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Join us for the 2019 IES luminaire design competition!


When: May 30, 2019
Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm
RSVP: Reply to your local Section Event Invitation Food and beverages will be provided!

The IES LIGHTEN UP! brings individuals within the design community together to engage, inspire and challenge one another to create a luminaire made from combining technology with everyday objects. LIGHTEN UP! is an exciting and rewarding experience – so take a breather from work, ‘lighten up’ and join the fun!

The design competition was founded by IES member, Laura Ashley A. Alferes and is a great networking event for cross-section and cross-organization collaboration. Initially this was a Washington, DC only event that grew nationally as LIGHTEN UP! 2018 was the first national event.

Here's a list of the participating sections this year:

Calgary, Canada
Central Iowa, IA
Cleveland, OH
Chicago, IL
Denver, CO
Edmonton, Canada
New York, NY

Portland, OR
Reno, NV
Richmond, VA
St. Louis, MO
Salt Lake City, UT
Toronto, Canada
Washington, DC

Event Details

All participants will be divided into teams, where they will design and build a luminaire with craft materials, lighting controls, and solid state light sources. There will be awards and prizes for the winning designs. The judging is based on two categories: a people’s choice and judge’s choice award. The judge’s choice winner moves on to a national vote to select the top design.

“Our LIGHTEN UP! event held here in Salt Lake City was extremely fun and rewarding. It was amazing to experience the mix of different design techniques from each person on our team composed of Lighting designers, Architects and Contractors. We all came away with some new appreciation of each other in this fun and supportive environment. What a great networking event and we can’t wait to do it again this year.”

- Jim Levy, IES Salt Lake City

“LIGHTEN UP! 2018 was a unique event combining teamwork, fun, competition and creativity. Every single attendee had a blast and came up with amazing ideas… whether rep, distributor, contractor, architect, engineer or lighting designer.”

- Jennifer Blake, IES Portland, OR

2018 Design Competition Winner: Washington DC Section, Team Ersula


ERSULA by Team Ersula

Washington, DC

Meet Ersula. After searching her entire life, today she found her passion, igniting her soul on fire. Like the sun, she opened herself up completely to absorb all of the colors life has to offer. Her life, once a dull landscape, now radiates bright white as she combines all of the colors within. Shining as bright as the sun, her interaction with rain reflects the illusion of a rainbow on the umbrella. Ersula has found her life’s desires, she shines brightly and nothing can put out her fire.

Thanks to Our Sponsors


2018 Contest Photo Gallery