South facing sundial and time shadow
 
 
Every Spectra sundial is calculated and handcrafted for the town where it is to be located, so unlike most "catalog" sundials it actually works and is capable of telling clock time to within minutes of accuracy. The Spectra sundial may be used within approximately a sixty mile radius of the location for which it is made with only about a four minute error in the time indicated.
 
To tell the current time of day with a Spectra sundial, look at the main shadow field and find the time shadow created by the brass shadowcaster. The edge of the time shadow that is generally parallel to the hour lines indicates the time. In the southern facing example above, the shadow indicates that the time is about 2:50 pm.
 
Every Spectra sundial has two time scales, one for Standard Time and one for Daylight Saving Time. The tip of the time shadow generally indicates what part of the year it is...in the Fall and Winter the time shadow is short due to the sun being lower in the sky, so the shadow falls in the upper portion of the sundial shadow field.
 
The Standard Time scale is used during that part of the year - in the picture above it is early February. As the months progress the time shadow will continue to grow longer as the sun's path across the sky gets higher every day. On the equinox in March the tip of the time shadow above will ride the straight horizontal line - then it will continue to elongate as the sun rides higher and the days grow longer.
 
 
Eastern Spectra sundials tell time in the morning
 
 
After the pointed tip of the shadow crosses the central equinox line in March it will begin to fall into the lower portion of the shadow field. During most of this time of the year the Daylight Saving Time scale is used to tell the time. The time shadow in the eastern facing example above, in early May, indicates that the time is just past 10:00 am.
 
A special date line can also be added to most Spectra shadow fields (at no extra charge) to commemorate a certain day such as an anniversary or birthday. On that day of the year the tip of the time shadow will ride that special line during the course of the day.

 

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