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ESKOM DESIGN COMPETITION (article first published : 2006-08-1)

The final date for receiving entries for Eskom’s 2006 Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition is August 18. Architects, interior designers, engineers, electrical contractors, consultants, lighting specialists and anyone with a passion for design and/or efficient lighting are invited to enter this competition – with prizes totalling no less than R125,000!

Eskom invites and challenges designers to think laterally, beyond convention, use their intuition and imagination and design and build a lamp prototype that not only works, but is useful and also pleasing to the eye. Of major importance, as the name of the competition suggests, is that the design should use an energy efficient light source.

The Panel of Judges, who will evaluate this year’s entries, comprises various fields of interest. They are Stephen Falk (SA Guild of Interior Designers); Greg Gamble (Tonic Design); Alan Fennell (Editor: Designing Ways); Paul Pamboukian (Lighting Design consultant); Lisebo Mokhesi (Interior architect); Karen Grant (Lighting in Design editor); Natalie Thiart (Décor editor: Top Billing magazine); Annemarie Meintjies (Visi); Adrienne Viljoen (Design Institute), and Enock Zikalala (President: IESSA (Illumination Engineering Society of South Africa))

The criteria that will be used by the judges to evaluate the entries are innovation and uniqueness of design as well as cost-effectiveness and use of an energy efficient light source. Also taken into will be efficiency of luminaire, including the reflectors, lenses and diffuser systems, marketing potential and the environmental friendliness of the design.

The extent to which the design is aesthetically pleasing (standard or decorative) is a major criteria but practical implementation must be taken into account, i.e. the ease with which the design can be manufactured by local SMMEs (small, medium and micro-enterprises).

The design must comply with applicable SABS standards, promote the concept of energy efficiency and have a capacity to create jobs. It must also comply with ELI quality and safety standards

Eskom’s drive to promote energy efficiency stems from the fact that the more energy we use, the more energy needs to be generated. The result is that more power stations need to be built, which will increase the electricity rates. In addition, South Africa’s coal reserves will not last forever. The growing population rate and accompanying demands on our energy resources have a severe impact on the country’s natural resources.

Since CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) have hit the market, it became more and more apparent that existing lamp designs were not suitable for new energy efficient technologies. Hence Eskom’s initiative to stimulate new designs through this competition, of which the goal is to demonstrate that efficient lighting technologies, such as discharge, fluorescent and LED technologies, can be used in very contemporary and attractive luminaires intended for residential and commercial lighting.

The total prize money is R125,000 and definitely warrants participation, while the registration of a new patent, of course, also holds lucrative possibilities for the patent holder. The individual winner in the student category will receive a cash prize of R20,000 (runner-up R10,000/second runner-up R5,000) sponsored by Eskom.

The best group winner in the student category will also be awarded a cash prize of R20,000 while the department at the tertiary institution of the winning student, will receive R10,000, Both prizes are sponsored by Eskom.

The winners in the professional category (decorative and functional categories) will each be awarded a cash prize of R30,000, sponsored by Eskom. The winner in the professional category will receive the Sparks floating trophy.

Last-minute designers are invited to design a luminaire, which makes use of, and complements, a compact fluorescent (or energy-saving light bulb). The closing date for entries is August 18 2006 and entrants may participate in any of three categories, namely a student category for individual entries, a student category for groups and a professional category. Full details are available on www.eskom.co.za/dsm or from the competition organisers on 012 997 1334 or via e-mail at amroux@mweb.co.za




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