EDT vs. EST: How to Use EST vs. EDT Correctly

Timezone abbreviations are short but usually differ only by one letter, so it’s no wonder that they are causing a lot of confusion. What’s the difference between EDT vs. EST, for example? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with always googling the abbreviation when you stumble upon it in a text, but maybe your life will be a tiny bit easier if you clearly understand and remember the difference once and for all.

EDT vs. EST: Understanding Time Zones

Key Takeaways

  • Eastern Standard Time (EST) is the time zone used in the eastern part of North America during the fall and winter months, when daylight saving time is not in effect.
  • Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) is employed in the same geographical area as EST during the spring and summer months when daylight saving time is observed. 

EDT vs. ESTPin

Both EDT and EST refer to the Eastern Time Zone that covers a number of American states, as well as Ontario, Quebec, and Nunavut of Canada. From the first Sunday of November until the second Sunday of March, all these locations follow EST. And on the second Sunday of March, the clocks are switched to EDT.

The reason why there are two different “times” in the same timezone is that it helps us take advantage of more hours of sunlight during summer. When we enjoy longer hours of daylight, it is believed that our activity and productivity are increased.

Learn more about PDT vs. PST

EDT vs. EST: The Definition

Definition of EST

EST is the abbreviation of “Eastern Standard Time”, and North Americans live in accordance with it in the fall and the winter. The Eastern Standard Time is five hours behind the Coordinated Universal Time, and this is why it can also be written as UTC-5. 

Definition of EDT

EDT stands for “Eastern Daylight Time” and it’s the time that is used in some parts of North America during the spring and the summer. The Eastern Daylight Time is only four hours behind, so you can see at as UTC-4.

Time Zone Conversion

Time zone conversion is straightforward when one understands the relationship between Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and Eastern Standard Time (EST). EDT is one hour ahead of EST, reflecting the time change during daylight saving periods.

Converting EST to EDT

To convert from Eastern Standard Time to Eastern Daylight Time, one must add one hour. For example:

  • 9:00 AM EST becomes 10:00 AM EDT
  • 5:00 PM EST becomes 6:00 PM EDT

Converting EDT to EST

When converting from Eastern Daylight Time to Eastern Standard Time, one subtracts one hour. For instance:

  • 11:00 AM EDT becomes 10:00 AM EST
  • 7:00 PM EDT becomes 6:00 PM EST

These conversions are essential for scheduling events across different states and countries that observe these time zones during respective parts of the year.

Tip to Remember the Differences

To summarize, the key differences lie in the seasons and the one-hour time shift. Below is a quick-reference table to encapsulate these differences:

Time Zone Seasons Clocks Relative Time
EDT Spring and Summer Spring Forward 1 hour ahead
EST Autumn and Winter Fall Back 1 hour behind

This reference aims to outline the changes clearly and effectively, while avoiding any complexity. Remembering these associations can be a confident step towards avoiding confusion when dealing with Eastern Time.

EDT vs. EST: Examples

Examples of “EST”

  • The webinar is scheduled to start at 8:00 PM EST for participants on the East Coast.
  • Flight 402 is expected to land at JFK airport at 6:30 AM EST.
  • The company’s headquarters in New York operates on EST during the winter months.
  • The international conference call was set to accommodate various time zones, including EST.
  • The online sale will end at midnight EST.
  • The TV show premieres at 9:00 PM EST; be sure to tune in.
  • Our customer service team is available until 10:00 PM EST to assist you with your inquiries.

Examples of “EDT”

  • The live event will be streamed at 3:00 PM EDT for viewers on the East Coast.
  • Please remember that the deadline for submissions is 5:00 PM EDT.
  • The office is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT, Monday to Friday.
  • The conference keynote speech will begin promptly at 10:00 AM EDT.
  • The baseball game’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT.
  • Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, so we will switch from EST to EDT at 2:00 AM.
  • The online workshop is accessible starting at 1:00 PM EDT for all registered participants.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do clocks change from EST to EDT and vice versa?

Clocks spring forward by one hour, signifying the change from EST to EDT, typically on the second Sunday in March. They fall back to EST on the first Sunday in November.

How do the Eastern Time zone’s designations of EDT and EST differ?

EDT is the time observed during the warmer months with daylight saving time in effect, putting the clock one hour ahead. EST is followed during the colder months when there is no daylight saving time.

What are the countries that observe Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)?

Eastern Daylight Time is observed in parts of North America, including the eastern states of the United States, parts of eastern Canada, and some regions in the Caribbean.

How does one convert times from EDT to EST?

To convert from EDT to EST, one must subtract one hour. For example, if it is 3:00 PM EDT, it becomes 2:00 PM EST.

What is the current time zone designation in New York during the daylight saving period?

During the daylight saving period, New York follows Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

What is the difference in hours between EST and EDT?

There is a one-hour difference between EST and EDT, with EDT being one hour ahead of EST.

5 thoughts on “EDT vs. EST: How to Use EST vs. EDT Correctly”

  1. So what is a shorthand abbreviation to refer to “Eastern Time Zone” without having to determine which of EDT/EST is correct for the time of year?


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