Is there a device on the market (preferably battery or solar operated) which can be left in a garden from dawn to dusk, and afterwards, report on how many hours of direct sunlight it received?

I would like to see which of the sometimes building shaded areas on my property get enough sunshine for planting.

2 Answers 2


There are various devices on the market for measuring sunlight - the link below contains three or four different ones, although I can't speak for the accuracy of any of them. Although it's easy to judge that an open, south facing area with no surrounding buildings or tall trees will receive any sun that's going, within the average garden or planted area, it's not quite so easy to judge if you're not there all day, observing over time, so it's probably worth getting one if you really don't know, given the amount of sunlight an area receives can differ enormously throughout the year, depending on the height of the sun.


  • THANKS! The products on that page are exactly what I was hoping to find. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 14:12
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    Arduino arduino.cc hooked up to a cadmium sulfide photoresister could easily measure daily light flux for you. If you want a more civilized OS, a Raspberry pi raspberrypi.org could probably send the data straight to a libre office spreadsheet for you. Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 1:24

I don't know how accurate it would be, but if you download 'Google Earth' you can make it show you the passage of the sun and shadows based on it's rendering of buildings and trees. It would be something completely free that would give you an idea of the sunlight in that area. It seems to be able to go forward or backward in time. I don't know how far. I think it uses the GPS coordinates and the position of the sun relative to the earth to predict where they will be.

It's worth a shot since it's free.


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