When Does It Start Getting Dark After DST?

by Sara Levine
woman, sunset, bridge
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The temperature is dropping and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. There's no more avoiding it — fall is upon us. I mean, technically fall was upon us as soon as the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22 happened, but I am living in a constant state of denial that summer is over. But now that Daylight Saving Time is drawing near, I really can't deny it for much longer. We're going to set our clocks back an hour, and it will start getting dark after Daylight Saving Time. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's time we all start bracing ourselves.

It's already started getting darker earlier (for those in New York, anyway — I can't attest to the other states). In the summer — it seemed like it was only a week ago — it would get dark at 9 p.m. or even 10 p.m.! Now, I'm lucky if I emerge from work at 7 p.m. and it's still light out. And things are about to get much, much worse. After we set the clocks back on Nov. 6, 2016 at 2 a.m., we're going to be saying goodbye to the sun even earlier. But just how early? reports that in Washington, D.C., the sun will rise post-DST around 6:41 a.m. and set around 5:02 p.m. Eek! That's only 10 hours and 20 minutes of sunlight! And, actually, Nov. 6 is the longest day D.C. will have for a while — daylight hours will continue to drop throughout the month of November, with the lowest being a dismal 9 hours and 39 minutes of precious sun on Nov. 30.

But that's just one example. Because I'm selfish, let's take a look at how depressing it will be in New York next month. According to, once we fall back on daylight saving time, we can expect a pretty respectable 10 hours and 13 minutes of sunlight, with sunset at 4:46 p.m. — OK, never mind. I take back what I said about that being a respectable amount of daylight. That's not even 5 p.m.! But wait! It gets worse! On Nov. 30, 2016 the sun will rise in New York at 7 a.m. and set at 4:29 p.m., which is literally the time I eat lunch on most days.

It's safe to say I am inconsolable now that I've heard this news. But let's focus on the positive here. Daylight saving time is still over a month away. So, while it's tempting to spend the next month and change holing ourselves up at home, lamenting the impending approach of winter, I challenge all of you to hold off. Spend these last few precious weeks appreciating the fact that the sun is out post-lunchtime. Because before we know it, those days will be gone, and we'll just be wandering about aimlessly in the darkness. Okay, that was maybe a little melodramatic. But you get my point. Enjoy it while you can.

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