Designers can nominate projects and lighting applications that demonstrate the value of high-benefit lighting for the 20th annual National Lighting Awards Program, sponsored by the National Lighting Bureau (NLB).

High-benefit lighting is the term developed by the NLB to designate electric illumination that is specially designed to fulfill a specific purpose, including, but not limited to, significant "bottom-line" savings. In retail environments, for example, high-benefit lighting can be interpreted as lighting that improves customer attraction and stimulates purchasing. In workspaces, high-benefit lighting helps people work faster, with fewer errors caused by direct and indirect glare. Used outdoors, high-benefit lighting can help prevent accidents, from vehicle-to-vehicle to slip-and-trip, thus preventing losses associated with insurance claims, absenteeism, accident cleanup, and litigation. Fewer accidents can also generate savings from lower insurance premiums.

According to the NLB, high-benefit lighting is in all cases energy-efficient, though energy efficiency is not typically its principal attribute from a bottom-line point of view. Monies saved by reduced energy costs and/or the need for less maintenance may therefore be small in comparison to the value derived from increased productivity and other benefits.

The NLB, through the National Lighting Awards Program, has encouraged lighting designers, managers, sales representatives, and others associated with a lighting project to submit case histories underscoring how high-benefit lighting contributes to the bottom line. The entire program is posted on the web at the NLB's website, www.nlb.org. Information and submission materials can also be obtained by phone at 301/587-9572 or via e-mail to info@nlb.org.

Projects to be considered by the National Lighting Awards Program can be submitted by lighting designers, managers, consulting engineers, electrical contractors, facility managers, and virtually any other individual who had a role in influencing an existing lighting system or development of a new one. Submissions should document how the new lighting contributed to increased retail sales, improved productivity, or any of the other bottom-line goals of high-benefit lighting.

Projects being submitted for the 1999 National Lighting Awards Program must have been completed on or after January 1, 1996. Entries must be received no later than October 31.