The Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance is a 501c3 non-profit established to provide the latest information on outdoor lighting solutions to assist communities on their path to a sustainable and ecologically responsible future.

SOLA is the successor of the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce. VOLT was formed in 1999 to help communities install safe and efficient outdoor lighting and enact comprehensive community lighting standards and zoning ordinances.

SOLA provides independent information on best lighting practices to communities based on the most current scientific research. We strive to find the most innovative lighting technologies, products and companies, and showcase them to cities that want to improve outdoor lighting. Whether the primary concern is energy, cost, CO2 reduction or environmental responsibility, SOLA helps communities improve  public lighting. 

In addition, we provide expert consulting services on all aspects of ecologically responsible outdoor lighting. We also perform all-sky night sky brightness imaging services that document light pollution conditions and can be incorporated as baseline data prior to development or as part of an environmental impact assessment.

As a non-profit we are always seeking donations and recruiting partners to support this effort. If you are interested in advancing our effort, please contact Bob Parks at bparks “at” or click the donate button at the top of the page.

Our Founder

In 1999, Bob Parks formed the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce to promote the use of safe and efficient outdoor lighting and to assist communities in developing community lighting standards. VOLT worked with communities in Virginia to draft zoning ordinances and train planning staff, including three of the largest and fastest growing counties in the United States: Loudon, Fairfax and Prince William.

In addition, VOLT worked in Richmond to educate lawmakers and support legislation to improve the quality of outdoor lighting in Virginia.

Bob Parks served as the executive director of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) from 2010 through 2014.  

He is an authority on ecologically responsible lighting design, currently serves as chair of the IES Outdoor Environmental Lighting Committee,  an IES member and former member of the IDA/IES Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) committee.

 Our Advisory Board

Reducing global lumens