When does it start getting lighter?

What is Summer Solstice?

Dark mornings and shorter days are gloomy and make working, exercising, and plenty of other activities much less appealing. How much daylight there is at a specific time of year depends on where you live and the winter and summer solstices. Express.co.uk reveals when it is going to get lighter again.

The year of 2020 was dark in many ways, and we’re all ready for a bright, warm and fun summer.

However, it’s only January so there are just under two months left of winter.

Everyone is sick of the Sun going down at 4pm and not coming up again until 8am and desperate for brighter days.

But when will it get lighter again? Express.co.uk explains the answer.


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The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol and sistere, which literally means ‘sun’ and ‘stand still’.

This makes sense because, at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to stand still.

From Earth, it looks like the Sun pauses on its path at a northern or southern limit and changes direction.

In the UK and Northern Hemisphere Winter solstice was on Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10.02am.

This was the shortest day of the year and the days will only get longer and have increasingly more sunlight until the summer solstice.

In 2020, the summer solstice was at 10.45pm on Saturday, June 20 but this year it is on Monday, June 21 at 4.31am.

This is the longest day of the year in 2021 and after that, the days will get shorter and have less sunlight bit by bit.

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The exact time of sunrise and sunset differs between cities in the north and south of the UK.

There could be 45 minutes between the most northern and southern points of the nation.

GMT – Greenwich Mean Time – is the mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, and it’s the time zone that set the baseline for the rest of the world.

If you were to look up the sunrise and sunset time in the UK without specifying your city, it would probably default to Greenwich.

At present, the sun is rising about a minute earlier every day or two.

The sun rose at 8.06am on January 1 and set at 4.02pm- this is only seven hours and 56 minutes of sunlight.

The sun will rise at 7.39 by February 1 and set at 4.50pm, giving us nine hours and 10 minutes of sunlight.

On March 1, the sun will rise at 6.46am and set at 5.41pm- that’s about 10 hours and 54 minutes of sunlight.

By April 1, the sun will be rising at 6.36am and setting at 7.33pm- this makes the day 12 hours and 57 minutes long.

On May 1, we’ll have 14 hours and 50 minutes of sunlight with the sun rising at 5.32am and setting at 8.23pm.

On June 1, the sun will rise at 4.49am and set at 9.08pm, giving us 16 hours and 18 minutes of sunlight.

The length of sunlight peaks on June 22, with the sun rising at 4.44am and setting at 9.22pm (16 hours and 38 minutes of sunlight).

From then on, the sunlight hours drops by about 10 to 50 seconds a day for the rest of the month.

The days get shorter and shorter until the winter solstice on Tuesday, December 21 when it peaks and reverses.

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