What is the local time? Operation, advantages and disadvantages

Operation, advantages and disadvantagesWe explain that what is the local time? Operation, advantages and disadvantages. Also, known as local mean time (LMT), it is a kind of solar time. In other words, it is one of the methods of calculating and maintaining the length of times by observing the location of the sun in the sky.

It differs from standard times insofar as the law of a country determines the latter by taking into account the distance from that country’s central meridian to the prime meridian (0 ° longitude).

In contrast, the local mean time is region specific and depends on the position of the sun on the meridian that passes through that region.

Until the end of the 19th century, the local mean time was used to determine the clocks in a region. The tool that was used to determine the local mean times of a place was called the sundial.

However, when railroads became a predominant mode of transportation in the late 19th century, uniformity of times became the necessity of the day. It was because the railroad administrators were unable to prepare a uniform train schedule with different stations following different schedules. Faced with this dilemma, officials decided to introduce the concept of standard time.

How does local time work?

It is a well known fact that the earth rotates from west to east on its axis. Consequently, the sun appears to set in the west and rise in the east.

However, not all parts of the earth experience daylight at the same time. It takes 24 hours for the Earth to complete a 360 degree rotation. In other words, the earth goes through 15 degrees in one hour or one degree in four minutes.

Consequently, the earth has been divided into 24 time zones, each of which is within 15 degrees of each other.

The rate of time that the sun moves over a specified degree of longitude establishes the local time of a region in relation to the prime meridian.

For example, the local time of Bhutan (Thimpu), which is 90 ° longitude east of the Prime Meridian, will be 6 pm if it is noon on the Greenwich Mean Time (0 °) since the time difference between them it is 6 hours.

Similarly, there will be considerable differences between New Delhi local time located at 77.21 ° E and Silchar local time located at 92.78 ° E.


Although in contemporary times, the use of local time has become almost obsolete, it has some indirect advantages.

  1. Synchronization with the rotation of the earth: It allows us to synchronize our clock with the rotation of the earth.
  2. UT 1: UT1, a version of universal time, which is used as one of the reference points for the determination of standard time in all other countries, is the locals time of the meridian of Greenwich.
  3. Provides accurate time for time-limited activities: It gives us an idea of ​​the exact time for a particular location that is essential for scheduling specific time-limited activities, such as transportation.
  4. Astronomer Friend: Astronomers around the world rely on local mean time (LMT) to report their observations.
  5. Dictates people’s daily activities: Although standard time determines a country’s clock, it is locals time that regulates people’s daily activities.


The concept of local mean time was not abandoned for no reason during the late 19th century. The following are some major drawbacks of locals time:

  1. Avoid administrative uniformity: It acts as a major obstacle on the way to establishing administrative uniformity.
  2. Generates incoordination: Creates a lack of coordination regarding the economic exchange between different cities, towns and regions.
  3. It creates chaos : It creates too much confusion from an administrative point of view.
  4. Temporal differentiation and its impact on residents’ cognition: Creates a sense of difference between people living in different times zones.
  5. It hinders national integration: Too many times zones act as a roadblock to national integration.

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