Daylight Savings Can Save You Money

Congress will sneak into your bedroom tonight and steal a precious hour of sleep, but you don’t need to take the theft lying down. Get up tomorrow and use a few tips from Consumer Reports to steal back some hard-earned cash.

General Housekeeping

  • Batteries: Toss new ones in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your smoke detector is more than ten years old, replace it; same thing for any carbon monoxide detector more than five years old. If you rent, your landlord may be required to pay for new detectors.
  • Vehicle Lights: “Inspect the entire lighting system in your car to ensure that all lights are working properly. Clean headlights and make sure they are correctly aligned according to the owner’s manual.”
  • Update Your Family Disaster Plan: What, you don’t have one? Well write one! You need to know where you’ll meet and where you can find necessary supplies. 2009’s special edition disaster plan can also include likely locations for bread lines and tin can fires.

Save Money!

  • Adjust Your Thermostats: Taking advantage of the extra sunlight can shave up to 20% off your heating and cooling costs. Lower the thermostat by a few degrees at night, and if nobody’s home during the day, take advantage of your thermostat’s scheduling features for even greater savings.
  • Replace Old Bulbs With Compact Fluorescents: Yeah, yeah, we know you think their light is too harsh and they take too long to warm up. Those might have been valid objections back when people had money to burn, but now the bulbs are better and passing up the chance to save more than 25% on your lighting bill just seems dim.

Changes to daylight-saving time [Consumer’s Union]
(Photo: .Larry Page)

Comments

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  1. N.RobertMoses says:

    There is no extra hour of sunlight. That stays the same.

    All this does is shift energy use to the morning when it is still dark and people are getting ready for school and work. Plus, people are more likely to leave something on when they are running out the door half awake because some idiot politician “solved” a problem with some symbolic crap that doesn’t do anything.

    Plus there is the lost productivity of people who’s sleep patterns are disrupted, accidents, children going to school in the dark, etc.

    In fact, Daylight Savings Time increasesenergy use, which totally defeats the reason for it to exist. Another victory for the brains in Congress who are causing $1.7 Billion to be wasted.

    It is time we eliminate Daylight Savings Time once and for all since it costs too much money, and is just more govenmental newspeak.

    • BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @N.RobertMoses: So is there no summer/winter solstice and vernal/autumnal equinox also? B/c you know the Summer solstice is the day of the year with the most amount of sunlight and the winter is the one with the least? Or is the whole axis of the Earth and our trip around the sun a fabrication of the “Government”?

      • N.RobertMoses says:

        @BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave: No.
        I was talking about on a daily basis. We get the same amount of sun regardless of what time the clock says. It is like you have two pizzas, but you cut them differently so you get 6 slices on one and 8 slices on the other. You still get the same amount of pizza.

        • coym says:

          @N.RobertMoses:
          you’re kidding right? The number of daylight hours changes all the time. You aren’t getting the same amount of sunlight everyday.

          I really hope this is a joke. Want proof? Look at Northern Alaska, half the year it’s dark ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT, the half of the year it’s light ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT.

          Want further proof? Wake up everyday at sunrise and count the hours (regardless of what the clock says) the sun is up. Do this everyday for a year. There is a difference.

          Regardless of weather or not it saves energy is different, but I sure enjoy the extra hours of sunlight when I get off work, compared to it being sunlight earlier when I’m still sleeping.

          • PunditGuy says:

            @coym: Reading comprehension FTL. It’s not that the number of daylight hours don’t change, it’s that DST doesn’t change the number of daylight hours present in any given day.

            If you wake up and it’s dark out, you have to use electricity to make up for the darkness. (If you’d woken up later, you wouldn’t have to.) Now, when you come home and it’s sunny, you don’t use so much electricity as you would if it had been dark. You’ve shifted use from the evening to the morning. That was the point.

            • Raiders757 says:

              @PunditGuy:

              Exactly. I think some have taken the OP’s post out of context.

              What I don’t get, is why was it moved from April to March? This is just stupid. Now my 14 year old step daughter has to wait for the bus in the dark. That just doesn’t seem very safe in the area we live. It’s not a ghetto, but there are some serious wack jobs living in my town.

              I also feel for those who work outdoors for no good sorry arse people. You know, those sort of boss’s that make their crews work until the sun goes down. That extra daylight cuts into family time and personal time for those people. Most of the time it’s not worth the extra pay.

              On top of that, there is no way this saves more energy. That’s a crock.

              • EdenBabararacucudada says:

                @Raiders757:
                The number of daylight hours changes over time. The need for /schedules/ (not numbers on a clock!) to adjust to compensate does not changed no matter what arbitrary shifts in what a clock says are going on.
                Talk to your school district about altering the school’s schedule. Changes like that will need to be made if Daylight Savings Time is ever to be abolished.

            • coym says:

              @PunditGuy:

              Only that’s not what he said.

              “We get the same amount of sun regardless of what time the clock says.”

              That statement just plain isn’t true. We don’t get the same amount of sun. It in fact does vary from day to day, month to month. Obviously changing the clock doesn’t change the number of hours the sun is shining.

              • N.RobertMoses says:

                @coym: What is so hard to understand? We get the same amount of sun on this day regardless of what the clock says. The same thing goes for tomorrow, but it is a different amount of sun than today.

              • joshua70448 says:

                @coym: Quit trying to nitpick, you know exactly what he meant and you’re just trying to be a pain and a forum troll. He never said that we get the same amount of sun every day, now did he? Notice also that he said “on a daily basis,” meaning that it changes from day to day.

          • Anonymous says:

            @coym: Oh for Pete’s sake! Get a grip. He wasn’t saying the number of hours of daylight stay the same, he was referring to the fact that the sun doesn’t give a damn what your clock says. Today you will get X amount of sunlight, whether you set your clock ahead, back, sideways, or pull off the hands altogether. Sheesh!

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        @BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave: LOL, A+. Solstice? Equinox? You MUST be jesting. (j/k)

        Daylight savings time is no bother to me, I much prefer having the shift. I’ve never cared too much about it, besides getting a little giddy on the inside knowing that the 3 feet of snow in my front yard will dissipate soon….

        I cannot believe the uproar over this! Well, to each his own.

    • the_wiggle says:

      @N.RobertMoses: let’s not forget the havoc dst wreaks on shift work as it leads to the asinine policy of shift slide.

    • oneliketadow says:

      @N.RobertMoses: Without “spring forward” there is quite a bit of lost daylight in the mornings, at least here in Colorado. It’s pretty useless to me if the sun comes up at 5:30 am (which it would by May if we didn’t move the clock), but it’s great if it stays up until 9:30pm. I get up pretty regularly around 7am to perhaps 7:30am, and with DST, the only time it’s dark is in the deep winter.

    • PlasmaMachine says:
    • coym says:

      @N.RobertMoses:
      [aa.usno.navy.mil]

      Go there. Select 2008, and your city, state. You can clearly see that the number of daylight hours change.

    • dangermike says:

      @N.RobertMoses: There are also more heart attacks and car accidents in the days following the DST “spring forward.” And fewer after the “fall back” although I’m not sure which one is more heavily weighted.

      As far I’m concerned, DST sucks. I HATE waking up before the sun is up. I just find it really depressing.

  2. OMAC says:

    What do any of the listed tips have to do with DST? What exactly does changing my lightbulbs to fluorescent have to do with DST? Mine are already fluorescent. All DST does is throw people off like N. RobertMoses points out.

    • BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @OMAC: Well, most fire dept’s and fire prevention officers recommend changing the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors every six months. Since you need to go around and change clocks, why not use it as a time to change batteries as well? Most people do things on “special” days. Like taking down your Christmas lights/putting out your tree the first Saturday after New Years. Or cleaning the house in the spring, etc…

      • N.RobertMoses says:

        @BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave: There are other days that could be used to change your smoke alarm batteries.
        I know the FDNY gives out free batteries.

        • DrGirlfriend says:

          @N.RobertMoses: there are, but the 2 time-change days per year have been used as a kind of “string tied around your finger” in order to help people remember to change them for a long time now.

          • N.RobertMoses says:

            @DrGirlfriend: So you argument is to keep something that costs almost $2 billion plus accidents, crimes, lost productivity, and doesn’t save any energy so people get reminded to change their batteries every six months?

            How about change you batteries New Years Day and Memorial Day, not futzing with the clocks and saving money?

      • rinse says:

        @BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave: I’ll be too sleepy from losing an hour of sleep to do any of that on DST day. Have you said anything on this topic that hasn’t been refuted by someone in response? ;)

      • NotATool says:

        @BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave: Great, except that the time changes don’t happen every six months.

        Throw away batteries I just replaced four months ago? Why?

  3. Shivved says:

    The question with CFLs is fairly simple: do you like the light they put out? If you answer no to that question, it’s probably worth the $1 a day in electricity you’ll be spending to light your incandescent bulbs. There are plenty of other ways to save money that won’t so severely impact your comfort in your own home.

    • CFinWV says:

      @Shivved: I swapped all my bulbs to CFL’s and then was literally incapacitated with migraines. It wasn’t until a friend suggested it was the bulbs. Sure enough I swapped them back out and the migraines stopped. I can’t use them. So yea, for me the extra money is worth it but then again I don’t light up my house like a beacon every night.

    • RosalbaShard says:

      @Shivved:

      Absolutely Shivvved. I’m definitely pro-choice on lightbulbs.

      But that all changes in 2012, when the majority of incandescent bulbs become illegal in the United States. We will be forced to buy CFLs.

    • shepd says:

      @Shivved:

      You can purchase CFLs in multiple colour temperatures (including “Daylight”) and CFLs on the market today operate at a frequency high enough it is no longer possible to see the flicker they produce.

      However, there is a caveat: They can be a fire hazard. Because unlike their traditional counterparts that were basically poorly designed fuses, CFLs operate on solid state circuitry, a poorly designed CFL can ignite, although purchasing approved electronics should prevent this risk. And, as the owner of a CFL bulb that has melted down, I know this is a possibility, although mine was designed well enough to contain the exploding parts within the electronics base. There are some testifications this is true, and some that it is false–that rather the bases naturally melt at the end of the life of the bulb, releasing toxic plastic and lead vapours into your home. Neither scenario is comforting to me (my bulb simply released the toxic vapours).

      CFLs also contain mercury, and as such, special precautions are required when cleaning an area contaminated due to a broken bulb. As a member of my company’s JHSC, I regularly receive reports where the janitors did *not* understand these procedures and instead chose to vacuum up the mess (BAD choice! These are SEALED office buildings.) like it was a regular broken lightbulb.

      I suppose the issue at hand is that people are being given CFLs and being told to treat them as lightbulbs. That is false information. If you treat them as the mercury containing, toxic vapour releasing vessels that they are, you will be fine. In a house, just remember to open the windows and air out should you have an issue.

      I know my country is set on banning regular lightbulbs, which is unfortunately, because if they make true on, it without exception, machinery accidents will increase (The flicker from a normal lightbulb replaced by a CFL on a machine can cause the machinery to appear stopped when it is in motion.)

    • wastedlife says:

      @Shivved: In addition, you would likely save more electricity by shutting off your lights when not using them than by switching to CFL. Although, doing both would obviously save you the most in electricity bills.

      Also, aren’t LEDs safer than and use about the same amount of electricity as CFLs? Do those look better than CFLs? I haven’t used LED’s yet, and most of the bulbs installed when I moved into my apartment have not died yet. I’m looking at replacing them with CFLs or LEDs as they die, and am wondering which would look best whilst saving some energy.

  4. sir_eccles says:

    There seems to be a great range of light that comes from CFLs that varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Has anyone done comparative tests?

    • floraposte says:

      @sir_eccles: Well, Consumer Reports has, for one. I like the N:Vision lights from Home Depot–whichever I’ve been getting (I think it’s the “Soft Light” ones), they’re definitely among the warmest-toned of the fluorescents I’ve tried. They’re not the fastest warmups, but they’re still pretty speedy (save the occasional dud).

      It’s kind of a question of what you want from the bulb, too.

      • sir_eccles says:

        @floraposte: Well Consumer Reports being a pay site aside. All I really need is a table that lists all the different brands, the claimed color temp and a column that say comments on the perceived color along the lines of “slight green tinge” or something.

        Or bottom line, what brand is closest to a normal incandescent 60w pearl?

        • Hamm Beerger says:

          @sir_eccles: That table you describe is what one pays Consumer Reports to see.

        • RedwoodFlyer says:

          @squablow: As a smallish airline with only 29 aircraft, it costs us nearly $500,000 in schedule disruptions etc etc.

          For the overall US Airline industry, the costs are staggering…over $84 million each switch! The biggest problems arise from international flights, and those to states like AZ and IN.

      • _catlike_ says:

        @floraposte: I use the N:Vision ones myself, but I like the “Daylight” variety. They’re bright enough that I used them to replace some halogens in my kitchen, and I was even pleased enough with them that I put them in my bathroom where I do my makeup (which, until now, I refused to do with a CFL). That said, I’ve been searching in vain for daylight T5 tubes (for undercabinet lighting) that are as bright as the CFLs. I’ve had to return two of different brands so far. I’m starting to wonder if that color temperature can’t be effectively reached in a tube form.

    • BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @sir_eccles: Popular Mechanics did a test awhile back, and found Home Depots bulbs to be the best. For what it’s worth, I use their bulbs. If they burn out before the date they should on the warranty on the box, you call the 800# on the bulb, and read off the code, and if it’s before the “time”, they send you out new bulbs for free. Add that to HD also taking the bulbs back for free, and they literally do pay for themselves. I know that my local Hazardous Waste Recycling center takes the for free also, but my center requires you to make an appointment, so it’s easier to take my bulbs there, and my batteries+everything else to the center every 2 years or so.

  5. squablow says:

    I’d like to join the bandwagon of “cancel daylight savings time”. It’s a hassle and it’s stupid. Changing the time on a clock does not add or subtract any daylight from the day.

    If there really are people who need their daylight earlier or later, they should change their schedule accordingly, not their clock.

    If anyone has any good reason why we observe daylight savings time, I’d love to hear it.

    • sleze69 says:

      @squablow: It was invented by the beloved Ben Franklin in a different age when artificial lighting was expensive and a hassle. People went to sleep at dark back then.

      It is obsolete and “Spring Ahead” is the worst day (and technically the shortest) of the year.

      • esd2020 says:

        @sleze69: That’s a myth. Franklin certainly believed in rising early, but he had nothing to do with DST, which started during World War 1

      • N.RobertMoses says:

        @sleze69: Actually, no it was done at the behest of various chambers of commerce through good old fashioned lobbying and misinformation.

      • Xerloq says:

        @sleze69: Ben Franklin might have conceptualized it, but it wasn’t until much later that it was implemented:

        History of Daylight Time in the U.S. (from [aa.usno.navy.mil])

        Although standard time in time zones was instituted in the U.S. and Canada by the railroads in 1883, it was not established in U.S. law until the Act of March 19, 1918, sometimes called the Standard Time Act. The act also established daylight saving time, a contentious idea then. Daylight saving time was repealed in 1919, but standard time in time zones remained in law. Daylight time became a local matter. It was re-established nationally early in World War II, and was continuously observed from 9 February 1942 to 30 September 1945. After the war its use varied among states and localities. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided standardization in the dates of beginning and end of daylight time in the U.S. but allowed for local exemptions from its observance. The act provided that daylight time begin on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October, with the changeover to occur at 2 a.m. local time.

        During the “energy crisis” years, Congress enacted earlier starting dates for daylight time. In 1974, daylight time began on 6 January and in 1975 it began on 23 February. After those two years the starting date reverted back to the last Sunday in April. In 1986, a law was passed that shifted the starting date of daylight time to the first Sunday in April, beginning in 1987. The ending date of daylight time was not subject to such changes, and remained the last Sunday in October. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed both the starting and ending dates. Beginning in 2007, daylight time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

        For a very readable account of the history of standard and daylight time in the U.S., see

        Ian R. Bartky and Elizabeth Harrison: “Standard and Daylight-saving Time”, Scientific American, May 1979 (Vol. 240, No. 5), pp. 46-53.

    • Lance Uppercut says:

      @squablow: Because an hour of light in the evening is a lot more useful. I can cut my grass in the evening, but I can’t go out and cut it at 6 a.m. without making a lot of enemies.

      I’m not opposed to cutting out the switch, but if we do I’d rather stay on DST all year.

      • Raiders757 says:

        @Cletus:

        Cut your grass on the weekends. There is nothing worse than people like you, who mow their lawn in the evening on a weeknight. There’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing your loud mower while I am grilling diner for my fmaily. Oh, and the smell of grass is no nice to.

        If you can’t mow your grass by six in the evening, then do it on the weekend. That goes with chainsaws and any other loud crap. There should be a law. After six, all yard work is to halt.

        • MauriceCallidice says:

          @Raiders757: Get some perspective. “Nothing worse.” Nothing? Really? Nothing???

          It often rains of the weekends. Some of us don’t get home from work until 5:30 or 6:00.

          • CRCError1970 says:

            @MauriceCallidice: It often rains on weekdays, too. The day of the week has no bearing whatsover on chance of rain or shine. And if you don’t get home untill too late then even better to do it on the weekend…

            • Tmoney02 says:

              @CRCError1970: The day of the week has no bearing whatsover on chance of rain or shine.

              Actually your wrong. Here is one of the studies that have found that it does rain more on weekends at least for some areas. Its believed to be due to all the pollution from commuting and industry during the week.

              [www.weathernotebook.org]

    • Raiders757 says:

      @squablow:

      …so landscape crews and construction crews can be slave driven to work until 8:00PM every day. That way they have no life. Mon-Sat: sleep-work-sleep-work. Get drunk Sunday. Wash and repeat.

    • Garbanzo says:

      @squablow: Nope, changing just my schedule isn’t sufficient. If I just got up an hour earlier, went to work an hour earlier, and went home an hour earlier, I would be commuting during rush hour, so my commute would take longer. And (since we carpool) my husband would have to leave work before the cafeteria started serving dinner. If we could only figure out a way to get *everyone* to shift their routine an hour earlier, say by changing the clocks…

      I love daylight savings time. I’d be happy if we just stayed on it year round, but then the morning people would whine about going to work in the dark during winter. Since it doesn’t matter much whether I drive home two hours or three after the sun sets in winter, I suck it up for their sake and put up with daylight losing time for several months each year.

    • bravohotel01 says:

      Think about @squablow:
      We observe DST because it increases the amount of time people will be willing to shop and support our economy. Think about *who* actually gained from the increase in DST time.

      When it gets dark, folks are less likely to shop and more likely to head on home — just by “increasing” the light hours, the government has encouraged you to Spend More Money!!11

      So, go buy something.

  6. LLH says:

    there are a few states such as arizona that do not subscribe to the craziness, they save that for their sheriff.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @LLH:

      Speaking of whom, Sir Charles Barkley is visiting the sheriff for the next 3 days.

    • dcm684 says:

      @LLH: Ever since Indiana switched to DST a couple years ago, Arizona is now the only state that has avoided that craziness. I miss the days before DST.

      • god_forbids says:

        @dcm684: Um, no. We in Hawaii have never done that crap. I dunno about Alaska.

        But to tell the truth, I guess neither of us need it, either. We’re always sunny and they’re, well, too close to the pole for an hour to make a difference.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @dcm684: My FAVORITE PART of living in Indiana was the lack of DST. I LOATHE changing times, and once you’ve lived in a sane place that doesn’t do it, you’re shockingly bitter about having to do it.

        I lived in South Bend; there are suburbs a bit north on the Michigan/Indiana border (that part of Indiana was on Central, Michigan was on Eastern, IIRC) where half the year they’d be one hour apart and the other half the year 2 hours, when Michigan shifted and Indiana didn’t. Which made for very confusing extracurricular schedules in the parts where the suburbs crossed the border (and the local ballet school would serve kids on both sides of the border), and could make child care arrangements very complicated if mom worked in Michigan and the kids went to school in Indiana!

  7. Pal says:

    I miss living in Japan, where there was no DST. It was also convenient that everyone was in the same time zone.

    • johnva says:

      @Pal: Same! I lived in Japan, too, and I found their system very practical. I actually kinda like the seasonal shift of darkness and light.

    • oneliketadow says:

      @Pal: Japan isn’t over 3000 miles wide. One timezone makes no sense for the US.

      • johnva says:

        @oneliketadow: In my opinion, timezones are a stupid idea in the first place. Why do we have to link specific numbers on the clock to “wakeup time” in the first place? Why does the workday have to be 9-5 everywhere? We could make it 9-5 on the east coast, and 12-8 on the west, and nothing would change, because the arbitrary numbers on the clock do not affect how light it is. All that having timezones does is make coordinating things with people in other timezones more confusing. Everyone should just use UTC and then adjust their workdays so that they begin at whatever UTC time “local sunrise + a couple hours” is.

      • jamar0303 says:

        @oneliketadow: China also has only one timezone. They’re a little closer in size.

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I don’t mind DST. I like that I can do more things in the evening and still have some daylight left.

    I just wish we would roll back to the previous DST schedule, pre-GWB era. Studies have shown that the energy savings from new extended DST were marginal. In other words, not worth it.

    • N.RobertMoses says:

      @LatherRinseRepeat: But you are forgetting that it was symbolic. Hey look we are the government and we are doing something. It is like a politician spending $4 million to needlessly rename a bridge after some dead party hack, then cries poor mouth and financial responsibility.

    • weave says:

      @LatherRinseRepeat: That braindead idea of changing DST screwed up many a clock-based system that adjusts automatically. In fact, my cable box/DVR is still showing the old time. There goes my recording schedules :(

      The only good thing about the change is extra daylight to get home on Halloween so I can set up for the brats before it gets dark. The old way, at least around here, was it got dark at 5pm, right when I get off work.

      • Raiders757 says:

        @weave:

        I don’t like that with Halloween. It should be dark when the little ghosts and witches come out for candy. It just doesn’t seem right when it’s light out.

  9. bohemian says:

    I wish they would just drop the DST and let companies shift to a summer schedule if they wish to for their business hours.

    Sam’s club just started selling LED fitted light bulbs. We bought some and they supposedly save far more than CFL’s do and last longer. We have yet to try them out to see what the light is like.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @bohemian: You’ll be very, very happy that they have a flexible return policy. I’m sorry, but LED bulbs are WORTHLESS! The 40w “equivilant” barely output any light at all…and it’s ultra cold/harsh/white. It’s very, very directional, and the bulbs are, of course, expensive.

      Even Cadillac admitted that the LED lights that they spent about $10 million to develop aren’t any more energy efficient…

      • Lance Uppercut says:

        @ComcastRedwoodFlyer: I agree 100%. I bought a pack of LCD bulbs from Sam’s early this week. One in the pack was a dud, but the one that did work gave off awful light. Very harsh. Anyway, they got returned.

        I’ll stick with CFL’s for now.

  10. Chachoregard says:

    I got CFL’s all around the house, there’s not a single incandescent one around the house(that I know of) and I like the light they put out. It’s a heck of a better than the Artificial Sun that the Incandescent ones do when they’re turned on.

  11. Anonymous says:

    People can change their schedule? That’s a good one! Guess some people aren’t trapped in the rat race.

    My friend is at work by 7AM, but he is one of those who I consider crazy anyhow. At least he can walk to his job, unlike the crazier ones that commute 1hr+ to get to work early. Usually to beat the crowd. A crowd that grows as everyone else wants to beat the crowd… a crowd that won’t exist some day soon at the time we think of the morning commute now. That could affect DST even more!

    Here is what I always try to remember: I noticed a decade ago during summer break from college that when I went jogging early in the morning (as in my not having gotten to bed yet!) that the sun was blazin’ by 5:35AM-5:40AM!!! If we DIDN’T spring ahead by moving the clocks up an hour, then it would be WAY too sunny at 4:30AM! And those nice long summer days would reach darkness sooner.

  12. madanthony says:

    I have some CFL’s that I got free after rebate or coupon or something a while back, and I’ve been putting them in some fixtures where it doesn’t really matter – I don’t notice a huge change in light, although it is a pain waiting for them to warm up.

    The problem is I have some light fixtures where they won’t work – I’ve got a couple lamps/lights with dimmers around the house, and a motion-activated porch light. Regular CFL’s don’t work with dimmers, and a light that takes a minute to go on to full light defeats the point of a motion-activated light. I know they make specialty lights for dimmers, but I’m guessing the cost would outweigh the energy savings.

    Plus, I broke one once while putting it in, and spent the next couple weeks worried that either I or my cat was going to die of mercury poisoning, or at least become retarded.

    • BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @madanthony: Let’s be honest. All cats are retarded in some way. Hell, I swear my queen drank antifreeze the day my one’s brain was forming. He is the STUPIDEST cat I have ever seen. Food bowl is in the same place it has been for at least the past six months in the room I have always fed him in. Still, everyday he runs right past it and wanders around for about 15 seconds before he suddenly “discovers” it, and runs to it. Dumb.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @madanthony: “light that takes a minute to go on to full light defeats the point of a motion-activated light.”

      Most CFLs come on bright now. They often say on the package something like, “80% brightness at switching, full brightness within 40 seconds.”

      They’re getting better constantly. We’ve been using them for four years, and the one downside is since they last forEVER, the ones we put in right at the beginning definitely have less-good light and take forever to warm up. The ones we’ve put in this year almost surprise me how bright they come on.

      (Upside, we just move those less-good, older bulbs to basement fixtures and things and wait for them to go through their 10,000 hours or whatever.)

  13. badgeman46 says:

    Last I checked buying batteries, automobile lightbulbs, aligning them, changing all your lights, costs a bunch of money. I normally refrain from being an antagonist on here, but if I were to do all these things I would be spending about 500 bucks.

    • BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @badgeman46: And how much would the accident your lights being out and someone hitting you, the deer/child/trash can you didn’t see in time b/c your lights were aimed to low, and the smoke damage to your house cost?

      You know, those NFL players could have been saved if they had invested $10.00 for a water proof Coast Guard approved strobe light and/or ~$150.00 for an EPIRB. But they didn’t and saved that ~$200.00. Who’s laughing now!

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @badgeman46: Changing two batteries in your smoke detector will hardly break you (and you can reuse the old batteries in your TV remote — TV remotes use so little juice they’re a great place to “use up” the last bit of batteries that won’t power a “real” appliance anymore). And replacing the lightbulbs in your house you’re meant to do as you go along, not all at once. Incandescents burn out frequently … when they do, you replace that ONE with a CFL.

      We’ve been replacing as they burn out for four years and we’re ABOUT all replaced now. And we change lightbulbs way less often now.

      • orlo says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: I’ve never seen a detector that took anything other than 9V. Interesting

        • PirateCaptain_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @orlo: @Garbanzo: Two of my CO detectors take AA’s. One is a combo CO/smoke detector. It even talks!

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @orlo: @Garbanzo: Mine (with AAs) came with the house so I never really thought about it, but I’m pretty sure my parents’ is 9V too.

          Oh well. Still. I’d rather pay for unnecessary battery changes than have it NOT go off.

      • Garbanzo says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Every TV remote I’ve ever seen takes AA or AAA batteries, while every smoke detector I’ve ever seen takes a 9V.

      • Tmoney02 says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: And replacing the lightbulbs in your house you’re meant to do as you go along, not all at once. Incandescents burn out frequently … when they do, you replace that ONE with a CFL.

        They had a energy expert on NPR and he pointed out that this is a common mistake. That you would save more money in a year than the cost of a regular light bulb with each CFL, so you should just go ahead and change everything at once rather than wait for each old bulb to burn out.

  14. Jack T Ripper says:

    Don’t forget to flip your mattress too. If you don’t flip and turn your mattress every so often then it wears very unevenly. You can get years more out of it if you flip and rotate it every 6 months (or when the time changes like I do)

    • god_forbids says:

      @ocdetails: This is not accurate for a lot of more recent mattresses. Someone who knows more about it can post why, but I know that mine doesn’t require it.

      • TaterTom says:

        @god_forbids: Pillow tops don’t have pillow bottoms. I don’t think I know any more than the next guy, but I can only think of one other exception:

        If you’re the type to swap the whole mattress once a year [or a similar time frame], and resell the old one, you’d want to not flip it, to maintain resell value. My mattresses, like white t-shirts, seem to gather stains with no resemblance to any materials they’ve been exposed to. Even if you donate it, you can feel comfortable writing in a larger donated value based on how nice and pretty the other side is.

  15. badgeman46 says:

    Doesn’t the fee they charge to take the hazardous waste on CFls cancel out the savings?

    • BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @badgeman46: Home Depot and many other stores take them for free. Hard to cancel out a charge of “$0.00″. Even my local county takes CFL from residents for free.

  16. b.k. says:

    The direct reply thingy isn’t working for me. So, Badgeman: We switched our bulbs to CFL one at a time. If an old incandescent burned out in a light we use all the time, we’d replace it with a CFL.

    OCDetails: I just found out that you should regularly vacuum your mattress, too! I never would’ve thought to vacuum a mattress.

    • Tvoretz says:

      @b.k.: Vacuuming, or at least brushing, your mattress is a must if you have an old rubber foam mattress.

      Off-Topic: Old rubber foam mattresses are awesome. Way, way better than memory foam or air mattresses. Claims that they “wear out” are false. (Or, I just have the perfect mattress, period.

      • TaterTom says:

        @jakestlm: That sounds oddly familiar to one of Larry the Cable Guy’s “I believe” submissions:

        “I believe that if a man thinks that he’s gonna get lucky, he should be a gentleman and vacuum the sheets.”

  17. savdavid says:

    If the government just ordered everyone to get up an hour earlier without changing their clocks people would scream foul!! However, if the clock tells everyone to get up at the same time (although you are really getting up an hour earlier because you moved the clock hands) people dutifully obey. We are trained to live by the clock.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @savdavid: I would not get up earlier but my boss may have some negative feelings if I started showing up to work an hour late.

  18. badgeman46 says:

    @BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave: I am just saying the title on here is daylight savings=save money and the tips have nothing to do with anything. I am just a tad perplexed. Ironically I did have my headlights unfogged this week for 100 bucks.

  19. scoosdad says:

    Adjust Your Thermostats: Taking advantage of the extra sunlight can shave up to 20% off your heating and cooling costs.

    Huh?

    I don’t know about you, but if I keep my thermostat set at 68, just because there’s more sunlight and warmth outside, I don’t go changing my thermostat setting down to 64. Makes no sense. The thermostat will continue to do what it was designed to do, and reduce the amount of heat the furnace needs to produce based on any gain in heat from other sources (e.g. sunlight) accordingly.

    “Hooray, it’s more sunny out now, time to be colder inside the house!”

    • TacoChuck says:

      @scoosdad: Their suggestions, while inexplicably tied to DST, are correct for anytime of year. There is no reason to keep your unoccupied house at a comfortable temperature for occupation if there is no one home all day. Likewise, there is no reason to keep the house at that temperature all night when most folks are asleep in bed with additional coverings for warmth.

      • TaterTom says:

        @TacoChuck: I have to disagree a bit. Summertime in Florida takes ridiculous amounts of energy to cool your house down after having the sun and humidity beat on it all day. Now, adjusting it somewhere in the vicinity of 10 degrees is a little more agreeable. Trying to get an entire house and its contents from 90+ down to 68-72 takes over two hours of nonstop running, whereas automatically coming on in five-minute periods spread over the course of the day seems much more cost effective.

        This can also be noted in the fact that a full [and already cool] refrigerator works less than an empty one, as the contents help maintain the air temperature.

        Think of it this way. If you take two identical buckets of ice, put a hot six-pack in one, and an already ice-cold six-pack in the other one, the bucket you dropped the hot six-pack into will melt more ice after say, fifteen minutes.

        • PirateCaptain_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @TaterTom: You’re correct as air is a good insulator, but not a good transfer medium. You can open an oven door, and stick your hand in, and aren’t burned. But touch a wall, and OWWWW!

        • shepd says:

          @TaterTom:

          However, the hot six pack will cool faster than the already cold six pack.

          Yes, I’m being serious. :)

          • TaterTom says:

            @shepd: @shepd: Of course, as it has more to lose, heat/energy-wise. But given any amount of time until they each reach the same temp, the hot six-pack will still remain warmer.

            I think this ties in with NoO&A_GitEmSteveDave’s [are you all just one GitEmSteveDave or what?] point, in that the question comes down to what you’re really after: comfortable air blowing on you or comfortably-temperate surroundings?

            Personally, I think it comes down to personal preference, and mine changes depending on my mood. Sometimes, while making my grand entrance from a hard day’s work, I want to sit in a chair that is as cool as the other side of the pillow. Others, I’d be more comforted by cool air blowing on me. I think the happy medium is to set the thermostat [automatically, once I feel inclined to figure out how to do so, now that someone else had to mention it, the jerk] about 10 degrees warmer than my comfort range, and if I’m in a mood to cool down more, just retreat to a pre-positioned chair in the master BR directly in line with the vent [I don’t think mine is the only MBR that gets an unfair share of the heat/AC].

            Most of this, honestly, is more for my warmer climate, but during the Winter months I spent in a Detroit apartment, we just left the heat off and even opened the windows while it was snowing sometimes, as everyone else seemed to keep their heat on nonstop.

    • chiieddy says:

      @scoosdad: We keep our thermostat at 67 when we’re home and we have it automatically change to 63 when we’re not. An electronic, programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one, is easy to install and can save you a lot in heating bills. THAT should have been mentioned in the article.

  20. Corporate-Shill says:

    Fark DST.

  21. Zachariah Koppers says:

    People!

    It is Daylight Saving Time.

    No “s.”

    [aa.usno.navy.mil]

    Please continue your rants.

    • Lance Uppercut says:

      @Zachariah Koppers: I read somewhere that although “saving” is technically correct, “savings” is also acceptable now.

      I actually thing “savings” sounds better.

  22. Canino says:

    Ugh. I once worked a job where one of our customers wanted to put “CST” on after their hours listed on their printed materials and website. So on everything it said “Open 9am to 5pm CST” or something like that. I tried explaining to them that during Daylight Saving Time it would be “CDT” (Central Daylight Time) but they wouldn’t listen and insisted we put CST.

    So half the year their materials were wrong, and their international customers were always confused.

  23. kompeitou says:

    i propose we just split the difference and be done with it… lets spring forward 30 min. and be done with the whole thing.

  24. ClockOnTheStove says:

    But, when will we change to metric time?!?!?!

  25. Ayo says:

    prob the worst consumerist post ever. I think I’d rather read about how Chris Brown saves money by not going out and laying low. But then mention something about how his txt msg rates went up because that’s his main form of communication.

    I don’t know, but this DST post was pretty weak. No offense.

  26. Skaperen says:

    For me, fluorescent lights (including CFLs) are more than just harsh light. This harshness has varying effects on different people. I have years ago figured out why that effects me significantly. The effect is because the spectrum from these lights is not even. It has 2 or 3 sharp peaks in the spectrum. For me, this results in multiple sharp edges, instead of a single slightly fuzzy edge that incandescent or real sunlight produces. My eyes are constantly juggling their focus back and forth between the edge produced by the red color peak, and the edge produced by the green color peak (the edge of blue has no effect). In about 20 minutes of this, I get a headache.

    People have suggested that flickering is a problem. I don’t dismiss that it may be a problem for many people. At 60 hertz (120 blinks per second) it is not for me. I have even tried a DC powered CFL that used a 20 kHz oscillating ballast. But the harshness remained just as with a regular CFL.

    I have CFLs or regular FLs in almost all places I can. A few very hard to reach lights will get changed out when I am forced to once they burn out. The remaining lights are task lights where the light quality issue is critical. I simply cannot use CFL/FL lights for this until they come up with a phosphor formula that produces a smooth even spectrum. I know that will be expensive. I’m willing to pay quite a bit for them if they are quality made. I fear there is no perceived market for it.

    Other lighting technology, such as LEDs, may have a better potential to correct the problem. Currently, LEDs do not correct it. The potential exists in the form of mixing the large number of wavelengths that LEDs are available in. Again, it will be a market issue. Maybe once people in the market begin to understand why they dislike the light quality, maybe manufacturers will see a way to sell them what they want.

    • johnva says:

      @Skaperen: I agree that this problem is probably associated with the light spectrum emitted by fluorescent lights, rather than the flickering. I don’t believe people can perceive the flickering of CFL bulbs with electronic ballasts, but yeah, you can definitely perceive a difference in the light they emit. As you might be aware, there are MANY different formulations of the phosphor formula, with different sorts of output peaks. Some (typically the much more expensive ones) are much more like incandescent light, because they contain many more different types of phosphors that blend together a bit more. But you’re right that fluorescent technology is inherently not going to have a continuous light output spectrum, because they just aren’t a blackbody emitter like incandescent lights.

      One thing I’d like to see more of is fiber-optic lighting (the use of fiber optic cables to channel natural sunlight from outside buildings to the interior during the day). That could provide really good light quality (with some limitations, of course, like not being so useful at night) for people who are sensitive to it.

  27. veronykah says:

    I always hated the clock changes when I was bartending in NYC. No matter if the clock went forward or back somehow the boss always decided it meant we could stay an extra hour. Spring forward? We close at 5!
    Fall back, we’ll still close at 4 but by the NEW clock time!

  28. SquareBubbles says:

    @Skaperen: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I am 99.9% sure that my SAD light produces an even spectrum with no flicker and is also C/FL. A pricey solution, but that probably means that regular lights are available.

  29. Tijil says:

    Instead of the idiocy of changing the clocks twice a year, just change people’s schedules if necessary.

    Summer time and the days have more daylight? Start work/school/play an hour earlier than in winter. No need to screw with the clocks.

  30. rockergal says:

    well heck, if you hit a deer and butcher it, you have some very premium meat! although I do recommend only eating the deer if it got hit in the head.

  31. wfgunn says:

    yes, I checked, there’s still only 24 hrs in a day. but suppose in the fall, we turn back the clock and you have that whole hour to relive again…. what would you do? what could you change? that seems a helluva lot more fun than losing an hour, don’t you think?

  32. semajarab says:

    Is this post a joke?? It’s fall back, spring forward. Tonight, people LOSE an hour, not gain one. Also, last time I checked, the sun does not produce an extra hour of sunlight j/c b/c some pompous lawmakers changed the clocks for farmers.

    Also, your title is totally wrong for your article. It should read, how to waste 5 minutes of your day when your already about to lose 60.

  33. emich27 says:

    As someone who suffers from the Winter “blahs,” I am a big fan of DST. Because of my work schedule, during the winter months I am going in before the sun is up, and leaving when it is already dark. With DST, I leave work and have a few hours of sun to enjoy, which helps my mood, improves my health (I go running and do more stuff outside), and increases my overall productivity. I could care less about the energy side of things – I would rather have the sun when I have the time to enjoy it.

  34. AD8BC says:

    I don’t want to hear another word about CFLs. I have them — in about 5% of my lights. The rest of my lighting is all on dimmers. I tried two dimmable CFLs — nothing but expensive garbage. They probably dim 70-100% and have a terrible warm up period. They suck for mood lighting.

    I am not getting rid of my dimmers. Even my bathrooms have dimmers. That way, in the middle of the night I can have just enough light to aim with, but not so much I burn my retinas.

  35. nospacesinmyname says:

    THE HELL WITH CFL’S

    Give me OLED lighting.

  36. SchuylerH says:

    @shepd: Having broken a couple of CFLs and dealt with the cleanup (yes, I did vacuum first) and resulting paranoia of Jeremy Piven-esque mercury poisoning, I will use candles before I go back to CFLs. Not to mention none have lasted as long as promised, and most are contraindicated for enclosed fixtures, which is all I have in my apartment. Give me some other incandescent alternative, or at least design a CFL with no or negligible mercury, and I’ll buy it. But considering that I had to throw out a set of bedsheets and several pieces of clothing because they were touched by the broken CFL glass (per recommendations for handling broken CFLs), they just aren’t worth it.

  37. xkevin108x says:

    None of these tips seem to have anything to do with DST…

  38. HogwartsAlum says:

    I don’t mind DST so much. It makes me feel as if spring is really here. Since I’ve grown to hate winter so much, anything that makes it seem less like winter (including darkness in the early evening) is very welcome.

    As for the CFLs, they do seem to last longer.

  39. jstonemo says:

    Has anyone actually sat down and done the math when calculating actual savings of CFLs?

    I have 19 lightbulbs in my house. If I put 14W CFLs in place of the 60W incandescents, I would save 46W per bulb. That equals 874W total if they were all on at the same time for one hour. I pay 9¢ per KWH, so I would save 7.8¢ per hour (if I had every light in the house on). Take an average of 6 hours per day of use in the winter and you get a savings of 46.8¢ a day, which would be $14.04 a month. IF EVERY LIGHT WAS ON FOR THOSE 6 HOURS A DAY!

    Now take into consideration the ROI of purchasing those CFLs compared to the cost of a standard 60W incandescent bulb. It doesn’t make sense.

    Unfortunately, I made the switch to all CFLs a couple of years ago, and my electric bill didn’t lower much except for maybe a $1 a month. I will be replacing them as they burn out, and they burn out much sooner than advertised.

    • TaterTom says:

      @jstonemo: I was beginning to think no one would say that. I agree with all of your opinions, and have read similar figures elsewhere.

      Our entire house has gone through the CFL replacement, and the monthly costs are barely lowered, and the bulbs burn out more often in certain fixtures. By power alone, it would take decades to offset the costs of the purchases, and from what I understand, over a century to offset the environmental damage from their contents.

      Might as well buy organic foods while you’re at it. The only benefit from that is the people selling it to you.

      • elisa says:

        @TaterTom: I’ve had CFL-only in my house for years now. We mostly got them free from using power company coupons, but we’ve bought some cheapies too (from Ikea and the like). They work really well for us. They last really long (and don’t burn out), and I like the white light they provide more than the yellowish glow of incandescent. Only a couple take a while to warm up, you can buy CFLs that are instantly “on.”

        • elisa says:

          @elisa: woops that wasn’t supposed to be a reply, it was supposed to be a new comment…sorry TaterTom!

          (I don’t know much about the cost comparison b/c we’ve had CFLs for so long)

  40. RandomHookup says:

    The perfect storm…combining CFLs with DST. Griping all around.

  41. aquanetta says:

    Like the other poster said, it’s “saving”, without the s. Technically, the “saving” part is a verb, like “saving time” as opposed to saving daylight.

  42. mblitch says:

    Daylight Saving time. Stop being idiots by adding the ‘s’. You wouldn’t say “it is dinner eatings time” or any other such variation, so why do it here other than ignorance?

    • TaterTom says:

      @mblitch: In support of your elegantly-put point, I suggest we also speak out on the following inaccuracies:

      US Saving Bonds, incorrectly spelled at the Treasury site:
      [www.savingsbonds.gov]

      “How fast will my saving grow” :
      [cgi.money.cnn.com]

      “Saving Calculator” :
      [www.planningtips.com]

      Alternatively, we can accept that daylight isn’t what the word ‘savings’ actually refers to [considering DST has nothing to do with solar energy], and that the idea is that there would be monetary savings by changing the hours within which we operate.

      Apparently, those jerkwad Wikipedia editors have already got a leg up on this bastardization of our beloved language:
      [en.wikipedia.org]

  43. kwsventures says:

    I haven’t worn a watch in over 15 years. Obviously, knowing the time is not the most important thing for me.

  44. CumaeanSibyl says:

    What I don’t know is, do you save more money by turning the thermostat down and then back up all the time, or is it better to maintain it at a constant low (or high) temperature? We don’t have a programmable thermostat, so we just keep it at 64 in the winter and 78 in the summer. I think that might save more money than it would otherwise, since the furnace/air conditioner wouldn’t have to start working really hard at a set time to get the temperature back up or down however many degrees.

  45. jstonemo says:

    My experience is that it is best to maintain a lower temperature in the winter and higher in the summer. I think every house has a certain temperature equilibrium where the furnace or AC doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain. My house is 68 in the winter (64 at night, I hate to sweat when sleeping) and 78 in the summer.

  46. CapitalC says:

    Daylight savings was created for the farmers and they don’t use it anymore, so why do we? Thanks for nothing, government.

  47. SadSam says:

    As someone who works 11-12 hours a day, I love DST. Its dark when I get up no matter what time of the year it is, but during DST when I leave the office at 6:30 p.m. I sitll have day light and I feel liek a normal person. I use that light to work in the garden, get in a nice walk with the dog, etc. The extra light at the end of the day makes me feel like I have more time. Yes it was tough to get up this a.m. at 5:00 a.m. since my body complained that it was 4:00 a.m. but I am looking forward to this evening.

  48. mariospants says:

    Family disaster planning?

    For Americans: [www.ready.gov]
    For Canuckians: [www.getprepared.ca]

  49. darkryd says:

    CFL’s pollute landfills with Mercury. I don’t know many people who would go to the trouble to actually get them recycled.

    • johnva says:

      @darkryd: I recycle them. It’s not that hard. There is a drop-off bin at the country recycling center right beside the other bins for recyclables. This also isn’t a new problem, since “normal” fluorescent bulbs have long had mercury in them. And it’s a pretty tiny amount per bulb.

      Also, if the bulbs do end up saving energy, and your energy is produced by coal, they probably release LESS mercury into the environment, even if you don’t recycle them. Burning coal spews mercury into the atmosphere, which then rains down on the ocean. You then get to eat it if you eat certain kinds of fish. At least in a landfill it’s relatively contained.

  50. Daniels says:

    As someone who doesn’t get out of work until 6pm, you folks who want to take the hour of daylight I have away can suck it.