The American Lighting Association (ALA) invites lighting designers and lighting fixture manufacturers to compete in the first National Lighting Fixture Design Competition. Under the banner, "Lighting for Tomorrow," the goal of the competition is to introduce attractive, innovative, and energy-efficient residential lighting fixture designs into retail showrooms.

Sponsors of the competition, in addition to the ALA, are the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), represented by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

"Lighting accounts for about 15% of the electric energy used in homes" says Terry McGowan, ALA Director of Engineering & Technology. "Current lamp and lighting technology could easily save the residential homeowner half that, but the lighting must be functional, attractive, and saleable. Right now, the lighting fixture options that meet those criteria for the home owner are limited. The ALA is encouraging lighting manufacturers and designers to develop attractive new fixtures that will complement home design while saving consumers money and energy."

Designs may be submitted in seven categories: chandelier, pendant, portable, sconce, surface-mounted, task and track lighting. Proposed fixtures must not use traditional screw-in incandescent light bulbs. The fixtures must use energy-efficient light sources such as linear or compact fluorescent lamps. Fixtures will be evaluated on their marketability, functionality and innovation in design and use of materials.

A panel of lighting retailers, interior designers, and energy efficiency experts will judge paper designs submitted in early 2003 and select finalists in each fixture category. Finalists will be announced at the ALA Annual Meeting in New Orleans May 1-4, 2003. Finalists will then be invited to produce prototypes, with winning fixtures to be announced at the subsequent ALA Conference in Tucson in May 2004. Cash prizes will be awarded to all finalists and winners.

The organizers will work closely with all finalists to move paper designs and prototypes into the market. For more information contact Terry McGowan, ALA Director of Engineering and Technology at 216-291-1884 or lighting@ieee.org More information is on the competition website at: www.lightingfortomorrow.com.