We opened entries to our Illumineer and traditional product categories recently. As in the past, the Sapphire program will recognize both enabling technologies such as LEDs, drivers, and more; and end lighting products across a variety of applications. Entries submitted before August 4 qualify for an Early Bird discount, so take advantage of the slower pace in the industry over the summer to complete your entries.
A few notes about the entry process: First, make sure you upload any product collateral that might be helpful to the judges. Realize that photometric test reports go a long way toward helping judges verify performance claims made in press releases and datasheets.
And please do not underestimate the importance of a good essay about the entry. Essays can convey details on inspiration, perspiration, and realization relative to a product development that are rarely evident in press materials and spec sheets. Tell the judges about the underlying innovation and explain how it translates to applications.
Now let's consider the new parts of Sapphire 2018. We have added categories for innovative lighting projects and installations and identified six categories: connected lighting systems, façade or entertainment lighting, horticultural lighting, indoor architectural lighting, lighting for health and wellbeing, and outdoor street and area lighting.
Entries for the project categories will open soon, most likely before you read this column. We welcome lighting designers and specifiers, building owners, facility managers, and more to submit entries. Lighting manufacturers are welcome to submit entries for projects that utilize their products.
Also new for 2018, we will launch our Sapphire Rising Star awards. We are looking for professionals under the age of 35 from across the LED and lighting industry that are making a difference in the evolution of lighting technology.
For the Rising Star program, we are seeking people who are doing more than just great work in their primary job - although that day-job performance is important to us. But we are looking for young professionals who spend extra time serving in what you might consider extracurricular activities - working on industry standards, volunteering for humanitarian projects, advocating for regulatory policy, committing time to educational programs, and more. Consider nominating someone you know, and then we will ask selected nominees to submit details on their great work. We will celebrate the Rising Stars at the Sapphire Gala.
Meanwhile, we still celebrate our Sapphire 2017 winners. For this issue, we interviewed Scott Santoro, vice president of product development at Fluxwerx. The interview centers on the Fold luminaire that won a Sapphire this past February. Fold has a distinct optical design and does a great job of leveraging the uniqueness of LED light sources. And you might find some helpful hints for writing that essay for your entry.