applied? No, the retrofit kit must be installed before the label may be applied in our plant.
What about LED price displays? If it is for an Able or Daktronics LED price sign, the individual displays are marked with a UL879A Retrofit label, but nothing is visible from the outside. They may be added to an existing UL48 labeled sign, but no new UL48 label can be applied. Some LED display manufacturers do not have this listing.
What about LED retrofit lighting kits? UL listed or recognized components are used, but they have only file numbers, not UL labels with a unique number. No new UL48 label can be applied.
What if the inspector wants a new UL label on a sign we put a retrofit kit into? The only way we can put a new UL label on a sign, is to return the sign to our shop and have it completely assembled there, have a UL label applied in our listed plant and reship it to the site.
What is a UL Field Inspection? That is where a UL representative will inspect a sign after installation and apply a UL Field Certification Label. Unfortunately, this costs thousands of dollars, as they charge for time, travel, inspection, equipment and labor. It is not covered under warranty.
What if we forgot to apply a UL label to our sign? The product must be returned to the plant and labeled there or a new replacement sign sent with a label applied.
What if the customer installed the signage without a UL label? Per NEC, no electrical signage can be installed that does not bear a UL48 label and the installer or customer will need to uninstall the signage at their expense. The original installation and removal are not warrantable expenses.
What if the customer orders retrofit faces and afterwards the local inspector refuses to allow them? The customer should always be advised of the potential issue with local inspectors on retrofits and we always need to offer a complete sign as an option. Some municipalities are very strict and effectively prevent all retrofits, thus requiring new cabinets every time. We are not responsible for customers that choose retrofit instead of replacing the entire sign. The best option is to return all of the product to our plant for assembly into a new cabinet.