Solar Eye

Solar Eye Yellow Logo


The Solar Eye is designed and made by UK Blacksmith, Pete Smith. The Solar Eye responds to, and reflects the oscillating and rotating relationship between the Sun and Earth by monitoring the continuous shift of light and shadow through the annual cycle.

The Solar Eye achieves this by harnessing the unique way light behaves when directed through glass spheres. To give an idea of size, the clear glass sphere is 30 mm diameter.

The glass spheres have been arranged in such a way that when placed in the Sun on a south facing surface (a window ledge is good) they create an eclipse of shadow by light, on the equinox at noon. If you live in the southern hemisphere, you will need to face the Solar Eye North.

As well as the lateral daily movement of shadow and light, the Solar Eye also indicates mid winter and mid summer as light and shadow exchange longitudinally, their extreme winter/summer positions. Their paths also cross on the two equinoxes.  All one has to do is observe the magic as it unfolds through the year.

The Solar Eye is fully adjustable by the purchaser to their latitude to allow for the variation in the declination of the Sun. The further North or South you go past the equator, so the zenith of the Sun varies also.

Careful setting of the Solar Eye can make the Solar Eye unique to the location of the owner to less than one degree of latitude.

The Solar Eye can be made with Green, Red or Blue spheres and is well gift boxed with a set of instruction of how to set it up.


  • Never look at the Sun through the Solar Eye.
  • Do not locate Solar Eye near net curtains etc, focused light generates heat and there is a small fire risk if inappropriately located.
  • Children should be supervised by a responsible adult in use and location of Solar Eye

Bronze Solar Eye in Action

To find the angle of the Sun at your location on the equinox, follow the instructions below and on the reverse side of leaflet. First polish off Bees wax protective coating of spheres with soft cloth.

  1. Using Google Earth or  find your latitude.
  2. Using latitude numbers up to decimal point, subtract your latitude from 90. E.g. 90-52=38
  3. The angle of the Sun at your location is the sum of the equation. In this example, 38 degrees
  4. Using a Protractor or download a printable one at <> follow the instructions on how to set the Solar Eye to your given location.
  5. Turn a piece of A4 paper to landscape position and using the protractor and a ruler, draw a line at the angle marked with the protractor on the paper, this is the angle of declination (angle of Sun on Equinox at your location) derived from the equation.
  6. Place the paper with the drawn line with it’s side edge running along the square edge of a flat surface (Kitchen table) You may want to secure with Blu-Tac or similar to keep in place.
  7. Using the paperclip torque wrench, loosen the brass retaining screw just enough for the Eye to rotate on its axis.
  8. Place base of Eye over edge of table keeping it flat to tables edge and rotate both Eyes to align with the drawn line on the protractor, making sure that the drawn line runs through the centre of both glass spheres, with the clear glass sphere uppermost.
  9. Holding the angle in position (This might take a bit of practice) do up retaining screw and just nip tight with the paperclip torque wrench. Align the spheres with the spur on base plate, and tighten just a little more. When torch wrench flexes, it is tight enough. Do not over tighten.
  10. Polish off protective coating (Bee’s wax) and set Solar Eye to the South. If you live in the southern hemisphere, you will need to face the Solar Eye North. All one has to do is observe the magic as it unfolds through the year.

(Solar Eye is protected by Copyright 2012)

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