The judges evaluated white light, general illumination products available for specification in the commercial market.
The panel initially selected 53 products from the 114 reviewed as "Recognized," meaning the panel would recommend these 53 products to other specifiers. These recognized products cover 15 categories: cove lighting, decorative lighting, recessed downlighting, pendant lighting, linear lighting, linear pendant lighting, recessed linear lighting, recessed accent lighting, recessed modular lighting, recessed wall washing, task lighting, accent track lighting, surface-mounted lighting, high-bay industrial lighting, and utility lighting.
From all the Recognized, market-ready products, the judges were asked – at their discretion – to identify any that they considered "Best in Class." To attain this level, a product had to both stand out from the others and be evaluated at the top of a majority of evaluation categories. Thus, products named Best in Class had to be more than just the highest ranked of the group.
The 2012 Best in Class winners came from three different manufacturers and covered three areas of lighting: Intense Lighting was selected for its MBW2 LED Track accent lighting fixture, Albeo Technologies Inc. for its H-Series LED high-bay luminaire, and Lithonia Lighting for its ST Series LED utility/general purpose luminaire.