If you’ve had that lightbulb moment while isolating, now’s the time to make it real. LAMP founders Nicole Fox and Annika Siemsen have partnered with Design Milk to create the virtual LAMP 2020 competition—they’re lighting a fire (pun very intended) under local and international designers. “It’s great to have a project to work on with some kind of goal in mind,” says Siemsen

x LAMP's 2016 Emerging Winner, Antitesi, designed by Luca Mazzon and Alessandro Dadone (Italy)

LAMP is based in Vancouver, and was founded by Fox and Siemsen in 2013. There are three categories: “Student” (for entrants enrolled in a post-secondary design or art program), “Professional” (For designs, sketches, renderings or prototypes that are not mass produced), and “Manufactured” (For produced, functioning light fixtures or prototypes, currently being manufactured). The 2020 competition will be judged by esteemed industry professionals Sabine Marcelis, Lee Broom, and Stephen Burks.

xLAMP's 2018 Emerging Finalist, Median, designed by Romney Shipway (Vancouver, BC)

Co-founder Fox notes that while the in-person event was always the part of LAMP they most looked forward to, the online competition is a new—and exciting—opportunity for designers. “Many of our international submitters would actually fly out for the event, which was all at their own expense,” says Fox. “Just shipping a light internationally can go up into the thousands, depending on the scale or size.” There’s no flights or shipping required for the virtual event, so the competition is more accessible to designers. “From an expense perspective, it’s actually better for them,” says Fox.

xLAMP's 2015 Emerging Winner, Eclipse, designed by Annie Tung (Vancouver, BC)

The criteria for submission has also changed to reflect the challenging times we’re living in. In the past, a working prototype was required for submission in the “Professional” category. That’s not the case anymore. “They just need to be able to have a design ready,” says Siemsen.

xLAMP's 2016 Finalist, Jax, designed by Mark Kinsley of Lake & Wells (Chicago, IL)

Submissions are open now, and the deadline for entries is October 16. The founders hope that with most cost barriers removed, designers from all over will be inspired and able to submit their creations. “Designers can benefit quite a bit from having large exposure with less investment,” says Siemsen. And in the end, of course, it’s about bringing people together. “One of the really nice things features about the event is designers building their own community—they made some really lovely connections,” says Fox. “That—and finding a way to maintain that camaraderie among your fellow peers—is more what we are trying to curate.”

For more information on how to enter, visit their website at lampthecompetition.com.