- 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
- 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.