Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition

Judging Process

A total of 129 entries (255 individual products) arrived at the Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC) facility outside Chicago, IL for the March 1-2, 2012, judging event. ILC staff spent four weeks planning, designing, building, installing, and wiring products. A 70' x 60' drop ceiling grid was suspended from the theatrical truss with motors so the height of the ceiling could be adjusted. Each product was individually wired to a custommade, 96-circuit Crestron relay panel to allow each luminaire to be judged independently. With the click of a mouse button, specific luminaires or entire categories of products could be illuminated. The system allowed ultimate flexibility and control to further enhance the speed and accuracy of the judging process.

While the performance categories and evaluation criteria were generally similar, various applications demanded some differentiation. Thus, products were grouped by application and judged in these groups.

The panel of eight judges, drawn from across the architectural lighting community, evaluated the products by assessing their lighted performance and appearance, adjustment (where applicable), construction, and dimming capabilities. In order to take advantage of the panel's diverse experience, judges were initially asked to rate products individually, rather than push for consensus.

To assess serviceability and the replacement of LED modules and drivers, judges examined and deconstructed additional "tabletop" samples provided by the entrants. In many cases, judges tried to simulate how maintenance personnel would have to service the installed product.

At the end of the initial judging process, the entire judging panel reviewed the group scores and discussed each product. The first consideration was whether each judge would recommend the product for specification: the prerequisite for the "Recognized" winners. Fifty-three products were ultimately selected by the judging panel by this standard.

Among the Recognized products, the judges then considered whether any merited "Best in Class" selection. To be awarded Best in Class, products needed both to rate highly overall and to stand out from the rest of the group. The judges were not required to select a Best in Class winner in every category. Three products were selected Best in Class this year.

After the onsite judging event, NGL staff conducted additional focused reviews of submitted documentation. Particular attention was given to the LM-79 documentation to verify product performance. While it was not possible to verify life claims with certainty, supporting depreciation documentation was required and carefully reviewed. Only two winning products could not be recognized because of insufficient documentation, a considerable improvement from previous years.

A warehouse full of products (255 total including table top duplicates) was processed and installed for the judging event.
A 70' x 60' drop ceiling grid was suspended from the theatrical truss so the height of the ceiling could be adjusted to enhance the speed and accuracy of the judging process.
Avi Mor examines the adjustability of a track fixture to assist the judging panel in evaluating the product.
The lowered truss enables Melanie Taylor and Avi Mor to take a closer look at installation details.
Charles Thompson, Jeff Brown, and Melanie Taylor investigate the serviceability of the table top version of a downlight entry.
Judges Craig Bernecker and Leslie North evaluate the distribution and color rendering of an accent luminaire.

Indoor Judging Event – March 1-2, 2012
Intelligent Lighting Creations Facility
Arlington Heights, Ilinois


Indoor Competitions

Evaluation Highlights

Past Competitions