Special Category

Special Category 2023-01-23T08:04:26-06:00


Lighting that promotes human health and well-being includes many factors such as visual acuity and comfort, energy-efficiency, and safety. These factors are already addressed in the existing criteria set for the Tesla awards. This special category for human health and well-being will therefore focus on additional (but not alternative) criteria to assess how well a lighting design promotes circadian entrainment of building occupants. Circadian entrainment promotes sleep at night and wakefulness during the day, important aspects of human health.

While daylight is a significant contributor to the health and well-being of people, it is often unavailable to building occupants and is largely out of the direct control of the lighting designer or specifier, especially in retrofit situations. Therefore, the criteria for this award will only consider those designs where the electric lighting supports circadian entrainment.


The Tesla Awards program is open to new construction or retrofit lighting projects for all types of indoor and outdoor applications. Anyone may enter a project. Lighting design and implementation teams may include lighting designers, manufacturers, agents, distributors, facility managers or engineers, building owners and occupants, and/or researchers. Judging criteria are use of state-of-the-art lighting and controls, application innovation through needs assessment and project team coordination, documentation to validate enhanced “value of lighting” claims, level of difficulty, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability.


The National Lighting Bureau is announcing the Call for Entries for the 4th annual Tesla Awards. This program recognizes excellence in lighting projects that, through the creative use of lighting systems and controls, illustrate the value of lighting including but not limited to: improved visual performance, promotion of health and wellness, environmental impact including reduced light pollution/preservation of nighttime lighting quality, enhanced safety and security, and increased overall occupant satisfaction.


Anyone may enter a project for the Tesla Awards, and there are no fees for entry. Projects should have been completed with the 2020, 2021 and 2022 calendar years (extended one year because of Covid restrictions). Submissions should be entered via the designated online submittal process and completed no later than March 1, 2023. Winners will be announced during Lightfair 2023 in New York City.


Lighting Design Goals

Has the applicant appropriately described and articulated the various aspects of the design as they relate to health and well-being, specifically circadian entrainment of building users and occupants? Do the goals and objectives articulated appropriately fit the needs of the users of the space?

Amount of Light

Has the applicant provided the correct amount of light from the standpoint of circadian entrainment? Are measurements and design specifications appropriately articulated (e.g., light at the eye level of users of the space)? Were the selections of light levels appropriately justified in the submission?

Distribution of Light

Did the applicant consider the needs of various areas of the space and how those areas will be used (e.g., tasks and activities that will be undertaken in each area)? Did the applicant consider light as measured/specified at the eye level of building occupants needed for circadian entrainment as part of their design? Did the applicant provide and justify the ratio of vertical to horizontal illuminance? Did the applicant consider visual comfort as part of their design?

Spectrum of Light

Did the applicant select SPDs that support the goals they articulated for the design? Did they undertake appropriate analysis of the SPDs to quantify their effectiveness in terms of circadian entrainment? If tunable lighting was selected, did the designer appropriately justify and explain this selection?

Timing and Duration of Light

Is the applicant providing the necessary quantities of light during each period of the day to promote circadian entrainment? Was the lighting schedule appropriately justified and explained?


Name of the person submitting the entry:

Primary Lighting Designer:

Lighting Design Factors

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