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The LIT Design Award Winners: What the Judges Think and What We Think

In January, the LIT Design Awards announced the winners of its 1st Annual International Competition for Lighting Product Design and Implementation. See the winning designers and products and what the judges thought.

Alison Martin
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Lighting design Monstera Deliciosa in the palace Palazzo di Napoli in the heart of Palermo.
Award-winning Monstera Deliciosa designed by Massimiliano Moro

The 1st Annual International Competition for Lighting Product Design and Implementation kicked off this year, welcoming lighting submissions from manufacturers, designers and practicers from all around the globe, and the LIT Design Awards winners blew away the judges — and us too.

Developed by the Farmani Group, the LIT Design Awards was created to recognize the efforts of talented international lighting product designers and lighting implementers on both professional and student-focused levels. The jury of 14 expert panelists was rich in design-minded professionals across the board of the lighting industry. 

Take a look at the winning designs in each category and judge for yourself.

Lighting Design of the Year - Waterlicht, Daan Roosegaarde

Exterior of Waterlicht Museum at night with overhead lights

Waterlicht is a powerful and poetic experience created to remind the audience of the role and importance of innovation. Originally projected in Granary Square London near King's Cross Station, this lighting experience represented more than just a brighter space. The blue waves of light represent the level flood waters could potentially reach in London if global warming continues at its current rate.

When informed of the jury’s decision, Daan responded, "It is an honor to receive the LIT Designer of the Year Award with Waterlicht, recognizing the importance of public light installations with an environmental message to move and activate people.”

What the jury said

“The ethereal experience of light created by this installation inspires and dramatically alters perception of the immediate environment. Interactive immersion in light takes visitors into another world. The designer has creatively used effective lighting technology to create a unique, transformative experience of light.” – Adele Locke, Owner & Architectural Lighting Designer at Mint Lighting, LIT 2017 Juror

“I want to see this work! Although it is dynamic light just by looking at the image, if you actually experience it you forget that it’s an artificial light, you must be overwhelmed by its mystery.” – Reiko Chikada, Lighting Designer at Reiko Chikada Lighting Design Inc., LIT 2017 Juror

What we say

What a unique way to light an outdoor space and make a powerful environmental statement. In a busy city — especially around King's Cross where everyone is coming and going quickly  — this lighting artwork surely made passersby stop and think about what global warming could potentially do to London. We're only sorry we missed it.

Lighting Product Design of the Year - FLYTE: The Levitating Light, Simon Morris

FLYTE lighting product on table

FLYTE: The Levitating Light, a product designed by Simon Morris, hovers by magnetic levitation and is powered through the air. Merging the words fly, light, and the Swedish word for float, Flyte creates luminous spectacles that combine the wonders of magnetic levitation with wireless power. Morris is a product designer who experiments with sound, matter and energy in relation to gravity to develop as he calls his “floating things in space” that captivate imaginations.

What the jury said

“This clever design plays with our understanding of the physical world and brings joy to the experience of light. The designer has shown true ingenuity in the design, and the resolution of complex engineering to create an outstanding product.” – Adele Locke, Owner & Architectural Lighting Designer at Mint Lighting, LIT 2017 Juror

“I want to get it! It is a magical lamp of a modern version of Aladdin that was made possible by the appearance of LEDs.” – Reiko Chikada, Lighting Designer at Reiko Chikada Lighting Design Inc., LIT 2017 Juror

What we said

How cool is this! The Flyte is definitely a product that would make you do a doubletake if you saw it in a friend's home. The product gives the Edison-like LED bulb a chance to be the artwork of the fixture, and it spins slowly when turned on. According to Flyte's site, the bulb can last for up to 50,000 hours or for 12 hours a day for 11 years. Now that's energy efficiency.

Emerging Lighting Designer - Monstera Deliciosa, Massimiliano Moro

Lighting design space Monstera Deliciosa


The emerging categories were created to honor and foster new talent in lighting design and product development. Each winner received cash prize scholarships to encourage each designer’s next project in lighting design. This year, the recipient of the LIT 2017 Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year is Massimiliano Moro. His Monstera Deliciosa was a site-specific project made for a large abandoned palace Palazzo di Napoli in the heart of Palermo. This design fills the abandoned space with life using light sculptures of autochthone plants as objects. Massimiliano is a young artist in Barcelona specializing in light art projects and sculptures with light, shadows, and colors.

What the jury said

“Magic how this design is playing with light, shadow, colors, space, history and presence.” – Ellen Kathrine Hansen, Head of Lighting Design at Aalborg University Copenhagen, LIT 2017 Juror

“Dramatic and theatrical, this installation challenges our traditional experience of light and shade by splitting out color throughout shadows and creating a dynamic environment. Effectively creating a colorful mural on the walls, the resulting space is truly inspiring.” – Adele Locke, Owner & Architectural Lighting Designer at Mint Lighting, LIT 2017 Juror

What we said

If the palace Palazzo di Napoli was once an abandoned, rarely used space, it probably isn't one anymore. Who wouldn't want to hang out in this space? Using color and simple shadows, Moro brought new life to this otherwise abandoned plaza. This, however, is just one photo of the space. To see more, head to Moro's site here and see how people reacted to his installation.

Emerging Lighting Product Design of the Year - HENYX, Anna Tomschik

Henryx sitting on floor facing a mirror

A lamp inspired by the sun and moon, HENYX, designed by Anna Tomschik, is a luminaire with two facets balancing light and darkness. In the morning, the lamp elicits neurohormonal changes in the body that are typical when waking up, and in the evening, the moon module has a soft reflective light prompting the viewer into a dreamscape. With its accompanying mobile app, HENYX connects to an alarm clock for individualized settings and creates one’s own lighting universe.

What the jury said

“A clever design that speaks to our desire to create harmony and balance in our lives. By reflecting the time of day or the desired mood of the user, the aesthetically pleasing form is a strong reminder of our place in the world and the importance of the natural rhythms of life.” – Adele Locke, Owner & Architectural Lighting Designer at Mint Lighting, LIT 2017 Juror

“The execution of the concept of duality is thoughtfully, beautifully executed. The flexible solution paired with the intuitive control application perfectly balance the universal expression of original light with an innovative technological application. Fabulous.” – Sara Schonour, VP and Head of Lighting at CannonDesign, LIT 2017 Juror

What we said

Over the last few years, smart lighting has moved lighting from being almost purely about aesthetics to becoming more of a healthy tool. Researchers have created products that help regulate our circadian rhythms — blue light in the morning to wake us up and red light at night to make us want to fall asleep. As we reported last September, the Pretty Smart Homes lamp uses light to signal to users who are deaf or hard of hearing that they're phones are going off or they've received a Facebook notification. The HENYX is the natural addition, this time adding an app for added control.


What was your favorite entry? Share with us in the comments!

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