Exploring New Opportunities for LED Landscape Lighting in the Morning Darkness

The landscape lighting professionals at Southern Landscape and Lighting Systems of Alpharetta pay close attention to cutting-edge advancements in lighting technology, shifting trends in customer preferences, changes in local and state building codes, and the passage of state and national legislation that directly and indirectly impact LED landscape lighting installation, equipment, design, and maintenance.

Changes in public policy and governmental regulations affecting Daylight Saving Time (DST) are on the horizon for Georgia homeowners and businesses. In 2022, daylight saving time 2022 in Georgia begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 13. At 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 6, clocks return to standard time. On Sunday, March 12, 2023, Georgia’s clocks may spring forward for the last time and stay there permanently.

A law professor and proponent of permanent DST, Steve Calandrillo, writes, “The U.S. Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act in March 2022, with the goal of making daylight saving time permanent starting in November 2023. If that happens, the U.S. will never again ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back.’ Following the Senate’s vote and a recent hearing in the House…the subcommittee is now considering the issue. The full House of Representatives will need to vote in support of permanent DST before the bill goes to [the President’s] desk for his signature…Americans don’t like Congress messing with their clocks. However, the move to DST year-round makes a lot of sense. In an effort to avoid the biannual time change in spring and fall, some DST critics have suggested that returning to a permanent standard time would benefit society. But research shows that DST saves lives and prevents crime. Nearly 20 states have passed bills to make DST permanent, and the Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act to allow those laws to take effect – since any one state can’t move to DST unilaterally on dates different from the rest of the country.”

If lawmakers in Washington, DC, can unite to once and for all turn clocks forward, the lives of Americans will benefit in many ways.

1. DST saves lives.

Shifting daylight to the evening reduces vehicle fatalities during the evening rush hour. On average, evening rush hour traffic is twice as fatal as morning rush hour traffic. More congestion, more DUIs, more speed, and more children playing outdoors add up to more fatalities. Vehicle-on-pedestrian crashes involving a fatality skyrocket 300% when the shadows grow long and the sun sets. Over 340 lives per year could be saved by shifting more sunlight to the evening through permanent DST.

2. DST hinders criminal activity.

Most crimes are committed under cover of evening darkness. The extra daylight in the afternoon and early evening can help combat juvenile crime, which peaks after school and during the early evening.

3. DST conserves energy.

The late afternoon and evening sun reduces the need for light and heat.  Energy conservation was the driving force behind DST during WWI, WWII, and the energy crisis in the 1970s.

4. Permanent DST promotes sound sleep and health.

The yearly “spring forward” elevates heart attacks by 24% in the week after the change. An uptick has also been detected after the “fall back” change.

5. Recreation and commerce flourish when the sun is shining.

Sunlight spurs recreation and commerce while darkness hinders physical activity and shopping. Organizations committed to encouraging physical activity and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are pushing hard for permanent DST.

Accommodating the Shift in Sunlight with LED Landscape Lighting

The shift of sunlight from the morning to the evening calls for a re-evaluation of installation and design plans modeled to accommodate more darkness in the evening and more light in the morning.

1. System programming may need some tweaking.

Systems operating in response to signals from light sensors self-adjust according to the position of the sun. Timer-driven systems will definitely require some re-calibrations or replacement.

2. Consider safety, efficiency, and quality.

With more darkness in the morning, new fixtures may need to be added to facilitate safety on steps and walkways. Exercise venues, workstations, and vehicle entry points need a second look. Businesses that prepare work vehicles and load equipment will have additional lighting considerations for safety and efficiency. Small businesses that engage in assembly, manufacturing, fabrication, and mechanical work should give close attention to new scenarios created by an extra hour of darkness in the morning.

3. Most criminal activity occurs in the evening hours.

Security lighting will need to be adjusted in the event of permanent DST, and businesses should assess the situation now. Preparations taken now can help prevent stolen or damaged property in the future.

Consider scheduling a consultation with the professionals at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems. To learn more about landscape lighting design, contact the Alpharetta office by phone at (770) 691-1221 or by email at [email protected].

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