In addition to colorful leaves, pumpkin spice lattes and the start of sweater weather, the autumn months provide something we can all celebrate – an extra hour of sleep during the “fall back” time change.
Rest easy by using these tips to prepare for the annual Daylight Saving Time (DST) change this November.
When Does Daylight Saving Time Take Effect?
In nearly every state in the U.S., excluding Hawaii and certain parts of Arizona, Daylight Saving Time begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November. Several other countries, including much of Europe and the United Kingdom, follow similar schedules with slight variance based on locale. All 10 Canadian provinces and three territories observe Daylight Saving Time, except for the Yukon, most of Saskatchewan, select areas in Québec. Mexico adopted Horario de verano nationwide in 1996, because of its increasing economic ties to the United States.
In 2021, residents of the U.S. will “fall back” one hour (reset to standard time) at 2:00 am on Sunday, November 7.
Though Daylight Saving Time sets the standard for business and government, it's not to be confused with astronomic timing. Unlike Daylight Saving Time, which is adjusted twice a year, astronomic timing continuously adjusts on/off times based on approximate latitude and date to mirror the sunset and sunrise times. The two schedules are typically suited for different applications and may be used concurrently.
What Systems Should I Update?
In addition to updating the wall clocks and displays throughout your office, school, facility or home, it's important to be mindful of timer controls and systems that are tuned to a time-based reference point. Having one system an hour ahead or behind can lead to other hiccups further down the line.
From digital lighting control systems to defrost modules, walk through your day-to-day operations and think about where you may need to update or verify settings. Are exterior safety lights set an hour ahead? Will the defrost schedule still avoid the lunchtime rush? Do batteries need to be replaced?
Though it may seem like an extra chore, this will help ensure lights and appliances stay on when they need to be and keep you on schedule for the remainder of the year.
With just a little bit of planning, you can rest easy knowing that you'll be on time when we fall back this year. Get started right away with our contractor’s DST checklist, and be sure to check out our series of Daylight Saving Time tutorial videos for extra help.