The American Lighting Assn.  and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency  are now accepting entries for this year’s Lighting for Tomorrow  competition. Like last year, the 2011 contest will include lighting control devices and solid-state lighting.
Eileen Eaton, CEE Program Manager, says there are three broad categories for the residentially focused competition – LED fixtures, LED replacement lamps and lighting controls – which was a departure from previous years.
“When the competition first started in 2002, CEE along with ALA and the Department of Energy  all saw the same market barrier in terms of getting efficient lighting into the market,” Eaton says. “At that time, there were no decorative efficient fixtures, so we had a design competition, and it’s been extremely successful. But in order to stay relevant, we really had to evolve.”
In 2006, the competition changed to include LED technology for the first time, and as that category became more mature, the organizers increased the number of eligible applications. In addition, organizers raised the bar further for fluorescent manufacturers by adding a fluorescent dimming requirement in 2009. Last year, the competition was opened up to lighting controls, which Eaton says developed some nice momentum that she hopes will continue.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of the cutting-edge LED folks, but now it also seems like more traditional manufacturers are getting into the game,” Eaton says.
Judges will evaluate the entries using the new Energy Star  LED specifications finalized last year, as well as the Energy Star luminaire specifications, which are in the final stages of approval. Eaton says there was only one winner in the LED replacement lamp category last year because judges were very strict on light distribution, so she hopes to see that improve this year.
The deadline for entries is April 15, and winners will be announced during this year’s ALA Conference , Sept. 11-13, in Palm Beach, FL.