How to Qualify for Stella's Host Facility  Lodging and Camping Map


Qualification for Stella's Natural Sky Places Map program is specific to each individual facility/property, not the owner/operator, based on meeting the requirements below:

  • The property offers a reasonably open view of the night sky on site, or is located reasonably close to a suitable offsite observing location that is already listed, or a new site to be added to Stella's Observing Site Map. (See Observing Sites description Below.)
  • Exterior Lighting conforms to the following Responsible Lighting Practices (RLPs):
    • Cabins, all exterior lighting is on a switch or motions sensor (no dusk to dawn fixtures).  Fixtures brighter than 500 lumens (>40 watt incandescent or equivalent) must be fully shielded to avoid up-light. A fixture is "fully shielded" if the light source is recessed or flush with bottom of fixture as shown on the "permitted" images to the right.  Fixtures under a porch roof qualify as "architecturally shielded". LED bulbs should be of the appropriate color - 3000K CCT or less, with 2700 and less much preferred - "Warm white, yellow, or amber").*
    • Campgrounds, the same as cabins except there may, in addition, be dusk-to-dawn marker lights at restroom facilities, bollard lights for walkways, and kiosk lighting, provided they are either fully shielded or are of 500 lumens or less in brightness (40 watt incandescent or equivalent or less) and if LED blubs the appropriate color (3000K CCT or less, with 2700 and less much preferred - "Warm white, yellow, or amber").
    • Lodges, the same as campgrounds but may also have parking lot lighting provided that the illumination does not materially exceed an average of two lumens measured horizontally at ground level and sufficiently remote as to not materially impact or be directly visible from any designated onsite observing locations.
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    After you have read over this page, including the Observing Sites description below, you are ready to get listed.  If need be, we can help you determine compliance. To get started subscribe to our Hospitality List  Once subscribed you will receive a Welcome email with a link to a page where you can download a simple listing agreement and the in-room material that will tell your guests about this program and your participation, along with other optional materials you may find useful to post.  Someone will contact you to complete the process and get your property on the map.  The process can be easily completed in a few minutes, depending on how many units you have.  

    Learn more about responsible lighting here.

    *True PAR floodlights aimed to avoid uplight qualify as shielded.  Recently installed bulbs and fixtures can be grandfathered in but when replaced should be substituted with compliant fixtures.

    Porch lights of 500 lumens or less are exempted from shielding requirement, as are fixtures mounted under ceilings where the ceiling prevents uplight.

    Observing Sites.  Observing Sites must be open to the public at night, or in the case of a commercial facility, open to guests.  If the site is not on the facility property itself it must be within a ten or fifteen minute drive or walk and be added to Stella's Observing site map.  If the location is not on site and obvious, a map to the location should be provided in the room.  To qualify, an observing site must provide a reasonably open view of the sky and be Bortle Scale 4 or darker.  If the Milky Way is plainly visible on a clear moonless night, when up, and horizons are open to within twenty to thirty degrees of a natural horizon in most directions, the site likely qualifies. The applicant must judge whether the view is open enough (a fist held at arm's lenght covers ~10 degrees).  ANSA will make the Bortle Scale determination based upon satellite-based light pollution maps. Icon colors (medium gray, dark gray, and black) are assigned to each facility based upon the dark-sky classification (Bortle Scale) of the associated Observing Site. 

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