A 3-step guide to positioning a sundial

A 3-step guide to positioning a sundial

You can install a sundial anywhere, but ensure that the location gets sunlight. Usually, people think that only a wall oriented north (in the case of the southern hemisphere) can get a sundial, but this is far from the truth. The original dials are typically aligned between the cardinal points, and they are not even vertical at times. Read on to know more about installing a sundial for your home.

Positioning a sundial
Consider the best place for installation when you shop for a unique sundial for your home. You can even use the slanting roof to install a sundial that’s visible from a distance. Here’s what you need to do to position the device correctly:

  • Step 1
    Level off a full-sun area of your home or garden. The sundial’s angle in relation to the horizon is important, but it will not impact its accuracy significantly. If you seek complete accuracy in the sundial’s placement, you should find the true north.
  • Step 2
    Choose a clear night, locate the North Star, and align the sundial’s shade arm or gnomon. You need to ensure that it is in line with the North Star.
  • Step 3
    If the North Star cannot be seen from where you are, you can choose to set your sundial on either of these dates: April 15, June 15, September 1, or December 25. On these days, the solar time and the clock time are in sync. So, you can simply orient the sundial to ensure that the shadow of the gnomon falls on the marking for noon.

Some people prefer to use a compass to locate the magnetic north, but it will not be the true north. You have to consider the magnetic declination of your location to set the sundial accurately.

Other factors to consider while positioning a sundial
Ensuring thorough risk understanding and preparation increases the chances of your project’s success and the durability of the unique sundial you choose to install. Consider the following parameters before choosing a place for installation:

  • Visibility from the street or the garden
  • Daily illumination duration throughout the year
  • Accessibility for installation, especially if you chose a giant-sized, heavy sundial
  • The risk of bushes or plants obscuring the sundial or trees casting a shadow over it
  • Exposure to bad weather like ice, heavy rain, or wind
  • Risk of injury majorly by the dial’s style, especially if you choose the metal style of an equatorial or horizontal sundial