Submit Your Best Lighting Design Projects to the 2018 Illumination Awards and the SF-LUX Awards NOW!

The IES San Francisco Section's SF*LUX Lumen Excellence Awards recognizes excellence in architectural lighting design and the local professionals who work to further our field. Held in parallel with the national IES Illumination Awards, the two programs specifically aim to recognize individuals for professionalism, ingenuity, and originality in lighting design. As a reminder, the SF-LUX Awards only recognize those projects that are scored locally by Bay Area luminaries in our own competition. This program is held separately from the national Illumination Awards, which is based upon the individual merit of each entry judged against a specific criteria. You only have to submit a project once for it to be entered into both award programs, with no additional fees required.

Please note, while both the national Illumination Awards and the SF-LUX Awards evaluate the same submissions by the same criteria, there is no other connection between the two award programs (ie., winners in San Francisco do not have any bearing on the national competition, or vice versa).

If you have a project that was completed between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017, it is eligible to be submitted. A project may be submitted only once.

New Improvements for 2018!

 Save On Entry Fees! Submit your project(s) by February 2, 2018 and pay just $150 per submission. Projects entered between February 3-12 must pay $200 per submission.

■ New online submission portal has been updated to simplify uploading and improve processing speed.

Click here for complete 2018 Illumination Awards details:  

Here are a few more helpful hints as you develop your submissions:

  • When choosing your photos, make sure that they have no electric fill light. It is also helpful to make sure that you are not using daylight shots, unless you are showing what a custom fixture looks like during the day or a project that highlights the daylight design. The photos should showcase the lighting, and most of your photographs should be night/evening shots.
  • You are allowed to submit up to ten photographs. Images must be in JPEG format. You do not have to submit ten photographs. Pick your best photographs, the ones that show your project in its best light, and submit those. It is better to have four great photographs than ten mediocre ones. A short video clip (maximum one minute duration with no audio) may be submitted in addition to the ten images.
  • Showcase your photographs in terms of the story of the project and include a descriptive caption for each. Your story should be logical: i.e. you enter into your project, you come to these key spaces, then as you leave you see a key lighting element, etc.

Submit your projects online at by 8:59pm Pacific Time, February 12, 2018. Cost per submission is $150 from January 2 through February 2; fees go up to $200 for projects entered between February 3 and February 12. This single fee includes entry into both the national IES Illumination Awards and the Bay Area's SF-LUX awards.

The IES San Francisco Chapter's separate live blind judging for the SF-LUX Awards will take place the week of March 5, and local winners of this competition are announced on April 19 at the SF-LUX Banquet in San Francisco. All projects then go on to the Illumination Awards national online judging, from March 19 through April 26. Those projects receiving sufficient scores during online judging will move on to final live judging at Lightfair on May 7, with Illumination Awards winners announced on August 9 at the Illumination Awards Gala in Boston.

Good luck! Now is a great time to get recognition for your hard work! National winning entries are published in LD+A magazine, and local section winners will be announced at the 2018 SF-LUX Awards Banquet at the War Memorial Building in San Francisco on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

For national IES Illumination Awards tech support and website submission inquiries, contact:

Marie Meacham
Illumination Awards

For local SF-LUX Awards support and inquiries, contact:
MJ Paul
SF-LUX Awards Chairman

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