As LED luminaires become more prevalent in the marketplace, designers and manufacturers alike need ways to evaluate market-ready specification-grade product offerings. One such vehicle is the Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Design Competition. Launched in 2008, this program for commercial solid-state lighting fixtures is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Illuminating Engineering Society, and the International Association of Lighting Designers.

The recent class of winning luminaires was announced Feb. 23 at the Strategies in Light Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. This year's competition received 328 submissions; last year's total was 265. But, because of the NGL's strict documentation requirements, only 138 fixtures advanced to the judging stages. Fixtures that did not advance were either not market-ready or the manufacturer could not provide adequate documentation, such as LM-79 and LM-80 reports.

Sixty-one different manufacturers submitted the 138 products reviewed by the judges. From this group, 33 of the products were selected as Recognized winners, indicating that they are specification-worthy.

Four fixtures were chosen Best in Class, standing out both in terms of aesthetics and technical performance. These were the Lighting Quotient's Fraqtir, a linear concealed LED covelight; Philips Color Kinetics' eW Burst Powercore, a façade luminaire; Koncept Technologies' Equo LED desk lamp, a tasklight; and USAI's NanoLED, a recessed accent luminaire.

The NGL jury also created a new category this year, Notable, to recognize those fixtures that are not specification-ready, but have “at least one outstanding characteristic deserving of recognition,” according to a press release from Next Generation Luminaires. Manufacturers receiving this mention were Zumtobel, Philips Wide-Lite, Illumination Machines, Liton Lighting, and Landscape Forms.

Overall, 11 fixture categories were represented in this year's NGL competition: accent tracklighting, recessed accent lighting, wallwashing, wall grazing, recessed downlighting, decorative pendant lighting, decorative wall lighting, general illumination, industrial lighting, in-grade lighting, and street and area lighting

The NGL products are reviewed over a two-day period by a jury of 12 individuals representing a cross section of the lighting design, manufacturing, and research communities. This year's judges were Gabe Arnold, Mary Matteson Bryan, Nancy Clanton, David Ghatan, Glenn Heinmiller, Barbara Horton, Kevin Houser, David Malman, Avraham Mor, Randy Sabedra, Melanie Taylor, and Richard Wyton.

Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition For complete information and an overview of all the prize-winning fixtures, go to