What is Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight Savings Time (DST) was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784.
Daylight Savings Time (DST) was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784.

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) utilizes natural daylight by setting clocks one hour ahead of standard time during summer and setting them back by one hour in the fall. Benjamin Franklin proposed a way of saving daylight in 1784 through an essay suggesting that people in Paris could make proper use of candles by getting up early and using the natural light in the morning instead of candles. In 1895, George Hudson of New Zealand came up with the idea of daylight savings time that was implemented in 1916 when many nations began to use it, especially after the 1970s energy crisis.

According to the advocates, the primary objective of Daylight Saving Time was to economize the incandescent lighting used during evening hours. However, DST critics claim that the patterns of heating and cooling in the modern day world have considerably changed, and there is no sufficient evidence to show the effectiveness of DST according to research. In other words, the impact of DST on the use of energy is still contradictory and not up to a measurable level.


Mostly, societies with industrialization have a fixed schedule for daily activities year in and year out. For example, the working and schooling hours for some people begin at 8:00 am and end at 5:00 pm during weekdays throughout the year. However, the daily routine hours in the societies that depend on the agricultural economy are mostly dependent on the length of daylight hours. The daylight hours vary according to seasonal variation, longer during summer and shorter during winter.

Therefore, when all clocks in a region are advanced one hour ahead of the standard time, people in that area using the yearly fixed schedule would have to wake up one hour earlier and complete their work one hour earlier than if they would be using the standard time. Thus, these individuals will have few daylight hours at the beginning of every day, making the synchronization less useful in winter times.

Proponents of DST argue that it reduces the consumption of energy through reduction of the need for heating and lighting. Moreover, according to the supporters' point of view, many people world like a great increase in daylight hours after business hours. However, critics argue that DST does not have a crucial impact on energy use.

Location & Variation

The sunrise and sunset times in regions at high latitudes do not synchronize with the universal working hours despite the manipulation of time. Therefore, the time manipulation would have a negligible effect on the daily life in such areas since there are extreme changes in the length of day and night due to the seasonal variations. Moreover, DST has little impact on the equatorial regions since there are small daylight changes throughout the year in such places. The effect of DST also varies depending on the eastward or westward distance of a region within the region's time zone. Those parts at the far end towards the east benefit more than the ones at the far end towards the west, both being in one time zone.


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