Community Friendly Lighting

The Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance has launched a new lighting equipment certification program and community recognition.

The Community Friendly Lighting (CFL) program encourages public lighting that enhances the character and ambiance of communities by eliminating glare, light trespass and skyglow. We are working with cities to raise awareness of these issues and provide pro bono design assistance. The CFL program also emphases the need for community outreach and involvement by conducting public pilot testing, walking tours, and surveys.

Too often when cities are faced with balancing maximum efficiency and cost savings and lighting quality, they choose lighting fixtures that are too bright and glaring. The result has been detrimental to the quality of life for residents and has resulted in negative press that has slowed the transition to more energy efficient lighting.

The SOLA Community Friendly Lighting Certification program was developed to help cities select the best public lighting fixtures and controls, which will help them reduce energy and costs, while also enhancing the quality of lighting for the public. The selection criteria are based on three factors: technical performance, visual comfort, and environmental impact.

To obtain the designation, all lighting products must support these goals.

  • No lighting fixture will be included that has short wavelength (430 – 530nm) spectral power distribution (SPD) of more than 25%. While correlated color temperature (CCT) is often used to describe white light sources, it does not accurately characterize the blue content that can increase the perception of glare, and negatively impact ecology and human health. For reference, light sources with CCT of 3000K or less will typically have <25% SPD below 530nm.
  • Lighting fixtures used are IES BUG rated 0 or 1 for uplight and 0, 1 or 2 for glare.
  • Lighting fixtures must demonstrate superior visual comfort.

Smart controls and other lighting equipment that can help cities meet the goals of the program can also be certified.

Community Friendly Lighting Certified Equipment

For more information:

SOLA Community Friendly Lighting Program Guidelines

The SOLA Community Friendly Lighting Designation recognizes municipalities that have installed public lighting that meets the following requirements:

  • 51% or more of the total street and road lighting fixtures have been upgraded to energy efficient fixtures that use >=33% less energy than previously installed ones.
  • Luminance levels do not exceed 120% of minimum recommendations using applicable lighting standards.
  • Light sources produce less than 25% spectral power distribution between 430 – 530 nm.
  • Lighting fixtures installed are IES BUG rated 0 or 1 for uplight and 0-2 for glare.
  • Adaptive controls are installed to reduce lighting levels to meet lower recommended practices after peak traffic period.

Anyone can nominate a municipality for recognition by sending a request here:

The next phase of the program will be a public lighting best practices guide that cities can use as a standard for lighting design. It will incorporate all the principles of community friendly lighting design that SOLA has advocated since its inception. The guide will be supported with training materials and a certification program for designers and installers.










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