The geography surrounding the town, like an estimated 60 other communities nested in the Tyrol region of the Alps, means that Rattenberg receives little to no sunlight during the winter. It is one of the few places at a significant distance from the Arctic Circle that has a time of permanent darkness.
In November 2005, the town announced they were building 30 specialized rotating mirrors called heliostats to reflect sunlight into parts of the town during the winter months. The $2.4 million operation was suggested by Bartenbach Lichtlabor GmbH, a lighting design company. The EU planned to foot half the bill as of November 2005. However, the project was never implemented.