In response to rapid technological advancements in solid-state lighting, Lighting for Tomorrow, an awards program organized by the American Lighting Association (ALA), the U.S. Department of Energy (represented by Pacific National Laboratory), and the Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE), has announced the creation of its SSL Competition, soliciting luminaire designs that use LEDs as their sole light source.

Encouraging and recognizing innovation, lighting quality, and energy efficiency in solid-state lighting technology, the competition is geared to facilitate learning about effective applications for LEDs.

'However, we want to make the point that LEDs are by no means ready to replace traditional light sources in general, but that they may offer design advantages with their small size and directional beam, long life, and energy savings in certain applications,' says said Kelly Gordon, program manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 'This year's competition is an opportunity to explore their use.'

The organization will accept working prototypes or production fixtures in three categories: kitchen under-cabinet and in-cabinet lighting; portable desk/task lights (excluding flashlights, headlamps, and camping lights); and outdoor lighting, including porch, step, and pathway lights, grid-connected or powered by photovoltaic cells. The registration deadline is April 1 and the submittal deadline September 15. Go to the online entry form.

Lighting for Tomorrow has also released submission guidelines for its CFL-based fixtures competition. The registration deadline is March 1 and the submittal deadline June 15.