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The initial NGLS indoor connected lighting system evaluations focused on control systems that are marketed as easily installed and configured, and are intended to be set up by contractors with no prior training or onsite support from manufacturers. 


To begin, manufacturers submitted an Intent to Submit, followed by system documentation that was reviewed for compliance with the NGLS parameters.

Minimum Requirements


Evaluation 1

Evaluation 2




Occupancy Sensing                                      



Vacancy Sensing



Local on/off



Daylight Harvesting



Manual Continuous Dimming



High-End Trim/Task Tuning






Luminaire Integrated Sensor and Control



Field-adjustable Control Settings



Lighting Specification

Lighting Specification

Task plane illumination

Illuminance uniformity

Maximum luminance ratio

Average initial at full power

Average to minimum across work plane

Between task/ immediate background surfaces

Between task and distant background surfaces (ceiling, walls, floor)

45 – 55 fc



Task:distant darker surface (wall) <10:1.  Task:distant brighter surface (window): >1:10

Control Performance Specification

Control Performance Specification



Vacancy control

System shall provide for vacancy control (manual on/auto off) of two zones with a time out period of 20 minutes.


System shall provide manual continuous dimming of the same two zones for which vacancy control is provided. Minimum dimming level of each zone shall be ≤ 10% of lumen output.

Daylight harvesting

System shall provide daylight harvesting to maintain task plane illumination at the current level provided by the electric lighting (whether full output, task-tuned, or manual dimmed). When daylight contribution exceeds task plane illumination, luminaires shall operate at lowest dimmed level (stay illuminated until switched off manually or by presence detection control).

High-end trim

System shall provide field-adjustable high-end trim to lower maximum system light output. System shall be delivered with high-end trim set at 100%.


Manual dimming control takes precedence to establish the specified task plane illumination. Daylight harvesting should not override to raise light levels to the maximum task plane illumination if the manual dim setting is not at full.


Control settings shall be adjustable by the user without factory assistance.

Manufacturers whose entries were accepted received a specific room layout and proposed a system design based on the NGLS specifications. Similar to a typical construction submittal process, the proposed designs were then reviewed by NGLS for approval or modification. Once the proposed system designs were approved, manufacturers built and shipped the system just as they would have done with a normal project.


Over multiple days, NGLS evaluated the installation and configuration of the lighting and control systems, looking at the ease of installation of the luminaires or retrofit kits, the installation and startup of the controls, and the adjustment of the control settings.

Next Generation Lighting Systems Competition One Installation Highlights

The installers were licensed electrical contractors who had limited experience with connected lighting systems. Each installer team (a lead and a helper) worked on only one system, installing the luminaires and controls, configuring the controls, and providing feedback on the ease of installing, starting up, and configuring the system. Manufacturer representatives could observe the installation and configuration of their products but could not interact with the installation contractors during the installation process.

Three NGLS installation photos.

In addition to the installers, the NGLS evaluation team consisted of two evaluators who ensured that NGLS procedures and protocol were followed, but did not assist with installation or configuration. The NGLS evaluators observed and documented the installation and configuration, documented metrics, and provided feedback on the ease or difficulty of installing and configuring the system based on their observations.

The installation and configuration evaluation consisted of three phases, each one evaluated separately.

  • Phase 1: Contractors installed the luminaires or retrofit kits and confirmed they were electrically powered
  • Phase 2: Contractors installed the control system and started it up
  • Phase 3: Contractors adjusted settings as needed to meet the NGLS specification, and turned over the functional system to the owner (NGLS).
Three NGLS judging photos.

The contractors used plans, the performance specification provided by NGLS, and manufacturer installation and configuration documentation provided in the shipment boxes, and could call any help line listed in the documentation, but were not allowed to consult the onsite manufacturer representative unless an impasse was reached and time was limited. During installation and startup, the evaluators recorded the time required to complete the various steps, such as luminaire or retrofit kit installation, control component installation, and initial control configuration.

At the end of the installation and startup phase, NGLS room evaluators completed a detailed verification of operation of each control capability as required by the NGLS specification. They used a standard protocol to ensure consistency across systems. In addition, they measured the system’s initial lighting performance. 

Three NGLS evaluation photos.

Following completion of the installation and configuration, NGLS evaluators interviewed and videotaped the installation contractors’ feedback on the ease of the process and suggestions for improvement.