Fall back with daylight savings on Sunday, November 5 at 2:00 a.m. At this time of year, you’ll be getting an extra hour of sleep. You may be wondering what the point of all this is. In this week’s J-Tech Solar blog, we’ll tell you what you need to know.
HOW DOES DAYLIGHT SAVINGS WORK?
Daylight savings time is a practice in which clocks are adjusted for part of the year to make better use of natural daylight during the longer days of summer. For many parts of the United States, daylight savings typically begins in the spring, usually on the second Sunday in March. During the night, clocks are set forward by one hour, effectively shifting an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Daylight savings time continues throughout the summer months until it eventually comes to an end in the fall, when clocks are set back again by one hour.
WHEN IS DAYLIGHT SAVINGS?
Daylight savings time requires clocks to be adjusted at two points throughout the year, once in the spring and once in the fall. On the second Sunday in March, often at 2:00 am, clocks are set forward. At 2:00 am on the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back by one hour, resetting the process.
WHO PARTICIPATES IN DAYLIGHT SAVINGS?
Today, over 70 countries around the world participate in daylight savings but everyone does it a little differently. Even states across the U.S. have different days to adjust their clocks. In Arizona, they don’t change their clocks at all for daylight savings time. People who live near the equator might not notice a difference because day and night are basically the same length of time. It is not very helpful in these areas. Here in Lincoln, Nebraska, you experience long, dark winter nights and sunny summer days. Daylight savings time is meant to help you make the most of daylight hours all year long.
WHY WAS DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME CREATED?
Why did we start changing the clocks at daylight savings time? For the same reason we do anything: money. Daylight savings time has been around for over 100 years but people have been adjusting their schedules based on the sun since ancient times. Benjamin Franklin is usually given credit for this idea but historians aren’t convinced. Thunder Bay, Canada was the first town to enact a period of daylight savings in 1908. The practice wasn’t popular until the Germans introduced it in 1916. The German Empire would turn the clocks ahead one hour during the summer to minimize the need for lighting and save fuel during World War I.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TODAY?
An important goal of daylight savings time is to coordinate people’s most active hours with the hours of sunlight. Based on a recent study, most people like changing their clocks for daylight savings. In the summer, it seems to add hours in the day and gives people more time to enjoy the sunshine. Tourism industries are especially fond of the revenue boost that comes during longer daylight hours in the summer months.
The reality is that it no longer has that much of an impact on energy savings, which is why people often wonder if daylight savings time is ending. Computers, TV’s, lights and other electricity sources will be used regardless of the amount of light present. While it does decrease power usage, the change is not significant in most areas. Some argue that daylight savings costs more money than it saves because of the need for awareness campaigns and safety promotions surrounding this annual event.
So why do we still have daylight savings time? Scientists and medical professionals continue to research the effects of daylight savings on the human body and your overall health. It’s kind of like the entire country suffers from jet lag at once. The good news is that studies show your risk for a heart attack decreases when the clocks fall back in November. However you feel about daylight savings, here in Lincoln, the tradition still applies. Remember to turn your clocks back an hour this November 5!