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Event Postponed. New Date TBD.

Join us for the 2020 IES LIGHTEN UP luminaire design competition!


When:   TBD
Time:    6:00pm-9:00pm  (Program will occur at these same times in each time zone)
RSVP:   Please reply to your local Section Event Invitation

IES LIGHTEN UP! Luminaire Competition was founded by IES member, Laura Ashley A. Alferes. With networking in mind for cross-section and cross-organization collaboration, this was initially a local event that grew internationally. The 2018 competition had (4) participating IES sections and last year’s 2nd society event had 14 participating sections.

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

After much success, the 3rd society event has (28) participating sections from all over the United States and Canada. Look who’s participating this year:

Anchorage, AK
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Calgary, AB, Canada
Central Iowa, IA
Chicago, IL
Cleveland, OH
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Halifax, NS, Canada
Kansas City, MO

Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
Oklahoma City, OK
Portland, OR
Regina/Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Reno, NV
Richmond, VA
St. Louis, MO
Salt Lake City, UT
San Diego, CA
Twin Cities, MN
Virginia Beach, VA
Washington, DC
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Event Details

All participants will be divided into teams, where they will design and build a luminaire with craft materials, lighting controls, and LED sources. There will be awards & prizes for the winning designs. The judging will be based on a People’s Choice Award and then on the Judge’s Award. The Judge’s Award winner moves on to a society wide vote to select the top design. The special LIGHTEN UP Traveling Trophy will be sent to the winning section.

Here is what a few of your fellow IES colleagues had to say:


“LIGHTEN UP! challenges participants of every experience level to rethink the way they view lighting. From building interactive features to wall hung works of art, the creative freedom taken during this challenge showed the potential for lighting innovation in almost every aspect of our structures and living spaces. It’s one of the most approachable and enjoyably challenges put on by any professional society. How often can someone say they glued pipe cleaners to an LED strip?!”

-Eric Hogarth, IES District of Columbia


“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

Congratulations to the Washington, DC Section- 2019 Design Competition Winner


Thanks to Our Sponsors!


Instagram: @ieslightenup
Use the hashtag #2020LIGHTENUP