Which outdoor clocks are best?
An outdoor clock is perfect for all those patio-loving, balcony-adoring, garden-making people out there. Putting aside the obvious aesthetic values of a well-designed clock, outdoor clocks can be the perfect way to keep track of not only time but temperature and humidity too. They can also help to keep you on time if you like to go outside to get away from all your technology.
The best outdoor clock is the FirsTime & Co. Park Outdoor Wall Clock. Ignoring the strength of the brand name, this outdoor clock is a gorgeously designed and perfectly easy-to-read wall adornment with excellent humidity and temperature gauges that only needs a single AA battery to power it.
What to know before you buy an outdoor clock
As outdoor clocks are made for, well, the outside, they are typically constructed from weatherproof materials to avoid degradation caused by wind, rain and sun. This makes plastic the king of the outdoor clock material, especially as there are oodles of ways to make a plastic clock look like it isn’t plastic at all. There are other materials available if you don’t like plastic, such as various rust-resistant metals.
The size of your clock is less about how it looks and more about how easy it will be to read from whatever distances you’ll be away from it. Outdoor clocks are thus much bigger on average than indoor clocks, with size ranges around 12-36 inches in diameter. Most outdoor clocks fall in the 16- to 18-inch diameter range, however.
Be careful to double-check what is being measured to find that diameter before purchasing: if the clock includes a decorative outside loop, they may measure from that instead of just the face of the clock.
As has been mentioned previously, a big component of outdoor clocks is their aesthetic addition as well as their timekeeping. To that end, you can find just about any look you could think of and not just color and material.
What to look for in a quality outdoor clock
The method an outdoor clock can mark the hours is as varied as the overall look of the clock. Of course, you can find clocks that mark each hour, but there are some that only mark the four cardinal hours, not to mention different fonts and colors.
If you find yourself outside during the night or the waning hours of the day, make sure you pick an outdoor clock with some method of self-illumination. These clocks will, unfortunately, drain your batteries a little quicker but probably not fast enough to really take notice.
Like your phone automatically changes its time based on its location and if it’s daylight savings or not, some outdoor clocks will do the same thing based on an ability to receive ambient radio waves that contain this information. This can be especially helpful if your outdoor clock is particularly hard to get down and put back in place.
How much you can expect to spend on an outdoor clock
The outdoor clock has a surprisingly wide range of pricing options depending on variables like the overall size and the materials used in its construction. The introductory outdoor clocks typically start around $20, with better and bigger models reaching up to around $60. Higher than that, sometimes higher than even $100, are the top-of-the-line outdoor clocks.
Outdoor clock FAQ
Is there a particular position I should place my outdoor clock for a more accurate temperature reading?
A. Yes. If you place an outdoor clock in full view of the sun’s rays, your temperature reading will be much higher than it actually is, so it’s strongly recommended that you place your outdoor clock in a consistently shaded area.
How long do batteries generally last in any given outdoor clock?
A. The batteries used in outdoor clocks, typically AA or AAA, tend to run for quite a long time, thanks to the fact that a clock doesn’t use up all that much power. In fact, they use so little power that a single battery could last for years. If you notice your outdoor clock is starting to lose its time-related accuracy, that’s your sign that it probably needs a battery change.
What’s the best outdoor clock to buy?
Top outdoor clock
What you need to know: This is an elegant design with large numbers and a beautiful bronze finish. Plus, that brand name is killer.
What you’ll love: A humidity and temperature gauge makes this a perfect clock to fill you in at a glance.
What you should consider: This isn’t a weatherproof clock, so you’ll have to place it where it’s protected from the elements.
Where to buy: Amazon
Top outdoor clock for the money
What you need to know: This is an affordable offering for an outdoor clock, but the size can be an issue.
What you’ll love: A weather-resistant cover helps keep rain out and temperature and humidity gauges keep you informed.
What you should consider: The small size of this clock makes it fairly difficult to read at a distance.
Where to buy: Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: As a fully waterproof outdoor clock, this clock is ideal for less-protected outdoor areas.
What you’ll love: It’s very easy to hang, plus the contrasting colors and large size make for an incredibly easy-to-read clock.
What you should consider: The temperature gauge has been known to give some inaccurate readings.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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