The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the American Lighting Association (ALA), and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) recently announced the winners of the eighth annual Lighting for Tomorrow competition. The Lighting for Tomorrow competition aims to increase market acceptance and awareness of energy-efficient lighting by recognizing the best-designed energy-efficient lighting products available to the residential market. Design competitions are a key part of DOE's national strategy to accelerate solid-state lighting (SSL) technology advances from the laboratory to the marketplace.

"Developing the next generation in energy-efficient lighting will help homeowners cut energy use and save money," says Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The winners of this competition will play an important role in commercializing the latest LED and solid-state lighting technologies, so that American families can have access to cost-effective, easy to use, highly efficient lighting in their homes."

DOE has worked with its partners to run the Lighting for Tomorrow competition since 2004. This year, the SSL competition was expanded beyond fixtures to include light-emitting diode (LED) replacement bulbs as well as lighting control devices that are compatible with such energy-efficient technologies as LED and fluorescent lighting. Fifty companies submitted a total of 107 products — 69 LED luminaires or fixtures, 24 LED replacement lamps or bulbs, and 14 lighting control devices — that were evaluated by a panel of judges representing a cross section of industry. The judges included lighting designers, builders, electrical contractors, energy efficiency practitioners, and technical experts.

Each lighting fixture and replacement lamp entry was evaluated based on color appearance, color rendering, appropriate measure of light intensity, efficiency, appearance, and style. Bonus points were earned for such merits as dark-sky friendliness, dimming features, sustainability features, and innovation. The lighting control entries were evaluated on functionality, value, ease of use and installation, innovation, ability to interface with other systems, and compatibility with existing fixtures. Additional bonus points in this category were available for energy savings potential, appearance, and sustainability.

Competition winners gain further visibility and recognition for their technologies and products as they are showcased at DOE and industry events. They also become eligible for promotion by energy-efficiency programs across the United States and Canada. For a list of winning entries, visit the Lighting for Tomorrow website.