The time has come to fall back, turning clocks back one hour. Yes, Daylight Saving Time 2018 ends tonight. At 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 4, standard time returns, meaning it will now get dark at between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for many across the country.
Daylight Saving Time begins the second Sunday in March each year, springing clocks forward one hour so that we have more daylight at the end of the day. Hawaii and most of Arizona are excluded from Daylight Saving Time, preferring to stay on standard time year-round. Otherwise, the rest of the U.S. follows Daylight Saving Time.
It lasts from the second Sunday in March each year until the first Sunday in November. And even though most U.S. residents spend the majority of the year in Daylight Saving Time, it’s a frequently misspelled, called Daylight Savings Time – note the S on savings – instead of Daylight Saving Time.
Congress added an extra month to Daylight Saving Time in 2007 – starting it three weeks earlier in the spring (the second Sunday in March) and ending it one week later in the fall (the first Sunday in November). That means we now spend almost 70 percent of our days each year with an extra hour of light at the end of the day and more time in darkness early in the morning.
Originally, when Daylight Saving Time was established in the United States by a federal standard in 1967, it lasted for six months. The premise sold to legislators: energy conservation.
An extra hour of sunlight for half the year meant less time with the lights on inside. The gasoline and retail lobbying efforts were behind the effort and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was also a force behind the movement.
Retailers, including convenience stores that sell gasoline, successfully lobbied to Congress again in 1986, and Daylight Saving Time was extended for another month, and again in 2007 when it was extended for another month.
Energy conservation, as before, was cited as the reason for the Daylight Saving Time extension to eight months of the American year. But it is worth noting that candy makers were part of a powerful lobby pushing to extend Daylight Saving Time into November, since the extra hour of sunlight on October 31 fuels more candy sales.