Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus  |  LinkedIn  |  Print

Next Generation Luminaires™ Design Competition Recognizes Commercial LED Indoor Lighting Products


03/21/2013 12:00PM
The fifth annual Next Generation LuminairesTM (NGL) Solid-State Lighting Design Competition has recognized 28 commercial LED indoor lighting products for excellence. The winners were announced today at the LEDucation 7 lighting conference in New York.
 
The Best in Class winners included Juno Lighting Group, which was selected for its Trac-Master T254L Cylindra™ track-mounted accent luminaire, and Acuity Brands/Lithonia Lighting for its W Series LED stairwell luminaire.
 
In the “Recognized” category, Amerlux Global Lighting Solutions and Juno Lighting Group (three fixtures) earned praise for their track-mounted accent luminaires. Linear luminaires were also popular, with designs by Acuity Brands/Lithonia Lighting, Cooper Lighting, Cree LED Lighting, GE Lighting Solutions, and Acuity Brands/Peerless Lighting (two fixtures) all receiving recognition for their linear pendants.
 
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. The competition began evaluating indoor and outdoor products separately in 2012.
 
The 2013 NGL indoor winners show significant color improvement compared to previous years, and efficacies continue to climb – with this year’s winners averaging 75 lm/W, vs. 65 lm/W last year and 37 lm/W in 2008. While track-mounted accent luminaires and linear pendants each had a large number of recognized products, there were few successful entrants in categories that were previously well-stocked —especially downlights and grid ceiling luminaires.  Almost all of the entries offered dimming as an option, and although most products used familiar optical concepts and luminaire form factors, there were several interesting uses of fully shielded or edge-lighted optics, and new approaches to recessed installation.
 
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 evaluated by a panel drawn from the architectural lighting community and are judged on lighting quality (including color, illuminance, light distribution, and glare), appearance, serviceability, efficacy, value, and dimming. 
 
Behind the scenes, NGL reviews all product documentation, including photometry, power quality, and lumen maintenance projections. For the last several years, NGL requirements have become increasingly demanding, reflecting improvements in LED technology and product design – and the bar was raised even higher this year.  “Recognition by the NGL judges is not given lightly,” said DOE Solid-State Lighting Program Manager Jim Brodrick. “So winning speaks volumes about a product.”
 
A total of 156 products were proposed for submission to the 2013 NGL indoor competition. However, only 99 actually made it to the judging phase with market-ready samples and complete documentation (including luminaire and component specification sheets, LM-79 test reports, lumen maintenance projections, warranty statements, and marketing materials). These documents help make sure that actual performance matches what’s claimed, and this year, for the first time, they were submitted through DOE’s LED Lighting Facts® program, in order to reduce the entry effort and ensure consistency of data.
 
Using the facilities of Intelligent Lighting Creations in Arlington Heights, IL, all 99 products were judged over the course of two days in their characteristic installations, including varying mounting heights and ceiling conditions. The judges identified 28 products as Recognized, meaning that they were considered worthy of specification in the application for which they were designed. From the 28 recognized products, three were given the additional designation of Best in Class, meaning that they stood out significantly above the other recognized products in their category. Four additional products, which were not otherwise recognized, were designated by the judges as Notable for their ability to adjust color temperature in typical white-light applications.
 
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, NGL aims to increase market acceptance and awareness of LEDs for general-illumination lighting.