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There’s something truly magical about being outside at night. You can gaze up and look for constellations, catch a glimpse of a shooting star, or simply take a moment of solitude to contemplate and admire the beauty of the universe. The stars remind all of us to slow down, enjoy the moment, and to not stress the small stuff. At Sterling Ranch, the stars might feel a little closer than other locations in the Denver-Metro area. That’s because we’ve committed to comply with the International Dark Sky Initiative.

The Dark Sky Initiative

The Dark Sky Initiative is an international campaign to reduce light pollution, and with that expose the vibrantly starry skies. The Dark Sky Initiative was created by the International Dark Sky Society, whose mission is to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. At Sterling Ranch, we couldn’t agree more with the importance of protecting our night skies and have enthusiastically joined this mission.

About Light Pollution

Light pollution is a side effect of modern civilization. In order to get around after the sun goes down, we illuminate homes, streets, offices, factories, etc. Unfortunately, this is not always done in the most efficient way. In fact, much of the outdoor lighting these days is “overly bright, poorly targeted, (and) improperly shielded” according to darksky.org. This wastes electricity, and can potentially be harmful to human health.

So, there are many reasons to reduce light pollution. In fact, it helps maintain a natural environment for nocturnal birds and animals, which supports our overall ecosystem. Also, energy efficient lighting reduces energy use and energy dependence, which in turn helps to conserve our natural resources.

Additionally, reducing the amount of artificial light aids in resetting the human circadian rhythm — we all know how important sleep is! With busy lives, stress, and constant light from our TVs, phones, and other devices, our sleep patterns these days can be unpredictable and unnatural. When we take steps towards eliminating light pollution outside, we support our bodies in the process of resetting into a more natural, less stressed rhythm. The beautiful skies we get to experience are, of course, an added bonus.

Click here to learn more about the Dark Sky Initiative.

Sterling Ranch is Proud to be a Part of the Movement

Our Sterling Ranch residents are all a part of this incredible initiative. By following these simple guidelines, they are protecting the night skies for our present and future generations.

  • We make sure that exterior security lighting is directed downward so that the light “cone” does not cause glare to adjacent properties or onto the street.
  • If we have solar in-ground lighting, we make sure it is less than 12 inches in height, each light is less than 5 lumens, and the fixtures are placed at the edges of walks, driveways, and planting beds.
  • We limit outdoor decorative lighting to the back yard, making sure each light is less than 5 lumens and does not cause glare to adjacent properties.
  • We turn off decorative lighting by 10pm.
  • Our community street lighting comes on fully at dusk and at 10:00pm reduces automatically by 50%. All community street lights turn off at dawn.
  • As a part of our community governance, we make sure we receive approval from the Design Review Committee if we are modifying or adding any exterior lighting such as motion-detector spotlights, security lighting, landscape lighting, accent lighting, ballasted fixtures, or additional lighting to doors or windows.

Enjoy Nature!

Had a long day? Kick off your shoes, have a seat on your porch, and find joy gazing up at the stars. We sure love our skies here at Sterling Ranch!
Sterling Ranch is a place like no other. Our energy-wise community is pioneering best practices in conservation that will serve future generations, so that they can enjoy the same gorgeous scenery and quality of life that we do today. Click here to find your future home.