Get ready to set your clocks back this weekend. Daylight saving time ends this weekend at 2 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 4).
Remember, you'll "fall back" and set your clocks back one hour. Many electronic devices—including laptops and some newer cars—automatically adjust when daylight saving time begins or ends.
When you change your clocks in the fall and spring, it’s also a good time to change smoke detector batteries and check the devices are in working order.
Daylight saving time was originally created as an energy-saving solution—having more light evening hours meant less of a reliance artificial lighting. According to National Geographic, Germany in World War I was the first to adopt the concept, and in 1918, the United States standardized the start and end dates of daylight saving time across the country.
Nevertheless, more recent studies have shown that daylight saving time does not actually save energy. When Indiana adopted daylight saving time statewide in 2006 (previously, only 15 of the state's 92 counties observed it), the state saw a net increase in energy use, according to National Geographic:
While use of artificial lights dropped, increased air-conditioning use more than offset any energy gains, according to the daylight saving time research (Michael) Kotchen led for the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2008.
That's because the extra hour that daylight saving time adds in the evening is a hotter hour. "So if people get home an hour earlier in a warmer house, they turn on their air conditioning," the University of Washington's (Hendrik) Wolff said.
California may benefit the most from daylight saving time, according to researchers. Data from a 2008 Energy Department report indicate that the state sees a 1 percent savings in energy daily.
Hotter, more southern states and areas don't fare as well because of the increased air conditioning use, which could be why Arizona, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not observe daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time will begin again on March 10, 2013, when clocks will be set forward one hour.