Lighting for Tomorrow Competition Revamps to Include Connected Home

After a one-year hiatus to observe the changes occurring in the residential market, the immensely popular competition Lighting for Tomorrow – organized by the American Lighting Association (ALA), the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), and UL, plus sponsored by more than one dozen energy-efficiency utilities, trade associations, and research entities across the U.S. and Canada – has retooled to correspond to consumers’ and the housing industry’s increased emphasis on connected/smart home products.

According to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), headquartered in Middleton, Mass., the newly named and focused Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow (LHFT) competition will present manufacturers with the opportunity to distinguish their products and services from other connected home devices and platforms in the market.

To realize CEE’s Integrated Home vision, Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow is designed to help drive the adoption of efficient, connected products that demonstrate interoperability, reliability, and simplicity. In 2020, the competition will address residential connected lighting, connected plug load controls, connected HVAC and thermostats, connected windows and window attachments, and other connected home devices that successfully deliver a positive consumer experience, energy management, and grid benefits.

These awards in market leadership can give manufacturers an edge over the competition as well as boost consumer confidence and recognition for the company brand and its connected products. Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow award winners receive credible third-party promotion for one year and are best positioned to receive utility endorsement and incentives. All entrants will receive critical insights and direction on how to meet utility needs moving forward.

Entries will be judged on the following:

  • Energy Savings
  • Functionality
  • Interoperability
  • Reliability
  • Simplicity: Value Proposition
  • Simplicity: Installation, Set Up & Use
  • Data Sharing
  • Quality (Appearance & Style as applicable)
  • Value for Price
  • Innovation in Design / Form Factor
  • Innovation in Engineering
  • Future Proofing
  • Cybersecurity

In addition to the above criteria, the Judging Panel may reward entries that exhibit other desirable characteristics such as resiliency, accessible design, and field serviceability.  All entrants will receive constructive feedback from either the LHFT Steering Committee after the screening process, or from the expert Judging Panel following the conclusion of the in-person evaluation.

“Intent to Submit” forms are available now; final submission forms are due on March 31. The Screening Process will be completed in April, with Finalists notified by early May. The Product Shipment date (for judging) will be May 15; the judging event will be in June. Winners will be notified by July and an awards ceremony scheduled for the fall.

The Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow competition emphasizes products that are simple, reliable, well-designed, and highly functional so that they save energy and provide added amenity to the consumer. For complete guidelines and entry information, visit or contact

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