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Fairest Lights of All Outshine Competition

Next Generation Luminaries Design Competition awards 17 manufacturers at 2015 LIGHTFAIR

May 2015

Since the development of highly efficient light emitting diode technology, commonly known as LEDs, an overwhelming number of LED lighting products have found their way into the marketplace. However, consumers cannot always differentiate between high-quality LED lighting products and inferior ones.

The winners of the seventh annual Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Design Competitions were announced on May 5, 2015 at the 2015 LIGHTFAIR Conference, North America's largest annual architectural and commercial trade lighting show. The NGL Design Competition works to make it easier for consumers, lighting designers, and specifiers to identify and adopt quality, high-performance lighting products that achieve significant energy savings while maintaining or improving lighting quality.

The Competition focused on recognizing manufacturers who had particular strengths in controllability and serviceability. However, overall points of interest to the judges covered eight key criteria including, appearance, color, dimming control, glare control, illuminance, light distribution, serviceability, and value. These criteria judged both visually and quantitatively. The 2015 NGL Design Competition recognized a total of 28 luminaires from 17 manufactures in both the Indoor and Outdoor Competitions, and highlighted 12 as being outstanding in one or more evaluation categories.

Here Comes the Judge

Judges were instructed to consider how each luminaire compared in the controllability and serviceability categories. When inspecting each applicant’s table top sample, judges looked for clear labels, fewer fasteners, and ease of access. These traits were preferred by the judges because the easier a luminaire is to access, install, and replace, the greater likelihood it will be adopted by building owners and managers.

Each judge individually evaluated each submission in typical applications to observe lighted performance, take measurements, and inspect each luminaire. After each submission was evaluated, the judges collaboratively discussed each application's strengths and weaknesses. In general, the judges found this year's submissions to have increased efficacy compared to previous years, and they showed overall improvements in serviceability.

The competition began in 2008, and subsequently split into two separate competitions (the NGL Indoor Design Competition and the NGL Outdoor Design Competition) in 2012 to accommodate the increased number of luminaire submissions. The NGL Design Competition is jointly organized by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the International Association of Lighting Designers, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Solid State Lighting Program, represented by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

PNNL Research Team: Naomi Miller, Michael Poplawski, Terry Shoemaker, and Ruth Taylor


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