Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition

Judging Process

The 2014 NGL indoor entries were evaluated by a panel of 10 judges drawn from the architectural lighting community and were scored on color, illuminance, glare control, light distribution, serviceability, value, 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.

Click to view or download a behind-the-scenes tour of the 2014 NGL judging process:

2013 NGL_Indoor_2014.wmv, 20 MB

A total of 266 submittals were received. Of these, 153 entries made it to the judging phase with market-ready samples and complete documentation and were installed at Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC) outside Chicago, IL, where they were judged over a three-day period, from August 4-7, 2014. Using a motorized 4500-square-foot ceiling to adjust mounting heights, ILC installed the entries in typical conditions, providing each luminaire with individual on/off control.

Judging proceeded in an intensive three-step process that combined the judges’ personal evaluations with objective measures of luminaire performance. The judges reviewed all entries in each category before selecting - by consensus - those considered Recognized. During these deliberations, products deemed unacceptable in any category were dropped, along with those considered generally inferior to either the average entry or to entries from prior years. From the Recognized products, the judges then identified products considered Best in Class. Luminaires deserving of special recognition for superior efficacy were identified by their LM79 data and filtered for other attributes, most importantly glare control.


The 2014 Indoor NGL saw the largest number of entries and Recognized winners in the competition's six-year history. Of the 153 judged entries, 57 were designated as Recognized. Reflecting the continuing improvements in LED technology, there was a marked increase in efficacy, with more than half of the Recognized products achieving efficacies at least 20% above the DesignLights Consortium® minimum, and 10 products exceeding 100 lm/W. While there was a notable improvement in glare control as well as generally high ratings for color, illuminance, and light distribution, serviceability remained a serious concern for the judges. The largest number of entries came in the recessed troffer, pendant, and high-ceiling categories, and there was an increase in the number of decorative entries. Although most of the entries offered dimming as an option, constraints on time, facilities, and equipment limited the judges’ evaluation of dimming performance.

2013 Indoor judging photos

Indoor Judging Event – August 4-7, 2014
Chicago, Ilinois


Indoor Competitions

Evaluation Highlights

Past Competitions