Concept of Date And Time in CodeIgniter 4 Tutorial

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CodeIgniter provides a fully-localized, immutable, date/time class that is built on PHP’s DateTime object, but uses the Intl extension’s features to convert times across timezones and display the output correctly for different locales.

This class is the Time class and lives in the CodeIgniter\I18n namespace. Inside this article we will see the concept of Date and Time in CodeIgniter 4. Also we will see available methods of Time Class in great detail.

Note*: For this article, CodeIgniter v4.1 setup has been installed. May be when you are seeing, version will be updated. CodeIgniter 4.x still is in development mode.

Let’s get started.

Download & Install CodeIgniter 4 Setup

We need to download & install CodeIgniter 4 application setup to system.

To set application we have multiple options to proceed.

Here are the following ways to download and install CodeIgniter 4 –

  • Manual Download
  • Composer Installation
  • Clone Github repository of CodeIgniter 4

Complete introduction of CodeIgniter 4 basics – Click here to go. After going through this article you can easily download & install setup.

Here is the command to install via composer –

$ composer create-project codeigniter4/appstarter codeigniter-4

Assuming you have successfully installed application into your local system.

Turn Development Mode On

When we install CodeIgniter 4, we have env file at root. To use the environment variables means using variables at global scope we need to do env to .env

Open project in terminal

$ cp env .env

Above command will create a copy of env file to .env file. Now we are ready to use environment variables.

CodeIgniter starts up in production mode by default. Let’s do it in development mode. So that while working if we get any error then error will show up.

# CI_ENVIRONMENT = production

 // Do it to 
CI_ENVIRONMENT = development

Now application is in development mode.

Instantiating Time Class

To use Time Class in CodeIgniter 4 application, we need to do these things –

  • Import CodeIgniter\I18n\Time
  • Create Instance of Time()

Here, we have few examples to load and use Time() class.

use CodeIgniter\I18n\Time; 

$myTime = new Time('+3 week'); 

$myTime = new Time('now');

$myTime = new Time('now', 'America/Chicago', 'en_US');

Available Methods of Time Class

There are several methods of Time class available to use to create Date & Time values. Here we will see about methods in two sections. First those methods which creates instance of Time Class and Second which is used to display date and time values to end users.

Also we will see some getter methods of Time class.

Methods – Time Class Object

  • now()
  • parse()
  • today()
  • yesterday()
  • tomorrow()
  • createFromDate()
  • createFromTime()
  • create()

Methods – Display Value

  • toLocalizedString()
  • toDateTimeString()
  • toDateString()
  • toTimeString()
  • humanize()

Let’s see all these methods in complete detail.

Details About Time Class Methods

All methods what we discuss is all about for Date & Time value.


now() method that returns a new instance set to the current time. We can pass in strings representing the timezone and the locale in the second and parameters, respectively.

If no locale or timezone is provided, the application defaults will be used.


$myTime = Time::now('America/Chicago', 'en_US');


This method is a static version of the default constructor. It takes a string acceptable as DateTime’s constructor.

$myTime = Time::parse('next Tuesday', 'America/Chicago', 'en_US');


Returns a new instance with the date set to the current date, and the time set to midnight.

$myTime = Time::today('America/Chicago', 'en_US');


Returns a new instance with the date set to the yesterday’s date and the time set to midnight.

$myTime = Time::yesterday('America/Chicago', 'en_US');


Returns a new instance with the date set to tomorrow’s date and the time set to midnight.

$myTime = Time::tomorrow('America/Chicago', 'en_US');


Given separate inputs for yearmonth, and day, will return a new instance.

$today = Time::createFromDate();            // Uses current year, month, and day 

$anniversary = Time::createFromDate(2018);  // Uses current month and day 

$date = Time::createFromDate(2018, 3, 15, 'America/Chicago', 'en_US');


createFromDate except it is only concerned with the hoursminutes, and seconds. Uses the current day for the date portion of the Time instance. 

$lunch  = Time::createFromTime(11, 30)       // 11:30 am today 

$dinner = Time::createFromTime(18, 00, 00)  // 6:00 pm today 

$time   = Time::createFromTime($hour, $minutes, $seconds, $timezone, $locale);


A combination of the previous two methods, takes yearmonthdayhourminutes, and seconds as separate parameters. Any value not provided will use the current date and time to determine.

$time = Time::create($year, $month, $day, $hour, $minutes, $seconds, $timezone, $locale);


This is the localized version of DateTime’s format() method.

$time = Time::parse('March 9, 2016 12:00:00', 'America/Chicago'); 

echo $time->toLocalizedString('MMM d, yyyy');   // March 9, 2016


It returns a string formatted as you would commonly use for datetime columns in a database (Y-m-d H:i:s)

$time = Time::parse('March 9, 2016 12:00:00', 'America/Chicago'); 

echo $time->toDateTimeString();     // 2016-03-09 12:00:00


Displays just the date portion of the Time.

$time = Time::parse('March 9, 2016 12:00:00', 'America/Chicago'); 

echo $time->toDateString();     // 2016-03-09


Displays just the time portion of the value.

$time = Time::parse('March 9, 2016 12:00:00', 'America/Chicago');

echo $time->toTimeString();     // 12:00:00


This methods returns a string that displays the difference between the current date/time and the instance in a human readable format that is geared towards being easily understood. It can create strings like ‘3 hours ago’, ‘in 1 month’, etc.

// Assume current time is: March 10, 2017 (America/Chicago) 

$time = Time::parse('March 9, 2016 12:00:00', 'America/Chicago'); 

echo $time->humanize();     // 1 year ago

Working with Individual Values – Date Time

The Time object provides a number of methods to allow to get and set individual items, like the year, month, hour, etc, of an existing instance.

$time = Time::parse('August 12, 2016 4:15:23pm'); 

echo $time->getYear();      // 2016 

echo $time->getMonth();     // 8 

echo $time->getDay();       // 12 

echo $time->getHour();      // 16 

echo $time->getMinute();    // 15 

echo $time->getSecond();    // 23 

echo $time->year;           // 2016 

echo $time->month;          // 8 

echo $time->day;            // 12 

echo $time->hour;           // 16 

echo $time->minute;         // 15 

echo $time->second;         // 23

We hope this article helped you to learn Date and Time in CodeIgniter 4 Tutorial in a very detailed way.

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