Next Generation Luminaires competition recognizes LED indoor products

May 11, 2012
Intense Lighting, Albeo Technologies and Lithonia Lighting were awarded Best in Class designation in the NGL competition.
MBW2 LED from Intense Lighting Fifty-three commercial LED indoor lighting products have been recognized for excellence by the fourth annual Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Solid-State Lighting (SSL) design competition.

The competition began evaluating indoor and outdoor products separately in 2012, and the outdoor results will be announced later this year.

The 114 indoor products that were judged represented 43 different manufacturers. Of those products, 53 were chosen as “recognized” winners, meaning that they were considered worthy of specification.

From the 53 recognized products, three were given the additional designation of Best in Class, meaning that they stood out significantly above the other products in their category that were recognized as specifiable.

H-Series from Albeo Technologies The Best in Class winners were:
  • Intense Lighting for its MBW2 LED Track accent lighting fixture
  • Albeo Technologies for its H-Series LED high-bay luminaire
  • Lithonia Lighting for its ST Series LED utility/general purpose luminaire.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers, NGL was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient LED luminaires for general illumination in commercial lighting applications.

STSeries from Lithonia Compared to previous years, the 2012 NGL indoor results show a marked improvement in luminaires for general commercial applications – in particular, recessed modulars (i.e., troffers) and linear pendants, which generally demonstrated higher efficacy than fluorescents, with comparable lighting quality. Less-dramatic improvement was seen this year in categories such as downlighting, wall washing, and accent lighting, which were already strong in previous years of the competition. Overall, initial cost remains an issue, as the judges frequently noted.

The idea behind NGL is to make it easier for lighting designers and specifiers to find LED lighting products that are worthy of specification. This means recognized products have to measure up on many fronts. NGL entries are judged on lighting quality (including color, illuminance, light distribution, and glare), appearance, serviceability, efficacy, value, dimming, and rated lifetime – and the bar was raised even higher this year, to reflect improvements in the technology. “This is not just a one-dimensional contest,” said DOE Solid-State Lighting Program Manager Jim Brodrick. “Beauty alone won’t cut it – the winners have to really ‘walk the walk.’”

A total of 187 products were proposed for submission to the 2012 NGL indoor competition. But because of the stringent documentation requirements – which were even stricter than they were last year – only 114 actually made it to the judging phase.

The rest were rejected either because they weren’t ready for market or because their manufacturers couldn’t supply the required documentation, which covered such things as LM-79 test reports and LM-80 life claim documentation. These performance documents helped ensure that actual performance matched what was claimed.

The 114 products that were judged represented 43 different manufacturers. Of those products, 53 were chosen as “recognized” winners, meaning that they were considered worthy of specification. 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.

Recognized winners

In the “Recognized” category, Amerlux Global Lighting Solutions, Juno Lighting Group, Intense Lighting, Cooper Lighting, and Focal Point earned praise for their recessed accent lighting. Intense Lighting, Amerlux Global Lighting Solutions, and Philips Lightolier were recognized for accent track lighting. In recessed wall washing, USAI Lighting (two fixtures) and Amerlux Global Lighting Solutions were commended. Two cove lighting fixtures were recognized: one from The Lighting Quotient and one from Lumenpulse.

In the decorative lighting category, Pure Edge Lighting, Architectural Lighting Works, and Eureka Lighting (three fixtures) were recognized, while Juno Lighting Group was recognized for its linear lighting fixture. High-bay industrial lighting had two winners: Digital Lumens and Lithonia Lighting.

Recessed downlights were popular, with designs by Cooper Lighting, USAI Lighting (two fixtures), Juno Lighting Group (two fixtures), and Amerlux Global Lighting Solutions (two fixtures) all receiving recognition. Recessed modular (i.e., troffer) lighting was also popular, with Cree Inc., Finelite Inc., OSRAM Sylvania, Galaxia Electronics Co. Ltd., and Lithonia Lighting (four fixtures) being recognized.

Three task lights were recognized: one by Humanscale, another by Prism Co. Ltd., and a third by Koncept Technologies Inc. In the linear pendant lighting category, Selux Corporation, Corelight-Cooper Lighting, Axis Lighting, and GE Lighting Solutions each received recognition. Three companies – Lumenpulse, MarulaLED, and Eureka Lighting – were recognized for their pendant lighting fixtures.

Rounding out the recognized products were a recessed linear lighting fixture by Selux Corporation, a surface-mounted lighting fixture by Lighting Science Group, and a utility lighting fixture by On-Q Lighting Systems.

Awards were presented at LIGHTFAIR International in Las Vegas on May 10, 2012. The Next Generation Luminaires competition was created to recognize and promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient LED commercial lighting luminaires. By encouraging new designs and technologies, Next Generation Luminaires aims to increase market acceptance and awareness of LEDs for general illumination lighting.

Judging Panel

Jeffrey L. Brown , IALD, IESNA
founder and principal of Colorlume Inc.

Leslie M. North, PE, LC, LEED AP
founding principal of Aurora Lighting Design, Inc.

Liesel Whitney-Schulte , LC
lighting program manager at the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation

Richard Wyton, IES, AEE
corporate lighting consultant for Steiner Electric

Judging Panel/Steering Committee

Craig Bernecker, PhD, FIESNA, LC
founder of The Lighting Education Institute

Avraham Mendall Mor, IALD, IES, LEED AP
partner with Lightswitch Architectural, an architectural lighting and media design firm

Melanie Taylor, IALD, LEED AP
lead designer at Lighting Design Studio for the WSP Flack + Kurtz Seattle Office

Charles Thompson , FAIA, LC, IALD, IESNA, LEED AP
founder of ARCHILLUME

Steering Committee

Dan Blitzer, LC
principal of The Practical Lighting Workshop LLC

Nancy E. Clanton, PE, IALD, FIES, LC, LEED AP
founder and president of Clanton & Associates, a lighting design firm

Barbara Cianci Horton, LC, IALD, IESNA
president and CEO of HLB Lighting Design, Inc.

Mary Matteson Bryan, PE, CEM
independent consultant

Ruth Taylor, PNNL, IES
program manager, DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory