Plan Ahead: Here’s When We Change Our Clocks Back in Idaho
If you have elementary-aged children, you’re already preparing your comeback for the “I don’t want to go to bed! It’s still light outside” argument they’ll start with you the night before school starts.
According to Time And Date, the latest Boise sunsets of 2023 have already come and gone. Those happened in late June after the Summer Solstice when the sun was going down around 9:30 p.m. Since then, we’ve already lost close to an hour and 25 minutes of sunlight and are experiencing sunsets around 8:49 p.m. We’ll continue losing sunlight at a rate of two-and-a-half to three minutes a day as we approach the end of Daylight Saving Time and go through that twice-a-year ritual of adjusting our clocks an hour.
Right now, only Hawaii and Arizona get to skip the time-hopping tradition, but that could change sometime in our lifetime. Last March, the United States Senate approved a stop to changing the clocks but the measure hasn’t passed the House.
There was a push to exempt Idaho from the time change presented in the Idaho House of Representatives in 2019 and 2020. It failed in 2019. In 2020, the legislature approved making daylight saving time permanent in the part of the state that’s in the Pacific Time Zone if the state of Washington decided to make it permanent, too.
What Would Permanent Daylight Saving Time Look Like in the Boise Area?
If you’re someone who despises driving to work in the dark AND home from work in the dark, during Standard Time you’d probably be a fan of permanent Daylight Saving. If things stay the way they are, sunset can be as early as 5:09 p.m. during Standard Time. Under permanent Daylight Saving Time, the sun wouldn’t set any earlier than 6:09 p.m. in early December.
Now, there’s a trade-off. The way things are right now, the latest sunrise in the Boise area is around 8:18 a.m. If we moved to permanent Daylight Saving Time, that means sunrise wouldn’t happen until 9:18 a.m. on some days in January.
Supporters of “saving standard time” say that permanent Daylight Saving Time would force millions of Americans to start work before sunrise, but 54.1% of Boise residents already start their morning commute to work before 8 a.m. Only 19.7% of residents say they start their commute between 8-9 a.m.
It would be more of a concern when it comes to students being out in the dark. If you look at the bell schedules for Boise, West Ada, Nampa and Caldwell schools, the average school start time is 8:16. If Daylight Saving Time was made permanent, kids would be starting school before sunrise from late October-mid March. The way things are right now, sunrise only happens before 8:16 a.m. for a handful of days in late October/early November and after Winter Break-mid January.
Of course, these details only apply to the Boise area. Sunrise/sunset/commute times/school start times vary from place to place in the state. You can check out a calculator to figure out what these scenarios look like in your part of the state by clicking HERE.
When Will Daylight Saving Time End in Idaho?
Since lawmakers haven’t made a decision about eliminating the time change completely, Idahoans should prepare to set their clocks back an hour beginning on Sunday, November 5 at 2 a.m. It's a bit of a bummer to think about because as of the day we're writing this article, Boise's sunset will take place at 8:49 p.m. It happens at 5:30 p.m. after the time change and the days will continue to get shorter until the Winter Solstice in December.
If you're like this author and have astigmatism, you know it's truly the worst time because if you plan on leaving the house after work...this is what it looks like, even when there's no rain and you have a clean windshield!