Wanted: Young lighting designers without a CLUE


    January 25, 2019


    Have you ever thought about how lighting could help in a certain crisis or emergency, or how it could save people’s lives? If so, it’s time to raise your voice. Entries are open for the 2019 CLUE competition.

    CLUE, which stands for Community Lighting for the Urban Environment, is an annual competition aimed at young and emerging lighting designers, challenging them to design meaningful projects for communities around the world.

    Supported by the Signify Lighting Academy, the competition invites participants to consider pressing societal issues and envision innovative design projects. Last year’s winner, selected from 361 entries from 58 countries, is a fine example. The project ’SOL (Suspended Omnidirectional Light)’ by Santiago Bautista (Denmark), seeks to invoke the light and sound of the Mediterranean and bring it to the darkest regions of the world. It envisages creating an artificial sun in a public square, using a giant illuminated balloon tethered by three steel cables. Its light intensity and color vary throughout the day as does its audio which mimics the sounds of nature on a spring day. It is foreseen that such an installation would help reduce the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by bringing that extra bit of light to people’s everyday lives. Read about it and the other winning projects in the lighting design magazine Luminous.

    “There is something magical about the idea of tethering the sun to a public plaza,” said Zachary Suchara, a member of last year’s jury. The entry perfectly matched the chosen theme - ‘Light and the Senses’ - helping city dwellers to reconnect with and enhance their experience of public spaces using their senses.

    SOL, CLUE 04th edition’s ‘Light and the Senses’ winning project by Santiago Bautista
    *Photo: SOL, CLUE 04th edition’s ‘Light and the Senses’ winning project by Santiago Bautista

    This year, it’s an emergency.

    This year’s competition theme is ‘Exploring the role of light in emergencies.’ With it, CLUE wants to set free the imagination of young designers to illustrate how light can help in emergencies. Whether it’s in places and situations where people feel vulnerable, such as conflicts, or times of disruption and environmental change, how can light help prevent or manage a crisis?


    So, if you are (or know of) a budding designer with a social conscious, this is your time to shine. Whether you’re a student or an emerging professional with five or less years of experience, your ideas matter, and the CLUE wants to help you share them with the world.

    The competition will be judged by a jury of independent lighting designers. The first prize winner receives $5000, the second prize receives $2500 and third prize gets $1000. The winning designs will also be featured in Luminous.

    Put on your thinking cap, sharpen your mind, and sign up here! We look forward to seeing how you can make the world a better place.

    Jaap Schuuring
     Want more information? Send me an email at

    About the author:

    Jaap Schuuring
    Head of Customer Education, Signify

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Customer Learning

    Jaap Schuuring


    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2017 sales of EUR 7.0 billion, we have approximately 30,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for two years in a row. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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