Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition Recognizes 28 Commercial LED Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Products

The seventh annual Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Solid-State Lighting Design Competition has recognized 28 commercial LED indoor and outdoor lighting products for excellence.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Illuminating Engineering Society, and the International Association of Lighting Designers, NGL was launched in 2008 to encourage technical innovation and promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient LED luminaires for commercial, industrial and institutional applications.

In my view, this is one of the most significant programs supporting market development of LED lighting. It provides a specification-ready catalog of products vetted by designers across a broad range of strict criteria. This makes it easier for lighting professionals to find LED lighting products worthy of specification.

Reflecting the continuing development of LED lighting technology, there were marked improvements on multiple fronts in the 2015 NGL competition. For example, winning products beat NGL’s threshold efficacy by 10%-40% – all the more impressive because those threshold levels are raised each year, in keeping with data from LED Lighting Facts and the DesignLights Consortium.

Lumen maintenance scores – supported by LM80 and TM-21 data – indicate that most of the recognized luminaires have moved well beyond the nominal claims of L70 (70% of initial light output) at 50,000 hours – with more than 80% of the indoor winners showing lumen maintenance above L80 at 50,000 hours, and more than half of all outdoor entries showing L95 at 50,000 hours. Glare remains the lagging quality among LED luminaires in virtually all categories, although NGL-recognized products clearly outperformed unrecognized ones in this regard.

The 2015 NGL entries were evaluated by a panel of 18 judges drawn from the architectural lighting community and were scored on color, illuminance, glare control, light distribution, serviceability, value, dimming control and appearance – with lumen maintenance and luminous efficacy ratings based on LM79, LM80, and TM21 data submitted to DOE’s LED Lighting Facts program by the manufacturers. Submissions making it to the judging phase included market-ready samples and complete documentation (including luminaire and component specification sheets, LM-79 test reports, lumen maintenance projections, warranty statements, and marketing materials). These documents, most of them submitted through LED Lighting Facts, help make sure actual performance matches what’s claimed.

The 2015 Indoor and Outdoor competitions recognized a total of 28 luminaires, highlighting 12 as Outstanding in one or more evaluation categories. Unlike past NGL competitions, the judges did not designate any winners Best in Class, instead identifying those luminaires considered “outstanding” according to one or more key criteria, regardless of the product category. This produced a slightly larger, and perhaps even more useful, group of winners at the highest level.

In the Indoor competition, 20 luminaires were recognized, with nine of these singled out as outstanding. In the outdoor competition, eight luminaires were recognized, with three of these singled out as outstanding.

The Outstanding winners in the Indoor competition came from seven manufacturers and covered four categories:

* Selux Corporation received Outstanding for Dimming for its Kju decorative pendant luminaire and Outstanding for Serviceability for its M36 LED My White color-tuning luminaire.
* Finelite, Inc., received Outstanding for Serviceability for its HPR-LED 2×2 color-tuning luminaire, and Outstanding for User Interface for its FineTune™ System color-tuning luminaire.
* USAI Lighting received Outstanding for Dimming for its Max Output Warm Glow Dimming color-tuning luminaire.
* Juno Lighting Group received Outstanding for Dimming for its Indy L-Series LED Cylinder decorative pendant luminaire.
* Amerlux received Outstanding for Efficacy for its Murro LED Wall Wash luminaire.
* Intense Lighting received Outstanding for Efficacy for its Gravity Cylinder decorative pendant luminaire.
* Louis Poulsen received Outstanding for Serviceability for its LP Circle Pendant decorative pendant luminaire.

Kju decorative pendant luminaire by Selux.

Kju decorative pendant luminaire by Selux.

In the Recognized category for Indoor lighting, LumenWerx, Finelite, Inc., and Amerlux earned praise for their linear pendant luminaires, and USAI Lighting received recognition for its decorative pendant luminaire. Philips Day-Brite and Digital Lumens were recognized for their high-bay industrial luminaires, with amerlux receiving recognition for its wall-washing luminaire. Philips Ledalite and LumenWerx earned praise for their recessed troffers, with Juno Lighting Group and Gotham by Acuity Brands Lighting recognized for their recessed downlights.

Click here to learn more about all of this year’s winners in the INDOOR category.

The Outstanding winners in the Outdoor competition came from three manufacturers and covered three categories:

* Selux Corporation received Outstanding for Versatility for its Olivio LED Sistema 2 LED pole-mounted pedestrian-scale luminaire.
* Landscape Forms, Inc. received Outstanding for Form Factor for its MultipliCITY LED Pathlight bollard.
* Cree received Outstanding for Innovation for its IG Series parking garage luminaires.

MultipliCITY LED Pathlight bollard by Landscape Forms, Inc.

MultipliCITY LED Pathlight bollard by Landscape Forms, Inc.

In the Recognized category for Outdoor lighting, Hubbell Lighting and Landscape Forms, Inc., earned praise for their pole-mounted pedestrian-scale luminaires; Philips Lumec and LED Roadway Lighting received recognition for their collector roadway luminaires; and Hubbell Lighting was recognized for its parking lot luminaire.

Click here to learn more about all of this year’s winners in the OUTDOOR category.

GE Announces Winners of 32nd Annual Edison Awards

The 2014 GE Edison Award was presented to Claudio Ramos, Hiram Banks, Erin Sudderth and Matt Landl of BANKS|RAMOS Architectural Lighting Design for lighting Square Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The project also received an Award for Environmental Design, reflecting exemplary energy efficiency and environmentally sensitive design.

The new headquarters for Square Inc., a mobile payments startup company, is designed to be open and collaborative. With 175,000 sq.ft. of useable space that spans the length of an entire city block, the design team’s challenge was to make the space feel hospitable while accommodating future growth and expansion. The goal was to create an office interior that echoes the company’s values of modern and functional design. Lighting plays an important role in establishing way-finding, defining “communities” within the space, and providing the feeling of daylight throughout the floor plate.


By using a variety of high-performance fluorescent and LED solutions, BANKS|RAMOS was able to reduce lamp quantity and energy usage. General lighting throughout the open-office area and team rooms is provided by GE 21W and 28W T5 fluorescent lamps. Custom linear suspended pendants with dimmable LEDs create an elegant cadence down the main building corridor, and continue through floating wood ceiling slats which also conceal GE 7W LED MR16 lamps that illuminate art and signage. An upper level dining area, commercial kitchen and servery are illuminated with 12-ft. dimmable T5 fluorescent pendants and continuous LED track lighting, again detailed within a floating wood ceiling.

Daylight harvesting reduces electric lighting consumption to 65% in open office areas during bright daylight hours. The lighting power density is 0.64W/sq.ft., 29% below ASHRAE 90.1 throughout the entire project to ensure LEED Gold certification.


A panel of five judges selected this year’s winning entry for its superiority in the following categories: functional excellence; architectural compatibility; effective use of state-of-the-art lighting products and techniques; appropriate color, form and texture revelation; energy effectiveness; and cost effectiveness.

Judges for the 32nd annual competition were:

* Gilberto Franco, IALD, AsBAI, MIES, Franco Associados Lighting Design, Sao Paulo, Brazil
* Jeff Kinstler, MIES, GE Lighting Specification Engineer – East, New York, NY USA
* Sean O’Connor, IALD, MIES, Sean O’Connor Lighting, Los Angeles, CA USA
* Robert Shook, FIALD, LC, Schuler Shook Lighting Designers, Chicago, IL USA

The winning project was one of three Awards of Excellence finalists. The other Awards of Excellence winners were:

* LWL-Museum of Art and Culture in Muenster (Munster, Germany) designed by Andreas Schulz, Martina Weiss and Laura Sudbrock, Licht Kunst Licht AG (Bonn, Germany). Acknowledgements: Staab Architekten GmbH (Berlin, Germany); Exhibition designer SPACE4 GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany) along with LDE Belzner Holmes (Stuttgart, Germany).

* St. Louis Art Museum East Building (St. Louis, Missouri, USA) designed by Andy Sedgewick, Andrew McNeil and Chris Rush, Arup (London, UK/San Francisco, CA/New York, NY). Acknowledgements: Sir David Chipperfield, Franz Borho, Julie Bauer and Silke Hoss, David Chipperfield Architects (London, UK); Roger McFarland, Eric Hoffman, and Nicole Crabiel, HOK (St. Louis, MO, USA); and Steve Andert, William Tao & Associates (St. Louis, MO, USA).

Also presented at the GE Edison Awards ceremony were five Awards of Merit, one Special Citation for Creative Lighting Effects.

Click here to see all the winners of the 2014 GE Edison Awards. Congratulations to all the winners!

LIGHTFAIR 2015 Innovation Awards

Amazing collection of new products from this year’s LIGHTFAIR exhibitors, right here.

Most Innovative Product of the Year: OSRAM SYLVANIA’s OmniPoint. I had the opportunity to see this product before the show, and it blew my mind. Check it out here.


Technical Innovation Award: OSRAM’s OSLON LED. Provides precise spectrum for plants and flowers. This is an interesting capability of LED lighting. Check it out here.


Design Excellence Award: Architectural Area Lighting’s KicK. Excellent design. Check it out here.


Product Monday: LightWell by Arborlight

Arborlight’s LightWell is a WiFi-enabled commercial grade 4×4 LED luminaire with the appearance of a traditional skylight, emulating daylight conditions–autonomously adjusting color, intensity and directionality throughout the day to match outdoor illumination. It’s a great concept.

Click here to learn more.



Jim Brockrick on LIGHTFAIR 2015

Republication of Postings from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program

by Jim Brodrick, SSL Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

A big thanks to all of you who stopped by DOE’s booth at LIGHTFAIR® International last week. DOE’s solid-state lighting team was at the show in full force, speaking in sessions on the LIGHTFAIR conference agenda, giving short educational talks in our booth, and walking the floor when we had the time, to get a sense of what’s new and what’s coming next.

One thing was impossible to miss: the widespread emphasis on controllability, connectivity, and “intelligent” lighting. One of the hits of the show was an LED downlight that demonstrated new levels of control over light levels, beam shape, and beam direction, and the ability to spotlight multiple different areas simultaneously, all intuitively controlled via iPad. We saw displays of lighting for intelligent offices, intelligent warehouses, and intelligent parking garages. There were large numbers of SSL products that had the capability to add integrated sensors and controls, and it was evident that control companies are working with luminaire manufacturers to get their packages built in, or at least included as an option — that is, where the controls aren’t being developed in-house. This is clearly a direction in which the industry is headed, but with so many different control solutions available, users are bound to be challenged by the myriad choices.

The overall quality of the SSL products on display continues to improve. One area in which this was especially evident was color, which received much more emphasis this year than in the past. Whereas not long ago there were concerns from manufacturers that raising the CRI of SSL products would make pricing prohibitive, we saw many high-efficacy lamps and luminaires at LIGHTFAIR that boasted CRIs >90, including some purportedly at quite competitive prices. There were also a lot more color-tunable LED products than ever before, as well as an increase in claims related to light exposure and human health and productivity.

Walking the LIGHTFAIR aisles this year, we saw lots of signs that manufacturers are listening carefully to users and making the necessary refinements in their products. For example, there were LED downlights that featured narrow beam angles and emitted 8,000-plus lumens, and that were suitable for high-ceiling applications. We also saw no shortage of LED retrofit products — including quite a few LED versions of clear classic filament lamps. One LED product we saw featured a second driver — which, it was explained, kicks in if the first driver fails, thus doubling the expected driver life. There were fewer OLED products than there were last year, but those on display were brighter, larger, and more uniform than in past years. We also saw an interesting hybrid that consisted of an OLED pendant with LEDs for uplight.

While there were plenty of LED lighting products on display at LIGHTFAIR that had adopted conventional form factors, there was a noticeable increase in the number of products with innovative form factors that leverage LED design flexibility — such as suspended rings and other geometric designs, and illuminated-surface sconces. It was good to see that there’s a growing awareness of the LED flicker problem, and that manufacturers appear to be getting a grasp on most of the other major performance issues. The exception — based on comments we heard from many designers and others — was concerns about streetlight glare.

LIGHTFAIR showcases lighting’s cutting edge, which is solid-state and getting sharper every year. But as prevalent as LED products were at this year’s show, there’s still tremendous headroom for SSL technology development and improvement. In some ways, the industry has barely scratched the surface of future lighting, which we expect will be significantly more efficient and better controlled than even the latest offerings. That’s why we’re already looking forward to next year’s show.

Certified Lighting Designer Certification Launches

CLDApplications are now being accepted for an international evidence-based certification in architectural lighting design, the Certified Lighting Designer (CLD).

The certification process, governed by the Certified Lighting Design Commission, is designed to assess an individual’s ability to operate as a lead architectural lighting designer in a professional and proficient manner.

The certification was developed in accordance with the best practices of the credentialing industry, under the guidance of a psychometric professional. The multistep, multiyear effort involved an in-depth job task analysis, global surveys and pilot studies to confirm that the certification standards and application process effectively measure proficiency in architectural lighting design.

To apply for the CLD, candidates need a minimum of three years of experience working as a lead lighting designer. They must be able to demonstrate proficiency in up to seven areas, known as domains of practice: goals and outcomes, collaboration, ingenuity, synthesis, science, stewardship and human experience. Candidates will be assessed on written responses to application questions, along with a range of exhibits that support their responses. No tests or specific training are required, nor is membership in any lighting design association.

Applications will be evaluated by multiple reviewers who are experienced and respected within the architectural lighting design profession. Lighting designers who earn the CLD will be required to re-certify every five years to maintain the certification.

Click here
to learn more.

President Signs New Energy Efficiency Legislation

On April 30, 2015, President Obama signed S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, which specifies various Federal actions to increase energy and water efficiency in commercial buildings and adjusts a Department of Energy efficiency standard for grid-enabled residential water heaters.

Of particular interest are two provisions that:

* promote commercial building energy-use benchmarking and disclosure
* create a voluntary Tenant Star program to promote rental property energy efficiency

These are modest measures with modest impacts on energy use, but it’s nice to know Congress can get together on something, particularly something as important as energy efficiency, an area a majority of Americans agree is important.

President Obama signs the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. Image courtesy of the Alliance to Save Energy

President Obama signs the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. Image courtesy of the Alliance to Save Energy


Lots of interesting news out of LIGHTFAIR this year, which I’ll posting over the next two weeks. Lots of good stuff coming.

My own impressions: LED products continue to mature, color tuning is hot, connectivity is hot, and innovators are otherwise beginning to explore the unique characteristics of the LED source.

My only complaint is as the show gets bigger, it gets even harder to visit as many booths as I’d like. I’d suggest adding another day to the trade show if my feet could handle it.

For now, here’s a video put out by LIGHTFAIR, which provides a snapshot of highlights of the trade show and conference program.

I’m certainly looking forward to next year’s show in San Diego.

Product Monday: OmniPoint by OSRAM SYLVANIA

This week, I’m pleased to present a terrific new solution that explores the potential of LED technology. OSRAM’s OmniPoint is a wireless, array-based LED lighting solution that provides extremely flexible light placement and intensity options. The product won Most Innovative Product of the Year at the LIGHTFAIR Innovation Awards as well as best of category in LED downlights.

The luminaire consists of an array of independently controllable LEDs that can switch ON/OFF and dim in coordination with the others in any combination, and produce ambient and spot lighting from a single light package at the same time.

With OmniPoint, the light output and placement are quickly reconfigurable via a wireless device and Android or iOS app. As a result, the user has the ability to quickly adjust the effective beam direction and angle, beam shape and distribution at the touch of a finger, rather than requiring a ladder and the extensive time needed to manually adjust various light sources.

Light emerges from a small common focal point, with an aperture about the size of a 5-in. downlight, creating sharp shadows with no multiple shadowing effects. The resulting beam direction is manipulated electronically without mechanical moving parts for silent and reliable operation.

With OminiPoint, lighting designers can create circular and elliptical highlights easily, move them anywhere, and see the results instantly. They can produce ambient and accent illumination from the same array of diminutive downlights for a minimalist design. They can easily tune their design, while owners and operators can change the lighting as needed for new displays, etc.

Click here to read an informative blog post by one of the creators of OmniPoint, which explains the thinking behind the design.



OmniPoint Photo 2_300dpi

OmniPoint App Close Up_300dpi

2015 IES Progress Report Open for Submissions

IESProgressSeal2015-thumbThe Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) has announced a call for submissions for the 2015 IES Progress Report.

This program offers organizations in lighting an opportunity to present important new products, research, publications and design tools. All lighting products must be introduced commercially and all research, publications and design tools must be completed between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015.

Submissions are open through June 19, 2015. There is a $50 processing fee for each submission through May 24; $75 thereafter. Submissions will be reviewed by the IES Progress Committee.

Accepted submittals will be presented live at the 2015 IES Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN, November 8 – 10. The acceptances will also be published in LD+A magazine, presented at IES Section meetings and posted throughout the year on the IES website. The 2015 Progress Report Selection seal can be used in marketing efforts only by those receiving a notice of acceptance.

Click here to learn more and enter a submission.