Spring Ahead & Fall Back: What is Daylight Saving Time?

What is daylight saving time?
Daylight saving time (DST) provides "extended" sunlight hours during the summer. Typically, those who practice DST advance their clock time ahead one hour (in the spring) or back one hour (in the fall) to 'save time'.

Sometime in the mid 2000s, the end of DST was amended from the last Sunday of October to the first Sunday of November to allow for longer daylight for trick or treating on Halloween when it's still light out. 
Source: Wikipedia

When do we observe daylight savings time?
In the spring- Second Sunday in March at 2am local time.
In the fall- First Sunday in November at 2am local time.

How do we observe daylight savings time? What do we do?
In the spring at 2am on the second Sunday in March, we should turn our clocks ahead (spring ahead). Instead of it being 2am at 2am it will now be 3am. We lose one hour of time that weekend.

In the fall at 2am on the fist Sunday in November, we should turn our clocks back (fall back). Instead of it being 2am at 2am it will now be 1am. We gain one hour of time that weekend.

Does one have to do it at 2am?
Well, no, though it will make the alarm clock wake you up at the right time Sunday if you do! We can do it when we fall asleep the night before so our alarm will wake us up in the morning. We do not have to get up at 2am to change it this way.

If I forget or am confused how do I know the correct time?
There are a few tricks if this is confusing! Breathe a sigh of relief!

  1. Most computers and cell phones will automatically change the time as long as your device is set to the right time zone.
  2. If in the US, turn on the TV or the radio and wait for the time to be displayed or mentioned.

Change your clocks on all time-telling devices such as: 

  • watches
  • microwaves/ ovens
  • alarm clocks
  • clocks in cars
  • wrist watches
  • any other gadget with a clock/watch on it! 

How does DST affect our family and friends abroad?
Because not all places or countries participate in DST, your family half a world away doesn't feel the 'time change'. Keep them in the loop about the time changes so that you can coordinate your calls appropriately. 

Daylight saving time also impacts how meetings are scheduled across international time zones. For information on managing time when the clocks change, read this article.

When is Daylight Saving Time in the USA?
Clock: World Time
Spring ahead - March 8
Fall back - November 1

Start of DST - March 13
End of DST - November 6 

End of Standard Time - March 12
Start of Standard Time - November 5

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Images in this post:
IPhone Courtesy Peter Ouwerkerk @flickr.
Map and clocks Courtesy Wikipedia

Thanks for your valuable time.

Related Posts:
Meeting Planning and Daylight Saving Time   

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