Difference Wiki

PST vs. PDT: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 11, 2023
PST (Pacific Standard Time) is UTC-8, the standard time zone of the US West Coast, while PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) is UTC-7, its daylight saving time counterpart, 1 hour ahead.

Key Differences

PST and PDT represent specific time zones within the region of the Pacific Time Zone, yet they're distinguished by their seasonal applicability and correlating universal time offsets. PST, or Pacific Standard Time, is utilized during the standard, non-daylight saving time period, characterized by its consistent time offset, which is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8). In contrast, PDT, Pacific Daylight Time, becomes applicable during daylight saving time, which involves moving the clock forward by one hour, thereby operating at UTC-7.
Engaging in a temporal delineation, PST and PDT play crucial roles in managing and organizing human activities within the Pacific Time Zone, albeit in distinct parts of the year. PST reigns during the standard time, which spans from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March, ensuring that the local time adheres to the conventional offset from the universal time. Meanwhile, PDT governs the daylight saving time, which extends from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, to make better use of natural daylight during the longer days of spring, summer, and early autumn.
Both PST and PDT exert significant influence in various sectors, including business, media broadcasting, and transportation, ensuring temporal coordination and systematic scheduling. PST ensures that during the winter months, where daylight is scarce, activities are scheduled according to the standardized time, without the additional daylight saving hour. Conversely, PDT is integral during the summer and adjacent months, as it aids in optimizing the available daylight, adjusting schedules to accommodate the extended evening light, potentially reducing energy consumption.
Aesthetically examining PST and PDT, one might notice that the singular one-hour difference, albeit seeming minuscule, can yield vivid variations in daily experiences and routines, especially concerning daylight exposure. The implementation of PST promotes alignment with the natural circadian rhythms of inhabitants during shorter days, while the adoption of PDT, with its shifted hour, augments evening activities during the longer days, thereby subtly shaping the sociocultural and economic dynamics of the region.
In the digital and globalized age, understanding the demarcation between PST and PDT becomes vital in fostering coherent international communication and collaboration. PST provides a stable temporal reference for global collaborators during standard time, facilitating synchronized engagements and transactions. In contrast, awareness of PDT ensures accurate time coordination during daylight saving months, preserving the integrity of scheduled virtual meetings, digital broadcasts, and various synchronized activities in a globally interconnected world.

Comparison Chart

Full Name

Pacific Standard Time
Pacific Daylight Time

UTC Offset


Applicable Period

First Sunday in November to Second Sunday in March
Second Sunday in March to First Sunday in November


Standard time zone during non-daylight saving months
Applied during daylight saving months to utilize more daylight

Example Region

West Coast of the United States (e.g., California)
West Coast of the United States (e.g., California)

PST and PDT Definitions


It is the standard time zone applied to the US West Coast during non-daylight saving months.
Los Angeles operates on PST from November to March, aligning with standard time practices.


PDT stands for Pacific Daylight Time, which is UTC-7, used during daylight saving time in the Pacific Time Zone.
In summer, Los Angeles follows PDT to make the most of the extended daylight.


PST is utilized in several regions, ensuring synchronized activities during its applicable period.
Television broadcasts often indicate timings in PST to inform viewers of program schedules.


During PDT, clocks are set one hour ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST) to utilize more daylight in the evenings.
At 7 PM PDT, it’s usually still bright outside, offering more daylight for activities.


Despite being a specific time zone, PST interacts with numerous global time regions.
Virtual global conferences frequently factor in PST to accommodate participants from the Pacific region.


PDT affects various sectors like broadcasting, ensuring that timing is adjusted to suit daylight saving periods.
TV shows often mention timings in PDT, ensuring viewers tune in at the correct hour during daylight saving time.


PST aids in organizing and structuring daily activities during the standard time.
Transport schedules in PST regions are crafted considering the temporal offset of UTC-8.


PDT provides a temporal framework, aiding in synchronizing activities, and events during longer daylight periods.
Concerts often start later in PDT regions during daylight saving months to enjoy cooler evening temperatures.


PST refers to Pacific Standard Time, indicating 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8).
Meetings scheduled at 3 PM PST require coordination with various global time zones.


PDT is utilized in several western U.S. states and Canadian provinces, extending from spring to autumn.
Travelers adjust their schedules to PDT when visiting California between March and November.


Alternative form of psst


Standard time in the 8th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 120th meridian west; used in far western states of the United States


When is PDT applicable?

From the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

What is the primary purpose of using PST?

To maintain a standard time offset (UTC-8) during the non-daylight saving months.

Which regions primarily use PST and PDT?

The US West Coast, including California, and parts of Canada, like British Columbia.

How does PDT impact daily activities?

It often allows for longer daylight in the evenings, potentially impacting work and leisure schedules.

Is PDT ahead or behind PST?

PDT is one hour ahead of PST.

Which UTC offsets correspond to PST and PDT?

UTC-8 for PST and UTC-7 for PDT.

What does PST stand for?

Pacific Standard Time.

What does PDT stand for?

Pacific Daylight Time.

How does PST affect international collaboration?

It offers a stable time reference for global meetings and coordination during standard time months.

How are global virtual events impacted by PST and PDT?

Accurate conversion between time zones is essential to synchronize virtual global events.

When is PST used?

Between the first Sunday in November and the second Sunday in March.

Why is PDT used?

To make better use of daylight during the longer days of late spring, summer, and early autumn.

Why is it important to know the difference between PST and PDT?

To ensure accurate timekeeping, coordination of activities, and to maintain accurate schedules across regions.

How is time adjusted between PST and PDT?

Clocks are set one hour forward when transitioning from PST to PDT, and one hour back from PDT to PST.

Does everyone in the Pacific Time Zone use PDT?

Most regions do, but there are exceptions like certain parts of Arizona.

Are PST and PDT used in aviation and broadcasting?

Yes, they are often utilized to accurately schedule flights and broadcast timings, respectively.

Is it darker during the morning hours in PDT?

Yes, because clocks are set an hour ahead, mornings have less daylight compared to PST.

Do digital devices automatically adjust between PST and PDT?

Most do, but it's essential to verify, especially when accurate timekeeping is crucial.

Do all countries observe daylight saving time like PDT?

No, daylight saving time observance varies globally.

How does the transition between PST and PDT affect sleep?

The one-hour shift can temporarily disrupt sleep and circadian rhythms.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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