ARTICLE – Daylight Savings Time (DST) is just around the corner, so are your gadgets ready for it? When the time changes in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, March 8, it may throw you off your schedule a bit. But it doesn’t have to.
If you’re anything like the average American, you have electronic devices all over your home. Most of your devices probably also feature a clock, which can make adjusting for DST seem like a handful. But with careful use, these gadgets can actually make it easier to settle into the time change.
1. Make Sure You’ve Turned On Automatic Adjustments
Back in the day, you had to adjust everything manually for DST. But thanks to the internet and cellular data, many of your gadgets will automatically change their clocks. But just to be safe, you should make sure you have automatic time settings turned on.
More often than not, all you have to do is look under your date and time settings and click a button that says “set automatically.” On iPhones, Androids and macOS, the automatic time and date setting option includes DST adjustments. Some other systems, like Windows, list automatic DST adjustments separately from the time zone, but you’ll still find it under the time and date menu.
Most devices come with this option turned on by default. If you can’t find this option in the settings, the device either doesn’t let you turn automatic switching off, or it requires manual adjustment. You can find out which it is by looking at your device’s user guide.
2. Adjust Your Smart Lights
When everyone sets their clocks forward, the daylight hours shift. Since all the clocks will run an hour later, the sun will also rise and set an hour later. If you, like many people, use automatic smart lights, you’ll want to adjust their schedule to fit these new hours.
If your lights are connected to your phone or smart home hub, they’ll automatically adjust to DST along with their controlling devices. But this creates a new problem since their schedule won’t match up with the sunlight. For example, if your lights turn on at 7 p.m. in standard time, they’ll turn on at the same time in DST, but the sunlight will be different.
To account for the changes in sunlight, you’ll want to set your lights’ schedule an hour later. If you don’t have smart lights throughout your house, you may want to take this time as an opportunity to change that. Look for new dimmable and efficient smart bulbs to switch out for your old ones, so all your lights can be on the same schedule.
3. Don’t Forget About Non-Automatic Devices
The majority of modern smart devices will change their time automatically, but not all of them. If you need any gadget to have an accurate clock, you should double-check it to see if it automatically adjusts or not. If they’re not automatic, change the time whenever you finish using them the night before DST begins.
Many smart home devices run off of companion apps on your phone. Some gadgets, like iDevices products, require you to change their schedule manually from these apps. You may have to reset things like Wemo smart plugs to adjust to the new sunlight hours, like with smart lights.
4. Use Alexa to Your Advantage
Your Amazon Echo can help you adapt to Daylight Savings Time in a couple of ways. First and foremost, you can use it to make sure any connected devices change their clocks. The Echo itself will automatically adjust since it bases its clock on your internet router.
Daylight Savings tends to shake people up, even to the point of danger. The loss of sleep and light in the morning leads to increased traffic accidents, so you need to be careful. To help, set Alexa to inform you about traffic as part of your morning routine.
5. Put Your Appliances on a Schedule
When you wake up on Sunday, you may find that you’re more tired than usual. To make up for losing sleep, you can set your devices on a schedule, so you don’t have to do as much in the morning.
With things like smart plugs, you can set things like your coffee maker or lights to turn on at a specific time in the morning. If you want to sleep in a little, set your appliances to start before your alarm goes off.
If you don’t think you can remember to check all these settings or set schedules, ask your Echo to remind you about Daylight Savings Time. With preparation, you don’t have to worry about a thing come Sunday morning.
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