Typically, regions with summer time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time.
American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin proposed a form of daylight time in 1784. He wrote an essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” to the editor of The Journal of Paris, suggesting, somewhat jokingly, that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead. New Zealander George Hudson proposed the idea of daylight saving in 1895. The German Empire and Austria-Hungary organized the first nationwide implementation, starting on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.
The practice has both advocates and critics. Putting clocks forward benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for outdoor entertainment and other activities tied to sunlight, such as farming. Though some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting—once a primary use of electricity—today's heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST affects energy use is limited and contradictory.
DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Computer software often adjusts clocks automatically, but policy changes by various jurisdictions of DST dates and timings may be confusing.
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