Spring is bursting with conferences, expos, and award programs that showcase the latest in product design and development from lighting manufacturers of all sizes. Among the leading competitions is the IF Product Design Awards, hosted by the Hannover, Germany-based IF International Forum Design. Reviewed by an international jury, the program spotlights a global roster of products and designers with its Gold Award granted to the most innovative designs.

This year, more than 3,200 products were submitted to the program with 1,218 selected as general winners across 17 categories, including lighting, transportation design, and materials. Of that group, 82 were chosen from the lighting category, which was judged by a jury of Finnish designer Harri Koskinen; Lars Lyse Hansen, CEO of Danish furniture maker Bolia.com; and Oscar Peña, Philips’ global senior creative director. The trio awarded four luminaires with the Gold award, joining 46 products from other categories with that designation. To be eligible, products must have either been on the market for three or fewer years or have plans to be produced this year.

Learn more about each Gold winner from the lighting category below:


Designed by 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban for FontanaArte, Yumi’s frame comprises a composite material encased in carbon fiber that accomplishes a minimalist form and dramatic curve to emulate its namesake, a Japanese word for the term “to bow.” The luminaire’s diffuse, downward glow is achieved through 170 LEDs embedded in its frame. The combination of form and function, the jury wrote, results in “a product that is very well executed, uncomplicated, and elegant.”

Tobias Grau

German designer Tobias Grau and the team at his eponymous lighting design studio received accolades for their Nice suspension lamp and Trace tracklighting system. Trace can accommodate a variety of the company’s spot and pendant fixtures. Its rails can be mounted to or suspended from the ceiling and ballasts are concealed within the rails. Among the pendants that can be used with Trace is the 120V Nice series, which is offered in chrome, copper, and black finishes with a color-matching cable. The pendant measures 1.57” at its widest point and it can be suspended up to 78.74”.


Philips’ Metronomis LED streetlighting system received the IF Gold Award for its ability to add a play of light and shadow to outdoor urban environments. The luminaire’s diffuse warm white and neutral white light can be projected onto the ground in four design effects (foam, shown). Alternatively, the diffuser can be modified to create effects related to light diffusion inside the housing, such as moving waves. The system can also be specified with an integrated LED module to provide secondary light accenting the mast.

Magnus Pettersen

A concrete base and copper-colored glass shade bridge seamlessly in this tabletop fixture by Norwegian-born and U.K.-based designer Magnus Pettersen. The jury statement for Leimu cites the authentic combination of two contrasting materials to “provide a very gentle light that diffuses nicely and feels as if it is glowing all the time.” Available in the U.S. through Finnish interior-products retailer Iittala.

Learn more about the other luminaires to win a 2014 IF Design Award here.