Dear Supporters of the International Day of Light,

As the International Day of Light on 16 May approaches, it is wonderful to see enthusiasm developing as we receive enquiries and updates from around the world. Event registration is accelerating, and our event calendar is starting to fill up!
This newsletter provides a summary of some of the many events and initiatives that are in preparation. If you are organising something yourself, don't hesitate to pre-register your plans and add a short description now, even if you may need to modify some details later. The secretariat team is always ready to help.  And please take advantage of our resources such as logos and videos and speaker lists that you can integrate into your events. And if this is the first time you are organising an activity, our quick guide is a great starting point.

Significantly, the date of 16 May also sees the recognition of another United Nations Observance, the International Day of Living Together in Peace. It is important to note here that the International Day of Light has always encompassed broader societal themes in line with the overarching objective of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to foster worldwide understanding, respect and peace. Light is a powerful symbol of inclusion and hope, and as the world continues to face multiple challenges in the coming months, we encourage you all to consider including broader educational themes in your planning, perhaps through speakers from outside the purely scientific field, or through a panel discussion on the role of scientists in engaging with societal concerns.

And in this context, we are delighted to welcome as a new collaborating partner the LIGHT Education Initiative whose focus is on promoting human rights education in schools. This is of course a vital theme for us all, and you can read more about their activities below. We are also honoured to highlight another new collaborating partner for 2022, the Eye Mission of the Pacific, and their plans to support rebuilding actions in Tonga following the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami are also outlined below.

In 2022, the International Day of Light (IDL) falls on a Monday, and so we are suggesting a strong global focus during the period of 15-22 May. Moreover, as we describe below, the evening of 15-16 May sees a total lunar eclipse in many parts of the world, and this can be a great way to bring in even more participants with observation events.

As you plan, we encourage you all to read our guides for organising events, continue following and engaging with our social media channels using the hashtags #LightDay2022 and #IDL2022, and through the official channels: @IDLOfficial on Twitter, @DayOfLight2022 on Instagram, and @InternationalDayOfLight on Facebook. And once again, we acknowledge the continued commitment and support from the Steering Committee and other partners. More general information about our partnership and how to get involved is here.

John Dudley and Joseph Niemela
IDL 2022 Steering Committee Chairs

Geethu Paulose
IDL Communications Coordinator

In Memoriam - Costel Subran (1949 - 2022)

The International Day of Light community was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Costel (Constantin) Subran, a tremendous leader & supporter of optics in France & worldwide, on 28 January 2022. Costel's career spanned 4 decades and included academia, industry, and voluntary actions and leadership within scientific societies. In all his spheres of interest, he brought with him a genuine passion for education and communication. He was particularly ahead of his time in seeing how events that combined science and culture were extremely successful in reaching across broad sectors and greatly enhancing efforts in science education. Within France, he organised year-long celebrations of this type for the 50th anniversary of the laser in 2010 and the International Year of Light in 2015. He also organised major public events in France every year since the first International Day of Light in 2018. Those who had the good fortune to attend the events he organised at emblematic locations such as the Louvre and the Sorbonne will never forget them. Being based in Paris, Costel's personal and logistic support was also essential to the efforts spanning multiple years in obtaining UNESCO’s support for both the International Year of Light and the International Day of Light initiatives. His contributions and guidance were vital to their success. Costel leaves a remarkable human legacy in the many friends, students and colleagues around the world who have been inspired by his example. We will remember him with great fondness, and especially every year on the International Day of Light. We express our sincere condolences to his family.

Total Lunar Eclipse on 16th May 2022  

This year, we are especially lucky that the International Day of Light coincides with a total lunar eclipse or “blood moon.”  Specifically, on the evening of 15-16th May, many parts of the world, especially regions of North and South America, Africa & Western Europe will witness a total lunar eclipse.  In fact, the total lunar eclipse will also be preceded by a partial solar eclipse on the 30th of April visible from parts of South America. Eclipses are great opportunities to jointly celebrate the significance of light and light-based technologies in astronomy and optics, and to promote events and activities within communities, schools and other institutions. Events related to the eclipses are already showing up in our global calendar and we are excited to see the creativity and imagination unfold with each event registration. Information on how to view the total lunar eclipse at different locations is given here. Other information is readily available about all four solar and lunar eclipses of 2022.

Image Credit: NASA Ames Research Center/Brian Day

Sharing The Power Of Light With The Signify Foundation

Signify was a Founding Partner of the International Year of Light in 2015, and has been a key member of the Steering Committee of the International Day of Light since its inauguration in 2018. Through the Signify Foundation, the company leverages and applies its expertise and global reach to bring light and opportunities to underserved communities and regions worldwide. In a world where around a billion people have no reliable access to power, readily-available convenient sources of electric light remain a dream for many. The Signify Foundation aims to end this imbalance by working with its partners worldwide to ensure the benefits of sustainable lighting are available to all.   

After 5 years of operation, the actions of the Signify Foundation have served communities worldwide across Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The foundation’s programmes have included both the direct installation of sustainable lighting solutions, as well as support for market ecosystem building. During 2021, the focus has been to build recovery and resilience by enabling access to light and livelihood development. The foundation has just released a video Sharing the Power of Light which highlights these achievements.  The video was created  in support of the 2021 annual report which will soon be available here. For the latest news and developments regarding the Foundation’s activities, visit its LinkedIn page.  


Image Credit: Signify Foundation

Eye Mission of the Pacific as a Collaborating Partner for IDL 2022

The UNESCO International Day of Light is delighted to welcome as a Collaborating Partner the Eye Mission of the Pacific, a Honolulu-based foundation that serves people of the Pacific region who suffer from vision loss or low vision.  Eye Mission of the Pacific coordinates volunteer eye surgeons, support staff and surgical equipment suppliers to assure clinical expertise and eye care to those who may have no other treatment options.

Following the devastating Hunga Tonga eruption, Eye Mission of the Pacific is implementing a special initiative for 2022 to assist the Kingdom of Tonga’s only ophthalmologist Dr. Duke Mataka.  In his mission,  Dr. Mataka arrived in Tonga in 2018 after a decade where there was only very limited eye care available in this archipelago of 170 islands. Given the added challenges to rebuild Tonga after the devastating tsunami and ash cloud, Eye Mission of the Pacific will send an all-volunteer medical mission to Tonga to assist in cataract surgeries.  In addition, the founder of Eye Mission of the Pacific ophthalmologist Dr. John M. Corboy will donate a Zeiss YAG laser to Tonga to treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy via laser panretinal photocoagulation. Diabetic retinopathy is the fastest growing cause of blindness in Tonga and globally.  Dr. Corboy has sponsored philanthropy in ophthalmology in Tonga since 1982.

These life-changing treatments will literally reopen the passage of light into the eyes of the blind! For more information contact Eye Mission of the Pacific via the web page


Image Credit: Eye Mission of the Pacific

LIGHT Education Initiative as a Collaborating Partner for IDL 2022

In cultures across the world, light is a universal symbol of inclusion and hope, and the International day of light has always embraced and included activities that address the symbolic power of light to promote the mission of UNESCO in fostering understanding and peace. For the International Day of Light 2022, we are therefore very honoured to welcome as a collaborating partner the LIGHT Education Initiative.  

The mission of the LIGHT Education Initiative is education in middle and high schools on the themes of genocide, human rights, and holocaust education. These are all themes that are of central importance to achieve the aims of UNESCO and the United Nations, and indeed UNESCO itself always strongly supports all efforts in holocaust education and remembrance.  

Some specific goals of the LIGHT Education Initiative for IDL in 2022 are: a week of LIGHT Day Celebrations in schools across Southwestern Pennsylvania from 16-20 May; a LIGHT Day Student Summit at Montour High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Friday, May 20th with 10-15 participating school districts; a lecture by the Society for the Preservation of the Murals of Maxo Vanka on their use of light in illuminating and preserving the murals, while using the murals to teach about social justice, art, and the immigrant experience. A central mission of the LIGHT Education Initiative is to transform educational activities into lasting community action to counter antisemitism, hate speech, and all identity-based discrimination. 

Nick Haberman
Director, LIGHT Education Initiative

The Power of Light Discovered by Spanish Primary School Students

The Spanish Committee of the International Day of Light, ALBA Synchrotron - the Spanish light source and also the biggest research infrastructure in the country - recently launched an educational programme called Misión ALBA running from November until May 2022. In this programme, students of the age group 10 to 12 years perform different experiments related to light, in their classroom. These experiments aim to answer questions on the role light plays in our vision, how it helps us understand the properties of various materials, how light can be used to create practical solutions to solve our daily challenges and more.
One of the main attractions of the project is that the students get to interact with real scientists and engineers directly either in-person or online, enabling them to receive feedback from the ALBA Synchrotron staff and gain an understanding of how large research organisations function. This also helps in removing barriers and in making science more accessible and appealing to young people. Students and teachers have access to different educational materials: videos, instructions for experiments, quizzes and newsletters after each experiment. Besides this, the ALBA Synchrotron team provides timely assistance and follow-up to ensure the smooth running of the programme.

The project started back in 2018 and has already held four editions, reaching students from all around Spain, including rural or special education needs schools. This year will see a participation of over 500 teachers and 15000 students, finishing their missions just in time to celebrate together the International Day of Light on the 16th of May. 

The ALBA Synchrotron is fully committed to fostering scientific culture and coordinates other outreach projects like the guided tours at the facility, the Open Days, a podcast series and other training activities like workshops at the schools. 


Ana Belén Martínez 
Communications & Outreach Office 
ALBA Synchrotron

Image Credit: Misión ALBA

'Theory of Light' Premieres at Expo2020 in Dubai
Liter of Light, a Filipino-born global grassroots solar lighting movement, will premiere a pioneering environmental film “Theory of Light” at Expo2020 in Dubai, during the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week. The film will be presented to over 100 dignitaries and guests at the Opportunity Forum on March 27th, 2022 at 7:00 PM and will showcase the impact of a Philippine innovation in building resilient communities. Theory of Light will put a spotlight on the need to address social inequalities, climate change and the need for a more urgent and united action to protect countries experiencing adverse effects of the environment. The film features Liter of Light’s effort to take action on the increasing impact of climate change and in inspiring new generations of innovators from the Global South to come up with ideas that will change the world.

This project is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The film includes interviews from Niclas Svenningsen, manager, UN Global Climate Action, and is produced and distributed by TBA Studios, the two-time Philippine representative to the Academy Awards.

Liter of Light has been a key collaborating partner of UNESCO's International Day of Light and the International Year of Light since 2015, and has carried out a wide range of award-winning actions over many years to raise awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Illac Angelo Diaz
Executive Director
Liter of Light Global Foundation

Image Credit: Theory Of Light/ Illac Angelo Diaz

Light for Life Webinar 18-19 May 2022

“Light for Life” is a global conversation about the impact of light on the lives of humans, plants, and animals. As hosts of this collaborative annual series, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) will facilitate webinars over the course of two days (during the week of the International Day of Light) with partner organisations from around the world. In practice, the potential of light is something we often view through the lens of our own country’s trends, concerns and accomplishments. The IES brings people together to learn from one another about the impact of light on lives all over the world. This series is free for all.

Brienne Musselman

Image Credit: Illuminating Engineering Society

Organise James Webb Space Telescope Events! 
At the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope lies a host of #optics #photonics technologies and instruments that will allow Webb to see light from the very early universe for the very first time. We welcome the IDL community to organise events that celebrate the continued scientific and technological success of Webb for #LightDay2022. Use #IDLWebb to give focus to your IDL events that includes Webb.

World Interferometry Day 2nd Edition

April 6th, 2022 marks the second edition of the World Interferometry Day commemorating the seminal birth of the interferometer with special focus on Michelson interferometer. In the early days of April 1881, 141 years ago, Albert Abraham Michelson invented the interferometer, a device that would be successfully used in a famous experiment 6 years later, together with E.W. Morley, to convincingly disprove the existence of an ether through which light waves had been commonly assumed to propagate. Since then, the interferometer has truly triumphed in science and technology. Today, the applications of interferometers range from nano and precision technologies to the exploration of space and the mysteries of gravitational waves.

World Interferometry Day is welcoming events with an aim to strengthen scientific and economic cooperation, and to promote sustainable development worldwide. Also provide an opportunity for diverse sectors of society worldwide to develop and combine activities to express the importance of science and technology towards the benefit of the society. This clearly coincides with #IDL2022 objectives and we welcome events that jointly celebrate light-based technologies and its impact on society.

In fact events are already being planned in this regard for the International Day of Light that includes a scientific symposium organised by TU Ilmenau. Together with SIOS Meßtechnik GmbH ,TU Illmenau is also organising Art, Music, Illumination, Light shows that aim to raise the visibility of this unique light-based technique, which has been able to open up new perspectives of knowledge and continues to prove this today.

Prof. Eberhard Manske

Image Credit: Illmenau

Celebrate IYBSSD2022 with IDL2022 

The United Nations General Assembly invites every organisation and people worldwide to celebrate the International Year of Basic Sciences For Sustainable Development (IYBSSD). The year will officially open on July 8th, 2022 with an opening ceremony taking place in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

IYBSSD has a significant scientific component, with its key aim being to stress the importance of basic science and long-term research to develop the science and technologies that are essential for modern society. We encourage all IDL organisers to co-brand their events with IYBSSD, incorporating messaging related to the importance of sustainable development, and the role that light-based technologies can play.  
In addition to this, IYBSSD recommends that for any event, programme or initiative to be included in the official programme it addresses themes on Basic sciences, Inclusivity, Open access,
Interdisciplinarity and encourages scientific discussions. More information on the programme, submitting a proposal and updates on the schedule of events worldwide can be found on the website To register your events with International Day of Light fill out this simple form, do check out our quick guide to help you organise events.

Image Credit: IYBSSD2022

SNAP! The night sky through a Leidener’s lens - Exhibition & Opening event

This year, IDL will also see an event from the Old Observatory in Leiden, The Netherlands - the oldest remaining university observatory in the world. Together with the Werkgroep Leidse Sterrewacht (WLS), one of its 4 astronomical societies, the Old observatory is organising ‘Kiek! De nachthemel door een Leidse lens’ (SNAP! The night sky through a Leidener’s lens) exhibition from 15th March to 31st May 2022. The astrophotography exhibition will feature breathtaking images of our Moon, planets, stars and nebulae captured by local astrophotographers and is taking place at the BPlusC Library at Stevenshof in Leiden.

The grand opening of the exhibition will take place on 30th March at the BPlusC Stevenshof library. The astrophotographers will be there to guide one through the exhibition and answer all the burning questions from the visitors. The astrophotography instrument setup will also be on display for all. The opening event also includes a free 'Introduction to Astrophotography’ workshop in Dutch, hosted by one of the astrophotographers. You don’t need any fancy equipment or previous experience to participate in the workshop, just a smartphone! If you are around Leiden or in the Netherlands, sign up for the workshop, make sure to drop by and share the experience with your friends and family. More information can be found here.

Aoife Taylor
Exhibition Coordinator
Oude Sterrewacht Leiden

IDL is on Instagram! 

 The International Day of Light launched an Instagram page in 2020 and this channel will continue to be used for updates about #LightDay2022! Follow @DayOfLight2022 for updates about about the next Day Of Light in May 2022, including news and announcements, as well as a special collection of photography that features the role and beauty of light in our daily lives!

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
International Day of Light Secretariat · Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics ICTP · Str. Costiera 11 · Trieste, TS 34151 · Italy

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp