What Time Zone Is Louisville KY In?

Time and clocks on U of L campus
••• (c) 2008 Michael Maupin

What Time Zone Is Louisville KY In?

Whether you are coming to Louisville for business or pleasure (possibly to see the Kentucky Derby) or to visit a friend, you'll want to know what time zone Louisville, KY is in.

Louisville clocks run on Eastern Daylight Time. That means Louisville is in the same time zone as New York City.

Is all of Kentucky on Eastern Daylight Time?

No! This can be very confusing for individuals new to the state or traveling through.

The western part of Kentucky (including Bowling Green) recognizes the time of the Central Time Zone while the eastern portion of the state, including Louisville and Lexington recognizes the time of the Eastern Time Zone. Travelers take note: Indiana, just over the bridge from Louisville, is also a state with two active time zones. 

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Does Louisville participate in Daylight Saving Time?

Yes, Louisville does follow Daylight Saving Time, so we change our clocks twice a year in March and October. In March, we set the clocks ahead one hour, and in October we set our clocks back one hour. A good way to remember this is the phrase "spring forward fall back."

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What is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a practice of changing the time on the clocks so that in the summer months there is another hour of daylight in the afternoon and, conversely, in the winter there is another hour of light (or almost light) in the morning.

It is a policy, so whether the practice is used differs from country to country and in America, even from state to state. For instance, Arizona and Hawaii do not change their clocks, with the exception of the Navajo Nation in AZ, they do follow daylight saving time.

Is Daylight Saving Time Good or Bad?

There are positives and negatives to Daylight Savings Time.

Positives of Daylight Savings Time (DST):

DST takes advantage of the hours that have the more natural light, so people have more opportunities to take advantage of sunlight and save energy by using less artificial light. In addition, it is possible daylight savings time shifts help to detract from road accidents, since roads are fully lit during high-volume traffic times.

Negatives of Daylight Savings Time (DST):

Farmers have fought against the change because, since DST is a manmade thing. Since it is an idea, rather than part of nature, it stands to reason that animals are not going to shift their internal clocks. So, for example, diary farmers have noted that shifting time makes milking challenging as cows are used to a set schedule. This was a more prevalent complaint in the past, now more and more dairy farms using modern machinery to regulate milking, so it is less of an issue for many farmers.

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Is DST Energy Efficient, or Not?

DST is often linked to energy saving, but proponents for and against still disagree on how much energy the practice does (or does not) conserve.

Individuals and groups in support of Daylight Savings Time point out that more light can counteract blackouts, because many electrical failures are related to usage.

So, if there is light later in the day, people may spend less time in the house consuming energy via artificial light and appliances. In addition, many countries, including our own, have concerns about cultural dependency on electricity and gas. In some cases, DST is mentioned as one way to combat that dependency.

There are others who are not in favor of DST for different reasons. Some express concerns about safety, that is is dangerous to change the time abruptly, creating new times when people will have to leave or return to their house at a time that was light, but is now dark. Others point to studies that suggest changes in the time can cause traffic accidents.

Note: Jessica Elliott's article was edited by a current expert. April, 2016.