Dark Sky Friendly

Development of Distinction

On Jan. 11, 2021 The Galena Territory was named as a Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction Award recipient.

"This well-known and popular Northwest Illinois community is perfectly suited to represent the ideals of the International Dark Sky Association. As a master planned community is has exceptional commitment to preserve some of the darkest skies in Illinois with their environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. In addition, The Galena Territory Association has been promoting the dark sky initiative for many decades and in the past three years has been working very hard to conform to the requirements to become a certified Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction. One of the unique features of The Galena Territory rural region is the quality of the night sky with magnitude 5 stars and a Bortle scale of 3 (SQM 21) every month of the year."

~Zoran Perovanovich, Northwest Illinois IDA Chapter representative
Sept. 16, 2020

Dark Skies Press Release

Exterior LIghts

As it states in the Architectural Guidelines:
One of the gifts offered to the guests and residents of The Galena Territory Is the beauty of our night sky. Very bright, harsh exterior lighting is not in keeping with this concept of our night sky enjoyment and can be offensive to neighboring properties. The Architectural Guidelines seek to find a balance between this vista and everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Farm lights, flood lights, and high intensity security lights will not be approved. Post lights should not exceed 6’ in height to the top of light fixture, and the light source must be directed downward and of sufficiently low wattage (450 lumens or 40 watts incandescent maximum) to reduce glare. Direct glare shall be minimized through the use of sufficient shrouding or opaque glass so that the light bulb is not visible through the glass and cannot exceed 450 lumens (40 watt incandescent). No fixtures with clear glass lenses will be approved.

General Requirements: All exterior lights are to follow “lights on” at or near dusk and “lights off” at 1 a.m. unless the homeowner or guest is not in the house, but is returning that evening. Exterior lights shall be turned off once all occupants are in the home. Motion sensor lights can remain ready for use at all hours and eliminate the need to manually control compliance, therefore the use of motion sensor lights is strongly encouraged. Solar or low voltage lights can remain on from dusk to dawn, provided they meet requirements.

All night lighting in the form of solar lights is permissible for safety purposes only (i.e. walkways, driveways & stairs). Residents are encouraged to stay away from blue lights & should use warmer hues of yellow & soft white. Strategic, maximum spacing is required. Use of lights as landscape and architectural accents are not allowed. All-night outside illumination other than solar lighting is not permitted.

The ARC’s lighting goal is to educate residents and gain cooperation in installing motion sensors to replace all-night lights and to reduce the glare and wattage on bright outside lights. Maximum wattage for any outdoor light is 40 watts. The ARC office has a number of examples of approved dark-sky fixtures (including solar lighting instruments) and flood light shields available for purchase. If you have concerns about a lighting issue in your neighborhood, please contact the Architectural Review office at 815-777-2000 ext. 124.
Why should we be concerned? Good outdoor lights improve visibility, safety and sense of security, while minimizing energy use, operating costs, and glare. Many outdoor lights are poorly designed or improperly aimed and can be costly, wasteful, and distracting 

How do I switch to good lighting? 
1. Provide only enough light for the task.
2.  Choose full-cutoff shielded fixtures that keep light aim lights down.
3. Install fixtures carefully to maximize their effectiveness on the targeted area and minimize their impact elsewhere. 
4. Choose energy-efficient low pressure sodium (LPS) or high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps whenever yellowish light will do the job.
5. Where feasible, put lights on a motion detector switch.

Star Gazing

Public Observation at the Owners' Club
May 20, June 17, and July 22 at 8:30 a.m., Aug. 19 at 8 p.m., Sept. 23 at 7 p.m., and Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Bring your telescope or share one of ours. Meet in the parking lot of the Owners' Club. Share your knowledge or start your star-gazing adventure. Check out the stars and night objects with a telescope. A clear sky with no prominent moon, once properly dark-adapted, is a beautiful thing. Depending on the time of year, a subtle band of smoky light constitutes the outline of our galaxy, and away from bright town and city lights is a showy splendor with bright spots, voids, and intricate rivers of light. People of all ages are invited to attend.

Sponsored by The Galena Territory Association and The Galena Astronomical Society.