I had quite a few emails about sunlight calculators and why I like the Suncalc 1875 Sunlight Calculator by Luster Leaf. So I decided to write a short article and review. You can see it here: Luster Leaf 1875 Rapitest Suncalc Sunlight Calculator
When you buy plants or flowers they have a tag that among other things lets you know the lighting requirements: Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun and Sun. These categories specify a range of time that the sun hits a spot in your garden.
- Shade: 0-2 Hours of sun
- Partial Shade: 2-4 Hours of sun
- Partial Sun 4-6 Hours of sun
- Full Sun 6+ Hours of sun
One of the challenges of gardening is to understand how much sun each area of your garden gets during a sunny day. Once you do, you can match plants, veggies and flowers with the same sunlight requirements to a good spot in your garden. This can greatly improve your gardening success.
In the past, one method gardeners would use is the creation of a Garden Sun map. This involved sketching a picture of their garden area, including any building or trees. Then every hour they would note where the sun was hitting their property and mark the time on the map. They would also draw a line to show where the sun stopped and the shade started. By the end of the day they would be able to draw a new map showing areas of sun with start and end times. That would help them to identify the shade, partial shade, partial sun and full sun areas of the garden.
It’s a tedious process and many gardeners don’t have the time or inclination to create Garden Sun maps.
An alternative to manually creating a Sun Map is to use a Sunlight Calculator. This is a device that measures the amount of accumulated sunlight in a specific garden location. Some sunlight calculators require multiple readings and you then take an average of the readings. Others give you a reading after a testing period of a given number of hours.
So I love gardening – the digging in the dirt, planting, watering and nurturing my plants. I grow flowers, herbs and vegetables. The last thing I want to spend my time on is manually mapping the sunlight in my garden. I also think the process is somewhat subjective. That’s why I use a sun calculator.
I picked the Suncalc 1875 Rapitest Sunlight Calculator by Luster Leaf for a number of reasons. Here are the Pros and Cons.
- It’s simple
I have to elaborate on this point. This calculator is so simple that a child could literally use it. Wait for a sunny day. Put it in a flowerpot full of soil and place it where you want to test. You can also stick it in the ground but I use the flower pot. Make sure the round gauge is parallel to the ground. Turn it on. Go do something you enjoy. Come back in 12 hours. An LED light will be blinking next to the sunlight type: shade, partial shade, partial sun or full sun. Voilà you are done. You can then test another area of the garden.
This works for container gardening too. Just put the Suncalc in a flowerpot filled with soil and put the flowerpot in the location you want to test. This can be on a balcony, patio or anywhere.
- It’s accurate
We did a manual check of a normally sunny spot in the garden. Our manual calculation was 5 hours and the Suncalc reading was Partial Sun which was accurate.
- It saves time
- The price was right
- Some people might like the exact number of hours of sun an area receives. The Suncalc gives you a category that represents a range, for example Partial Sun 4-6 Hours of sun.
- I have read complaints that the SunCalc is not waterproof. I haven’t had any problems with this. But I have always used it on days when the weather forecast predicted sun and no rain. I saw one suggestion to put plastic wrap over the gauge. However, I wonder if that wouldn’t affect the accuracy of the gauge when the sun was out.
If you’re looking for a nice, simple, reasonably priced sunlight calculator, the Suncalc by Luster Leaf is a good choice. If you need the exact hours of sunlight an area receives or if you need a sunlight calculator that’s waterproof, you should research other products.
Where to Buy
I checked online and the best price I found was at Amazon.com. Visit the link below to see current pricing.
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