Welcome to the Lighting for Tomorrow Competition

The Lighting for Tomorrow competition is currently under renovation and will be shifting its focus to connected lighting (fixtures, controls, lamps, etc.) as well as other smart home products that can integrate with lighting.

Sponsors of the expanded Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow competition are currently working to develop a detailed plan for 2019-2020; if necessary funding is secured, it is anticipated that the competition will launch in June 2019.

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The Lighting for Tomorrow competition provides manufacturers the opportunity to push the industry forward by introducing high quality and innovative designs, contribute to the greater energy efficiency movement, and gain exposure for their brands and products among industry leaders and consumers alike. In particular, the exceptional products identified by the judging panel are heavily promoted by Lighting for Tomorrow for a full calendar year.

The competition is typically launched at the International Lighting Market in Dallas. The 2015-2017 competitions sought LED and OLED fixtures, LED replacement lamps, LED retrofit kits, and lighting control devices.

Lighting for Tomorrow is organized by the American Lighting Association (ALA), the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and UL. The annual Lighting for Tomorrow competition was created in 2002 to recognize the best decorative, energy efficient lighting fixtures in the market. Since its inception, Lighting for Tomorrow has encouraged manufacturers to develop well designed, energy efficient lighting products with a specific goal of increasing the availability and market adoption of ENERGY STAR® certified residential lighting products.



  • LED Fixtures
  • LED Retrofit Kits
  • LED Replacement Lamps
  • LED Contractor Lighting
  • Ceiling Fan Lights and Light Kits
  • Connected Lighting
  • OLED Fixtures
  • Lighting Controls and Systems
  • LED Filament-Style Lamps

Frequently Asked



Are light engines and other LED components eligible?

It is strongly encouraged that any unique or innovative LED components be integrated into a product and submitted in partnership with a fixture or lamp manufacturer. LFT is happy to recognize both parties if the product is selected to receive an award. If this cannot be arranged, please contact the LFT organizers to discuss.

Are battery powered or dual-powered products eligible?

No, entries should be wired lighting products, however wired lighting products with a battery backup are allowed.

Are colored LED products eligible?

No, entries must be white light products intended for general illumination. This includes color tuning in white light ranges as well as warm to dim products, but excludes colored or mood lighting.

Are holiday lights, lighted signs, or night lights eligible?

No, entries must be intended for general illumination.

Are commercial lighting products eligible?

No. Product entries must be intended for primarily residential applications, which could include multi-family and hospitality. Commercial lighting products should be submitted to the Next Generation LuminairesTM Solid State Lighting Design Competition.

Does my product already have to be ENERGY STAR® certified to enter?

No, but products selected as finalists by the judging panel are required to become ENERGY STAR® certified within a calendar year in order to receive an award (assuming there is an applicable category). Please note that control and OLED entries are currently exempt from this requirement.

Does my product have to be manufactured in the US?

No, but LFT products must be sold directly into the US and Canadian markets.

Submission Process

Is there a fee to enter?

No, Lighting for Tomorrow does not charge for product entry. The only cost associated with entering the competition is shipping products to and from the judging location.

How many products can be submitted per company?

There is no limit on the number of entries per company, but please note that the entry forms only allow five submissions per account. If you would like to submit more than five, please contact us at

What should I do if I have a product family I am interested in submitting?

LFT recommends that a manufacturer select one or two products as a representative for a product family and submit them individually along with a mention that the product is part of a larger family within the product description in the submission form. Manufacturers are also welcome to submit images of other products within the family as well as marketing materials.

What type of information is required to submit?

Guidance for the 2016 competition is posted on the Enter Now page.

What is the difference between the intent to submit and the final submission forms?

The intent to submit form assigns entrants with individual entry numbers, as well as provides the LFT organizers an overview of the number of expected entries; details such as entry category, manufacturer name, and product name are required at this stage. The next stage, the final submission form, includes product performance information and product descriptions that will aid the judging process.

How do I classify my product?

Please see the information above for more information about submission category details.

What qualifies as ‘senior friendly’?

See the guidance on senior friendly qualities here.

What qualifies as ‘contractor lighting’?

See the guidance on contractor lighting here.

What qualifies as ‘LED filament style lamp’?

See the guidance on LED filament style lamps here.

What is meant by ‘field serviceable’?

Field serviceable means that if a component of the LED fails it could be easily replaced by the consumer. For example, fixtures using light engines that are easily accessible and could be swapped out would be considered “field serviceable.” An alternative would be inseparable luminaires that would require the entire product to be replaced if a component should fail or luminaires that would need to be shipped back to the manufacturers for replacement parts.

What are the supporting documents? Are they required?

LFT requires the submission of installation instructions and one product photo to support product identification during the installation and judging process. Additional supporting documents can include optional items such as marketing product photos and test reports. Please see the Shipping and Supporting Documents section for more information.

What test reports are required?

LM-79 or LM-82 test reports are only required for products selected as finalists by the judging panel for applicable product types. However, if these reports are available, it is strongly recommended that they be submitted as part of the final submission process. At the very least, we ask all entrants to indicate whether or not products have already completed this testing via an EPA recognized laboratory in the final submission form.

Do I need a competition agreement form for each product?

No, only one agreement form per company is required. However, if you anticipate different return shipping information for different entries, please indicate that on your form.

Shipping Entries

What do I need to include with my shipment?

Please see the checklist here for a full list of what to include with your shipment. Read this list carefully to ensure you have everything you need prior to shipping.

Are prototypes okay?

Yes, prototypes or production-quality products are acceptable. Paper designs, computer renderings, or product photographs may be submitted as supplementary material, but at least one working sample must be submitted in fully operable condition (for all product categories).

Number of samples to include?

The number of samples needed depends on the product category. Products that are evaluated for ease of installation, such as lighting controls and retrofit kits, require two samples. Please note that both samples must be marked with the entry number. Other product categories need only provide one sample.

What qualifies as ‘plug-and-play’?

Plug-and-play products do not require any type of installation. Examples include desk lamps or other portable products, as well as replacement lamps that simply require power. Plug-and-play products typically have a later shipping deadline than products requiring installation.

What UL is able to provide to install and what will need to be provided by the manufacturer for installation?

The manufacturer should provide all necessary components for installation along with the complete installation instructions. Products should arrive as they are intended to be received by the consumer. In addition, adapters should be sent for uncommon base types or configurations. Please note there is an exception for lighting control systems.

How should I submit my lighting control system?

All control system products submitted to LFT for consideration must provide a plug-and-play working sample of the system which includes the various components, similar to a portable demonstration that might be used for customer demonstrations or at a trade show. If you don’t have a portable demonstration unit, as a minimum, wire the lighting control sample with a cord and plug on the input and a cord and convenience outlet on the output.

Can I ship multiple products in one box?

Yes. However, each individual product must be clearly marked with the entry number. The outside of the box should also include ALL the entry numbers of the products within.

How does return shipping work?

On your competition agreement form, please indicate how you would like your shipment returned, whether by including a return shipping label, providing an account number for billing to recipient, or by indicating that you do not need the product sample returned. The agreement form should be shipped along with your product(s).


Do finalists have to meet ENERGY STAR® to receive an award?

Finalists will need to become ENERGY STAR® certified within a calendar year assuming there is an applicable category; lighting controls and OLED luminaires are currently exempt from this requirement. If a fixture is classified as non-directional, there are two pathways to achieve ENERGY STAR® certification. Products that employ replaceable light engines may qualify via source efficacy with a LM-82 report. All other non-directional luminaires are considered inseparable and must qualify with luminaire efficacy via LM-79 report.

After finalists are notified, when are the photometric reports due?

If photometric reports weren’t provided as part of the final submission process, they should be completed and submitted to LFT as soon as possible in order to determine whether award eligibility. If a manufacturer is unable to furnish a report in three weeks, it may jeopardize receipt of their award.

Can UL test my product after the judging event?

Yes, UL offers expedited testing to all finalists. Finalists can be taken directly to UL for testing following the judging event. This is why it is critical that manufacturers indicate whether they have testing completed as part of the final submission form.

What will finalists need to provide?

Finalists must provide high resolution photos (standalone and application shots), LM-79 or LM-80 test reports if applicable, ENERGY STAR® certification status if applicable, product description, and product availability information.

When can awards be announced publicly?

Awards can be announced publicly following the formal awards ceremony at the American Lighting Association Annual Conference. Date and location of this conference vary by year, but will be communicated to finalists. Finalists are welcome to attend the ceremony portion of the conference to receive their award.

What do the winners get?

Winners receive a year of free promotion by LFT. Winners are featured on the LFT website, annual award brochure, YouTube videos, and an LFT press release. Winners are recognized at an award ceremony as part of the American Lighting Association Annual Conference, participate in a photo opportunity, receive an award and award ribbon, along with copies of the award brochure to display with their winning products, as well as access to the LFT logo to develop additional promotional materials. Awarded products are featured in several residential lighting publications. Award brochures are distributed to lighting showrooms and efficiency programs throughout the US and Canada. Products are promoted at lighting tradeshows such as International Lighting Market in Dallas and LIGHTFAIR® International through banner stands, brochures, and videos, as well as product displays.



American Lighting Association

BC Hydro
Cape Light Compact
DTE Energy

Duke Energy
Efficiency Vermont
Energize Connecticut
Eversource CT

MidAmerican Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
PSEG Long Island
Silicon Valley Power

Southern California Edison
The United Illuminating Company
Xcel Energy