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About Sundials

Clocks have played a significant role in most of our lives. It manages schedules and helps you keep track of the passing days. But then we try and keep them at bay when we're at getaway homes or simply lazing around in your garden. Then, how will you keep track of the day? Well, it's simple, you can watch the skies. Is there a more practical approach where you get a little more accuracy? Yes – a well-crafted sundial might fit the bill. In this article, we'll look at different sundials for a yard and check out a few tips on how to buy sundial online in UAE. So, read on!  

Most of us know the sundials as the mere devices that were created in ancient times for accurately determining the time of the day. True, they're one of the most reliable and oldest clocks that used to give accurate times. However, ever wondered how these fascinating devices worked? Or perhaps what kinds or types are out there? These clocks might have started out simple, but over the years, they have adopted a specific level of complexity. Even though their primary function entirely depends on the movement on the sun, you'll find several types of sundials out there on the market. Let's look at a few significant varieties that you can invest in, to spruce up your garden deco

The different types of sundials for gardens  

You'll find two major types of sundials. However, you can break them down into further categories. The main categories of sundials include the Azimuth dials and altitude dials. Each one has different features and characteristics. For instance, Azimuth carries out the angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system. This angular direction or the measurement is basically the direction of a celestial object from the point of the observer. However, altitude sundials are different. It helps determine the time by using the sun's altitude. And the altitude of the sun is basically its height above the horizon. Below we've compiled a few sundials that you can buy to spruce up your garden's look and feel, and of course, keep track of the day and time.  

The ancient sundial clock horizontal sundial 

Characterised mainly by its flat-shaped plate, this sundial is one of the most common types out there. One of the prominent reasons why they're so prevalent is that they give the time whenever the sun is shining. Besides, the dial has its dial plate lying horizontally flat on the ground. You'll usually find them on pedestals in the garden. That's why many also call them garden sundial. Typically, you'll find three main parts in this model. They're - the gnomon, the faceplate, and the hour markers. Each one has a specific role. For example, the vertical part of the dial - gnomon, casts a shadow to tell time. One the other hand, the hour markers show the time where the shadow lies. And finally, the faceplate is the area on the sundial where the shadow falls.   

The vertical sundial 

You might have seen them hanging on the walls of the churches and other similar buildings. These vertical sundials come with a shadow receiving plate that's aligned vertically. Further, it has a gnomon aligned perfectly with the earth's axis of rotation. The structure apart, one of the critical features of the product is that it isn't equiangular. This means that the cast line of shadow on the dial's face doesn't fall uniformly. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, all these features make them an ideal choice for mounting on the walls of numerous buildings such as town halls, church-towers, and cupolas. One of the primary reasons for mounting them on walls is to make them visible from far away. By the way, you could also place them on the sides of a regular tower.   

The equatorial sundial 

Commonly known as the 'equinoctial dial', this version of sundial comes with a unique feature. It has a peculiar 'planar surface' that receives the shadow on it. This cast shadow is precisely perpendicular to the gnomon's style. In fact, the reason why people call this version of the sundial as the equatorial dial is because of its parallel to the equator of the celestial sphere. Besides, it is believed to be one of the straightforward dials to construct and visualise. All it comprises of is a flat surface aligned to the celestial equator and a gnomon perpendicular to the same equator. The plate of this dial often tends to be flat. However, you could also find some circular ring models. But the plane of this ring always lies perpendicular to the gnomon.    

The ring or armillary sundial 

Unlike other sundials, this ring model makes use of the light to determine the time instead of the shadows. The dial has a ring with hour lines marked at the insides of the ring. They consist of tiny holes through which sunlight falls on the ring. But remember, you need to turn on the ring for the light to fall on the correct dateline. This is the key factor in the proper functioning of the ring dials. When it comes to the size, earlier most of these dials used to be very small. They usually had a diameter of less than 25mm. This tiny size made it very difficult for people to read and identify the time displayed correctly. But, soon enough, people knew that they required bigger models of this dial for efficient functioning. Therefore, the ring dials that came later are as big as 10cm in diameter. 

Tips on how to buy the best Sundials online

You now know that sundials exist in different styles and with various functionality. Not only that, but they also help you enhance your garden's aesthetics. However, this is all true, only if you have the right sundials that match your outdoor setting. Any wrong choice could spoil the entire ambience of your yard. Luckily, we've listed out a few quick tips that you can devise when you're buying the sun clocks online.
  • Consider your outdoor setting – This is one of the first and foremost things to do before you start searching for a perfect sun clock for your space. Isn't it obvious that you need to first know what fits your outdoor space well? It's always a better idea to check out the area, the setting, and the furniture that you already have in your lawn or garden. This helps you pick the perfect dial.
  • Do a bit of research – Once you've studied your outdoor space carefully, next understand the product well. Research a bit. Know the history of the product, the types, and the various available styles. Check out the top-selling manufacturers, brands, online shops, and retailers. Having adequate knowledge about the product helps you pick out the best one among the lot.
  • Explore their types – As mentioned earlier, sundials have come a long way, and they've aged well. You can find several types of sundials out there on the market today. Which means, it's even more important to know and understand the product specs of each type. This makes you online buying process a breeze.
  • Go for durable material – Usually, a typical sundial uses wood or stone for its construction. However, you can find different options today. Whichever material you choose to buy, make sure that they're durable and withstand the outside climatic conditions. That's because you're obviously going to place your sun clocks out in your garden.
  • Keep an eye on the style and design – With each type sun clock, you'll find a slight design change. Which means, the design and style of the sun clocks can make or break the look of your lawn. Therefore, be sure to carefully check out the looks of the sun clocks before you buy them. See if the style suits your outdoor space before you settle in for a model.
  • Pick branded models – One of the easiest ways to make sure that you have the best quality sun clocks is to pick them from the well-known brands. The brands like Analemmatic Sundial, Celtic, and Kala Sundial are a few brands that bring you a comprehensive range of sundials. Remember, nothing is more important than the quality of the product you buy online.
  • Select an affordable model – The price of the sun clocks depends on different factors like brand, size, quality, and the place from where you buy. This means you'll find them at different price ranges. Hence, it's best to set aside a budget for yourself before you start your search online. You could also buy cheap sundial for sale if you're a serious economiser.
  • Read reviews online – Many buyers take time to review the product they buy online. It's a great idea to check out those comments to know the performance of the model you intend to buy. If you find many positive reviews, then you can surely get that model. However, you find mixed reviews then be sure to weigh the different pro and cons of the model before you buy.
There you have it! Indeed, choosing a sundial isn't as easy as it seems. You should be extremely cautious while picking them because now you know that they do more than just giving you the time. We believe the above tips will guide you in the right direction regardless of what kind of sun clock you buy. Whether buy digital sundial online in UAE or get a simple tabletop sundial compass, it's essential to assess them carefully before you make the final call on your choice.

Question & Answer

Why are sundials not accurate?

A sun clock's time reading depends on the sun. This nature of the dial places a broad limit of two minutes on accurate time. That's because the shadow of the gnomon cast by the sun isn't sharp enough. Also, when looking from the earth, the sun is ½° across. This makes the shadows fuzzy at the edge. However, the actual build of the sundials can be quite accurate because of its exact measurements.

Why do sundials face north?

Usually, the notion is that the 'clockwise' direction in which the clock hands rotate came into being because the sun clocks face north. The sundial with a vertical pointer will indicate the noon accurately only if its shadow points north or south. This is probably one of the reasons why the sun clock faces north to give you the exact timing.

How to make the sundials?

There are several simple methods to make a sun clock. For instance, you can draw around your shadow from the same central point at different times of the day. You could use stones, a simple straw, or even a stick to do this. However, make sure you have the right materials ready beforehand of making one.

Can sundials be used at night?

We all know that sundials work because they cast a shadow. When the sun shines on them. However, at night, no shadow falls, and thus, it's kind of impossible to know the time using the sun clock. However, in principle, you can use them at night if the moon casts sufficient bright light. You can then obtain the 'solar time' using the 'lunar time'. You can do this by adding four-fifths of an hour for each day of the lunar cycle.

Where to get sundials?

You can find different types of sun clock out there on various online platforms. However, if you wish to have a comfortable and superfast shopping experience, then visit Shops.ae. Our product search engine brings you a comprehensive collection of sundials online from popular brands. What's more, you can get your perfect sun clocks from your favourite online stores too. Apart from that, you can also find several other products right here from over 500 online brands and stores. Sun clocks have certainly come a long way, especially considering the considerable differences in the old and contemporary models. At the same time, it's equally fascinating how they've managed to be one of the best decorative pieces for your garden. So, go ahead, browse the collection at Shops.ae and buy one for your lawns. Happy shopping!