Remember that grim morning back in March where you groaned at the injustice of losing an hour when the clocks went forward? Well, rejoice! Because this weekend we get that hour back-along with a bonus lie in! While it might signal that winter is just around the corner, there is a good reason for the clocks to go back and forth.
The reason for the change stems back to the late 1800s and an English insect specialist and astronomer name George Vernon Hudson. George proposed a two hour shift in daylight time, in order to capitalise on the hours of light that were missed. He stated;
“To alter the time of the clock at the equinoxes so as to bring the working-hours of the day within the period of daylight, and by utilising the early morning, so reduce the excessive use of artificial light which at present prevails.”
While this was a great ideas it didn’t catch on, and nothing happened. It wasn’t until 1905 that the Daylight Saving Time (DST) issue raised again. This time it was William Willett, a British builder who wanted the change. He was an avid horse-rider; but became enraged at the waste of useful light by those around him. Even though the sun and Willett had been up for hours the residents were he rode would still be asleep in bed.
Willett’s DST idea was more complex than Hudson’s as he suggested setting the clocks head 20 minutes on every Sunday in April and switching them back again in September, a total of 8 switches a year. Gives us a headache just thinking about it! Most of us struggle with the two changes we have now.
Thankfully, Will’s 8 time changes were no adopted but his idea did attract the attention of the Liberal Party MP Robert Pearce. Robert drafted the first daylight saving bill in 1909 but after facing a lot of opposition it never made its way into law.
It wasn’t until the World War One broke that DST was finally implemented. With a great need to save fuel for the war effort Germany adopted DST in April 1916 and others followed suit, Britain doing so in May.
With the change accepted, we dutifully change them the world over twice and with the nights drawing in and of course the festivities creeping closer saving money and fuel is a big priority again. We’ve advanced a long way since WW1 and now LED lights throughout your home can save you money on the long cold winter nights. So enjoy energy savings as well as a lie in this weekend with LEDs.