The Timeless Debate Over Daylight Savings

Gabriella Rodriguez-Sanchez, Photo Editor

There are more than 24 time zones around the world. Regions near the equator experience about 12 hours of dark to 12 hours of light. For areas farther away, however, America’s Daylight Savings time was made to give an extra hour of daylight to conserve energy by moving an hour of light from the morning to the evening and other countries use similar methods during wartime. 


The Uniform Time Act of 1966, better known as Daylight Savings or “Summer Time” in Europe, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson to officially have the time changes used today.


American Government and U.S. History teacher Timothy Williams, who has traveled to many different countries, said that Daylight Savings isn’t really used outside of the U.S. from what he has seen.


“Two of our states, in fact, don’t even follow Daylight Savings, which are Hawaii and Arizona,” Williams said.


According to Williams, if there was a switch from having Daylight Savings to not having it anymore, people would have difficulty with the change at first, but people would eventually learn to adapt.


“When I was in Hawaii for a while, it was different,” Williams said. “It got dark early and really fast.”


Williams said that although an eventual transition away from Daylight Savings could be made, he is against stopping Daylight Savings in both Texas and the U.S. as a whole because of all of the night time activities such as kids playing sports and the use of street lights, that require more use of energy without Daylight Savings.


“I think we should have it year round, because we’re a nation that uses a lot of electricity at night, not so much in the morning,” Williams said.


Williams believes if there was data that could prove that electricity could be saved by having Daylight Savings it would be a good reason to keep it. In a 2017 analysis of 162 estimates from over 40 different research papers, it was found that Daylight Savings helped save around 0.34 percent of electricity use.


“So much data is out there about how we use so much energy, but if there was some data that could prove that we could save electricity, we should listen to it,” Williams said.


Williams said that initially he heard that Daylight Savings is, in fact, rooted in a need to save energy.


“What I know history teacher wise, is that Ben Franklin said it would save a lot of candles from being burned,” Williams said.


Sophomore Trinaty Messick said that she learned in the past that Daylight Savings was necessary but seems outdated now.


“I know that it used to be used as a way for farmers to get out and get a proper amount of sleep to get everything done before the sun sets,” Messick said.


According to Messick, Daylight Savings saving energy isn’t really something she thinks makes a good argument.


“I don’t really see it as much of a factor just because everybody is able to get everything done during the day,” Messick said. “We still use electricity a lot at night regardless.”


If daylight savings ceased to exist, Messick believes that no real difference would come from it considering other states have already gotten rid of it. She said in those states, it seems to be working since nobody seems to complain.


“I think we would be the same as before except we would just have one less thing to remember.”