Date: October 28   Time: 2:00

Daylight saving time (DST) means moving the clocks forward so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Clocks are put forward at spring and back at autumn. Clocks will be put back on this Saturday night/ Sunday morning at 2:00 am. That is overnight between 27 and 28 October. Ireland will change from Irish Standard Time (used in the summer) to winter time, which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time.

The reason we have DST is that most people work on ‘standard time’ rather than ‘solar time’. This means that most daily things such as what time school starts and ends at are at the same time all year round.The don’t change as sunlight hours change. If ‘standard time’ is used all year, a large number of bright, sunny hours happen during the early morning. These early hours are ‘wasted’. By using daylight saving time, this sunny time is ‘moved’ to the evening. The sunny hours can be ‘used’. In summer in Ireland, the sun rises as early as 5am (without DST). A lot of people are asleep at this time. With DST, the sun rises at 6am. Now more people can use the Sun for longer. In the middle of winter in Ireland, if  we kept using DST, the Sun wouldn’t rise until around 10am. When the clocks go back, the midwinter Sun rises at about 9am. This is a much more practical time for people travelling to work and school.

Where Summer Time is used

Benjamin Franklin thought of changing the clocks in 1784. But it was New Zealand based George Hudson who brought it up seriously. He thought it was a good idea to have more daylight hours after work in the summer. George himself wanted to spend time with his insect collection. He told everyone about his idea, but they didn’t like it very much. Germany became the first country to use DST in 1916. The Germans thought DST would save energy. They thought people would go out in the sun instead of staying inside and using electricity. In those days it was a good idea. In today’s times though, it’s hard to tell if DST is as useful. Daylight saving time might be using more energy than it’s saving.

There are other reasons that make us wonder if DST is worth it. Technology is getting better and better. People prefer to watch TV or go on the computer than go outside. Also, the normal light bulbs that require a lot of energy are being replaced by much better bulbs. This means that even if daylight saving time is useful, it’s getting less useful each year. Either way, some people say it is useful and some people say it isn’t. But they both agree that it doesn’t matter much. DST only changes energy levels by a tiny 1%. This makes us wonder even more if we should bother with DST. It has been shown that in the spring time, due to people being very tired, they don’t work as hard the week after DST starts.

Is daylight saving time worth all the hassle? I don’t think anyone knows for sure!

written by Cressida Cleland, TY Student, Loreto High School Beaufort