Q: Who is eligible to participate?
A: The competition is open to all design professionals worldwide. Projects must have been completed within a two-year time frame of the competition year. (For example, for 2013 entries, projects must have been completed by July 2011.)

Q: How do I submit projects?
A: All entry materials must be contained in one large envelope per project, with the submitting firm and project name printed on the outside of the envelope. Include one B+W printout of all entry materials, as well as one set of color printouts of the digital images, only. Project image files should be put on CD or USB stick, along with an electronic copy of the PDF entry form. Any other supplemental text-based entry materials should also be provided in electronic copy format in addition to the B+W hardcopy.
Do not excessively package entries or bind, staple, tape, or clip materials.

Q: Where do I mail entries?
A: Entries should be mailed to:

Elizabeth Donoff, Editor
Architectural Lighting
AL Light & Architecture Design Awards
One Thomas Circle, N.W. Suite 600
Washington DC 20005

Note: AL is not responsible for lost, misdirected, or postage due mail. If you are mailing entries from outside the U.S. (including Canada) it is recommended that an expedited service, such as FedEx be used, so that materials arrive no later than two-days after the package is initially sent or in keeping with the posted deadlines, whichever is more immediate.

Q: What do I need to include in my entry?
A: Each submission must be accompanied by a printout of the online payment form. A Project Detail Form must also be contained in each project entry envelope. It should include:

(a) The project name, location and date of completion, lighting designer, architect, client/owner, photographer, and additional consultants;

(b) The main entry category, and whether the submission is also being submitted in any of the three Special Citation Awards (see Categories);

(c) Project name, project size in square feet, watts per square foot, relevant energy-code compliance, project cost, and lighting installation cost; and

(d) A written description (600 words max.) of the project brief that describes the project challenges and design solutions;

(e) Luminaire and lamp type including manufacturer list and applications (fixture schedules will not be accepted); and

(f) The digital images should be numbered and provide a brief directional description to clarify what is depicted. Submissions being submitted for any of the Special Citation Awards should also include:

(g) The Special Citation Award entry category;

(h) Project name;

(i) Explanation (300 words max.) of why the project excels in the particular Special Citation Award entry category (ies); and up to 6 additional images numbered and keyed to the 300-word description.

To maintain anonymity during the judging process, no names of entrants or collaborating parties may appear on any part of the submission except on the signed entry form and on the project envelope.

Q: What are the submission requirements for images?
A: Images must be in digital format and be sent in both a lo-res (72 dpi) and hi-res (300 dpi) set. Additional image submission requirements:

(a) one CD per project;
(b) JPG, TIF or EPS file format;
(c) lo-res set: 72 dpi; hi-res set: 300 dpi;
(d) approximately 8-inches by 10-inches.

For main entry categories, please include no fewer than 7 and no more than 12 images. Provide up to 6 additional images for each Special Citation Awards category. Label the image files using the project name and numbers that correspond to the image descriptions. Keep file name length to a minimum, approx. 12-15 characters. Example: ProjectName_01

Please avoid the use of fill light when photographing the project; if its use is unavoidable, identify which shots include fill light.

To maintain anonymity during the judging process, no names of entrants or collaborating parties may appear on any part of the submission except on the signed entry form and on the project envelope.

Q: What are the award program categories?
A: Identify each submission on its own Entry Form and on the Project Details Form as one of the following categories. (AL reserves the right to change the category of a submission.)

Interior Lighting
Exterior Lighting
Whole Building Projects
Exhibition Lighting

Projects will not be judged against each other, but rather as superior examples of a lighting design solution within their category. Each category may have more than one winner or no winner at all.

Appropriate submissions may also be submitted for any of the three Special Citation Awards. Projects must first be submitted in a general category in order to be submitted in a Special Citation category. If materials are not provided for the Special Citation Awards, or if they do not meet category requirements, projects will not be judged. These awards require the following additional information:

Best Use of Color: Entrants must include an explanation (no more than 300 words) clarifying the use of color in the project. Use of Color may be interpreted liberally; however, judges will be asked to consider the complexity of the design and the meaningful use of color to complement the design strategy.

Best Incorporation of Daylight: Entrants must include an explanation (no more than 300 words) clarifying how the project integrates daylighting with electric lighting. In addition, entrants must include ASHRAE 90.1 or LEED documentation indicating that daylighting provides persistent on-peak energy savings. If this documentation is not provided, the project will not be evaluated.

Best Lighting Design on a Budget: Entrants must include an explanation (no more than 300 words) clarifying why theirs is a budget project; in addition, they must include project construction costs, lighting materials costs, and lighting and electrical subcontractor costs (preferably on a per-square-foot basis). Judges understand costs are relative to project type; however, they reserve the right to determine whether it is truly a budget project.

Q: How are the projects reviewed/judged?
A: An independent panel of judges will award prizes to projects at their sole discretion, based on the complexity of the project program and the lighting solutions applied. Decisions of the judges are final. Judging takes place in June, and winning entrants will be notified shortly thereafter. Projects will appear in the July/Aug issue of AL.

Q: When are the winning projects published?
A: Winners of the AL Light & Architecture Design Awards agree to have their projects and names published in AL, on AL's website, and in any other AL editorial media, and must provide further information and publication-worthy graphic materials as needed by AL. Winners also agree to secure permission for publication from clients and photographers prior to entry. Photographer(s) will receive proper citation credit, but will not receive payment for images published as part of the editorial design awards coverage in both print and online.

Winners will be required to sign and return within a specified time a Publicity Release. Winners will also be required to sign a document stating that the entry is the original work of the winner and does not infringe on any proprietary right, including but not limited to copyright, trademark, and the rights of publicity and privacy of any party, and grants AL the right to use the entry in print and electronic medium.

Q: What are the entry fees required for payment to enter the AL Light & Architecture Design Awards?
A: Payment is made through the online registration system accessed via the website for the given year’s competition. Each submission must be accompanied by a printout of the online payment form. Fees are as follows: $140 for the first entry; $100 for each subsequent entry including entries in any of the Special Citation categories; and $35 for each individual late entry submission. Entry fees are not refundable and will not be returned for any reason.

Q: What is the deadline?
There is both a regular entry (postmark) and a late entry deadline. Deadlines are listed on the AL Light & Architecture Design Awards website for the given year’s competition.

Q: Will my entry be returned?
A: AL will ONLY return entries that provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with proper postage. AL shall not have liability for damaged or misplaced entries.