You are here

Next Generation Lighting Systems (NGLS) grew out of the Next Generation Luminaires™ design competition (NGL) when it transitioned from evaluating individual luminaires to focusing exclusively on connected lighting systems. Organized in partnership with the Illuminating Engineering Society and the International Association of Lighting Designers, NGLS is not a competition that pits one manufacturer against another; rather, the goal is to identify all issues that need attention, so that the technology fulfills its potential.

NGLS evaluates today’s connected lighting systems in real-world installations, in order to identify challenges in installation and operation, reveal needed product improvements, and articulate principles and best practices that will reduce configuration complexity and enable system performance to meet expectations.

Connected lighting systems are still in their infancy, and anecdotal evidence indicates there are significant challenges to successful installation and operation. Most connected lighting systems have been on the market for only a short time. Lacking industry standards, manufacturers vary widely how they design and document these systems, which can create issues when it comes to installation, setup, and ongoing operation.


A key issue with advanced lighting systems is configuration complexity, which has long made them difficult to install and set up correctly and can lead to user frustration and less than full utilization of the system capabilities. Systems that are overly complicated and time-consuming to configure have historically delivered less than ideal performance. Reducing configuration complexity increases the likelihood that deployed lighting controls will operate correctly and consistently, which is key to achieving their energy-saving potential. NGLS seeks to identify and address configuration complexity in the early stages of development to improve the chances that connected lighting systems will deliver exceptional energy efficiency and lighting services.

Three photos of Parsons School of Design.


NGLS centers on subjective evaluations by lighting and construction professionals. These evaluations are conducted in a “living lab,” which for indoor systems is housed at The New School, Parsons School of Design in New York City, where products are installed in multiple classrooms and are evaluated not only for installation and configuration, but also for ongoing performance. NGLS seeks to learn from industry’s varied approaches – identifying those that work, revealing needed improvements, articulating principles and practices that reduce configuration complexity, and sharing the results.