IESNYC's Student Lighting Competition

Practically Speaking Logo

In film, theatre, and immersive entertainment, a Practical light fixture refers to a lighting element that supports the aesthetic of the environment, serves as a place-maker, a motivating source which immerses guests in the world being described. This year, students are challenged to create a lighting installation that engages with the idea of using light in environmental storytelling — whether that is a fixture, a scene, an experience, or something beyond. Use lighting to transform and transport, to immerse and to engage — using materials and light sources common to the home.

Since 2000, the New York City Section of the IES has invited students from New York City Art and Design schools to participate in a city wide design competition. The competition empowers students to explore light as an art form, demonstrate light as a stimulus, and prove light as a valuable medium.
Every year, students in lighting, architecture, interior design, art, product design, photography and electrical engineering programs have submitted projects, resulting in a diverse showcase of ideas and interpretations on a single theme.

Patricia DiMaggio photograph

Dedicated to the memory of Patricia DiMaggio
May 5, 1964 - February 28, 2014
The IESNYC Student Lighting Competition is dedicated to our founder, Patricia DiMaggio. As an NYC educator and past president of IESNYC, we uphold Patricia’s goals of education, community, and friendly competition. Having grown from 8 students in 2000 to 150 students today, it is a legacy which will continue to grow with your support. We miss you, Patricia!

2021 Judges:
Kacper Dolatowski - Axon Design, Inc.
Erin Gussert - RL Studio
John Thomas - Cinematographer

1st Place $5000
2nd Place $2500
3rd Place $1000

Student Competition Committee

Board Liaison, Advisor:
Brigid Hardiman, Lightcraft

John Delfino, Available Light
Shaun Fillion, NYSID | RAB Lighting

Founding Advisor
Randy Sabedra, RS Lighting Design

Joseph Belfer, Cerberus Consulting
Steven Greenberg, ROYGBIV, Inc.
Kass Negash, W. Allen Engineering PLLC
Julia Strapp, Lightbox Studios NYC
Craig Young, Ventresca Lighting Designers

2021 IESNYC Event and Educational Sponsors