Core Java

Transforming Java LocalDate to Epoch and vice versa

Working with dates and times is essential in programming, and Java provides a strong solution with its java.time package. In this package, the LocalDate class is often used to handle dates, and Epoch time, also called Unix time, is a standardized way to represent time. This article delves into the techniques employed for converting data between Java LocalDate and Epoch time.

1. Difference between Epoch Time and LocalDate

Epoch time and LocalDate represent time in distinct ways, and understanding their differences is crucial for effective time management in Java programming.

CharacteristicEpoch TimeLocalDate
DefinitionNumber of seconds since Unix Epoch (January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 UTC)Represents a date without time or time zone
GranularityMeasures time at the second levelRepresents only the date, ignoring time components
UsageSystem-level timestamps, data interchange, and precise time calculationsDates without considering specific times of day
Time Zone DependencyTypically represents time in UTC, but can incorporate local time zone offsetsDoes not store time zone information; represents dates in the proleptic Gregorian calendar
Handling TimePrecise timing calculations and durations between two points in timeFocused on dates; appropriate for scenarios where specific times are irrelevant
Java ClassesOften represented by long values; manipulated using java.time.InstantRepresented by java.time.LocalDate class

2. Converting LocalDate to Epoch

When we have a LocalDate object and need to convert it to Epoch time, we can use the atStartOfDay() method to obtain a LocalDateTime object representing the start of the day and then use the toEpochSecond() method. Here’s an example:

public class LocalDateToEpochExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
       // Create a LocalDate object
        LocalDate localDate =; 

        // Specify the desired time zone
        ZoneId zoneId = ZoneId.of("America/New_York"); 

        // Convert LocalDate to LocalDateTime at the start of the day in the specified time zone
        LocalDateTime startOfDay = localDate.atStartOfDay(zoneId).toLocalDateTime();

        // Convert LocalDateTime to Epoch time (seconds since Unix Epoch)
        long epochSeconds = startOfDay.toEpochSecond(ZoneOffset.UTC);

        System.out.println("LocalDate: " + localDate);
        System.out.println("Epoch time in " + zoneId + ": " + epochSeconds);

Let’s break down the code:

  • LocalDate localDate =;: This line creates a LocalDate object representing the current date in the default time zone.
  • ZoneId zoneId = ZoneId.of("America/New_York");: This line creates a ZoneId object representing the America/New_York time zone.
  • LocalDateTime startOfDay = localDate.atStartOfDay(zoneId).toLocalDateTime();: This line takes the current date (localDate), sets the time to midnight (start of the day) in the specified time zone, and converts it to a LocalDateTime object.
  • long epochSeconds = startOfDay.toEpochSecond(ZoneOffset.UTC);: This line converts the LocalDateTime object (startOfDay) to the number of seconds since the epoch (1970-01-01T00:00:00Z) in the UTC time zone. The result is stored in the variable epochSeconds.
Fig 1: Output from converting LocalDate to Epoch
Fig 1: Output from converting LocalDate to Epoch

2. Converting Epoch to LocalDate

To convert Epoch time to LocalDate, we can use the static method ofEpochSecond() from the LocalDateTime class, followed by the toLocalDate() method. Here’s an example:

public class EpochToLocalDateExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Epoch time in seconds
        long epochSeconds = 1702425600; 

        // Specify the desired time zone
        ZoneId zoneId = ZoneId.of("America/New_York");

        // Convert Epoch time to LocalDateTime in the specified time zone
        LocalDateTime localDateTime = LocalDateTime.ofInstant(Instant.ofEpochSecond(epochSeconds), zoneId);

        // Extract LocalDate from LocalDateTime
        LocalDate localDate = localDateTime.toLocalDate();

        System.out.println("Epoch time: " + epochSeconds);
        System.out.println("LocalDate in " + zoneId + ": " + localDate);

In this example:

  • We begin by declaring a variable epochSeconds that is assigned a value representing the number of seconds.
  • Next, a ZoneId object zoneId is created to represent the America/New_York time zone.
  • The Instant.ofEpochSecond(epochSeconds) creates an Instant object representing the specified Epoch time. The LocalDateTime.ofInstant method then converts this Instant to a LocalDateTime in the specified time zone.
  • Finally, we use the toLocalDate() method to extract the date component from the LocalDateTime, resulting in a LocalDate object.

4. Conclusion

In this article, we delved into the process of transforming Epoch time into both LocalDate and LocalDateTime and vice versa. The java.time package provides convenient methods to perform these conversions seamlessly.

5. Download the Source Code

This was an example of Transforming Java LocalDate to Epoch and vice versa.

You can download the full source code of this example here: Transforming Java LocalDate to Epoch and vice versa

Omozegie Aziegbe

Omos holds a Master degree in Information Engineering with Network Management from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Omos is currently a freelance web/application developer who is currently focused on developing Java enterprise applications with the Jakarta EE framework.
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