NOTICE: If you are shopping for the upcoming October and April eclipses, we encourage you to shop early and allow plenty of time for shipping and order processing.  The last day to place online or phone orders for the October 14th 2023 eclipse is 10/11/23 by 1pm PST.  

The last day to place orders online or by phone for the April 8th 2023 total solar eclipse is March 31st.  

Please make note of transit times and choose an expedited shipping service at checkout if needed.  Please also make note of stock as we cannot guaranty that out of stock items will be available in time for these events.  Our site regularly updates for stock levels and we will do our absolute best to keep our site up to date, however we are expecting an extremely high volume of sales, calls and emails. 

Safe Solar Observing

Solar observing is a fascinating hobby that allows you to witness the beauty and power of our closest star.  However, it is important to be aware of the risks involved in observing the Sun and take appropriate safety precautions.  We'll discuss the best practices for safe solar observing and best products to help you do just that. 

The first and most important rule of solar observing is to never look directly at the Sun without the proper protective gear.  Even a brief glance at the Sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes.  This is because the Sun outputs an extremely powerful amount of light that can cause thermal damage to the retina.  This damage can occur without any signs of pain or discomfort, making it difficult to know when a person has been affected. 

Solar Glasses and Viewers

One of the most obtainable and low commitment ways to view the Sun safely is with the use of a pair of solar eclipse glasses. All glasses sold by Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes are thoroughly tested by the manufacturers and rated for safe use.  

A common question we get is whether children can use solar glasses.  There is no definitive answer for this as every child is different and you know your child best.  They should be able to follow instructions so that they don't remove glasses while looking up, and glasses need to fit properly for a safe viewing experience.  Please consider these factors before using with your child.  If you are not certain that your child can use the glasses safely with supervision, there are other fun and fool-proof and safe ways to view an eclipse that you can make at home such as a pinhole projector. 

Solar Filters

One of the safest way to observe the Sun is through the use of specialized solar filters.  Solar filters come in a variety of forms, such as film or glass, and are designed to protect your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light emitted by the Sun while dimming the intensity of the light.  It is essential to ensure that the solar filters you are using are specifically designed for safe solar observation.  

You'll often hear solar filters referred to as "white light" solar filters.  They produce a white or slightly yellow image of the Sun are especially good for observing sun spot activity, and eclipses.  White light solar filters come in a wide variety of sizes to fit nearly every telescope or pair of binoculars and are a relatively inexpensive way to observe the Sun.

Dedicated Solar Telescopes

Solar telescopes are another option for solar observing and imaging.  They provide a highly detailed view of the Sun, in particular edge activity like solar flares.  Solar telescopes are based on a built-in solar filter and additional blocking filter.  Typically the filter is an H-Alpha solar filter which produces a yellow/orange image of the Sun.  A secondary blocking filter then offers additional filtering and dimming of the Sun's intense light. Smaller blocking filter apertures are best for visual observing while larger blocking filter apertures provide the light necessary for imaging and videography.  

It is important to note that camera lenses, including the ones on your smart phone, are not rated for solar imaging.  Focused light from the Sun can very quickly cause damaging heat that can destroy sensitive equipment and greatly intesify light that would reach your eye.  You should never look through an optical or digital camera viewfinder at the Sun without a proper filter in place, whether that is a white light filter made to fit your lens or through a solar telescope.  

It's also important to protect your body while observing the Sun.  Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat if you'll be out under the Sun for extended periods of time, don't forget to hydrate, and whenever possible find some shade or bring some with you.  When in doubt, talk to a pro.  We're here to help you find the equipment you need to view and image the Sun safely. With the right equipment and some safety precautions, you'll soon find that solar observing is a rewarding hobby.  

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes

5348 Topanga Canyon #101

Woodland Hills, CA 91364


[email protected]