Dear Supporters of the International Day of Light,

The 16 May will see the fifth celebration of the UNESCO International Day of Light, one of the most anticipated science events on the global calendar of United Nations observances. Since its inception in 2018, over 1900 activities and events have taken place in more than 100 countries, even reaching into space aboard the International Space Station! We’d like to thank you all for the hard work that has made the International Day of Light such a success.

As you will see from looking at our global events calendar, activities all over the world are being organised for 2022, and we look forward to some fantastic celebrations. Indeed, some have already taken place, and we highlight a selection of both past and upcoming events in the various news items below. One of the unique features of the International Day of Light is the way it brings together so many diverse communities, and this is reflected in the tremendous range of topics that will be celebrated - science and technology, lighting and lighting quality, astronomy, philosophy, human rights education and more! Also, remember that many of the planned activities for 2022 are online and open to global participation. So please don’t hesitate to scan the worldwide schedule and register to participate in anything at all that interests you.

If you haven’t yet made plans yourselves, remember that the International Day of Light celebrations do not all need to take place on the 16 May itself. While many will naturally be organised around that date and during the week that follows, events at any time of the year can receive International Day of Light association. Please just register your events online and we’ll place it on the calendar. And don’t forget to read our quick guide to event organisation. Many people find this extremely useful as a way to get started.

In addition, remember that the 16 May is also the United Nations International Day of Living Together in Peace, and we encourage organisers of events on 16 May itself to consider including broader discussions of this theme as well, perhaps linking with the cultural association of light as a symbol of inclusion and hope. As you plan, we encourage you all to 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

The Daylight Award 2022 Laureates

The Daylight Award will announce the 2022 laureates for Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture on the UNESCO International Day of Light in a live online ceremony at 18:30 (CEST) on 16 May 2022. The highly acclaimed jury for the 2022 award - Anne Lacaton, Dorte Mandrup, Marilyne Andersen, Gerd Folkers, Russell Foster, Juhani Pallasmaa and Koen Steemers – will be announcing the 2022 laureates. The online event is open to the global community of architects, researchers, scientists, building professionals, educators, students, members of press, and everyone interested in daylight and its impact on human health, well-being and the environment.

The Daylight Award interlinks disciplines that are usually addressed in separated, monocultural spheres, professional circles or practices. It honours and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture and it acknowledges and encourages scientific knowledge and practical application of daylight. The Daylight Award strives to raise a holistic understanding of daylight and increase its positive impact on life.

The Daylight Award for Research is awarded to individuals or small groups of scientists who have distinguished themselves as outstanding contributors to internationally recognised daylight research. It acknowledges highly original and influential advances in the areas of natural science, human science or social science, with special emphasis on the effects of daylight on human health, well-being and performance.

The Daylight Award for Architecture is awarded to one or more architects or other professionals who have distinguished themselves by realising architecture or creating urban environments that showcase unique use of daylight. Special emphasis will be put on architecture that considers the overall quality of life, its impact on human health, well-being and performance, and its value to society.

The Daylight Award is established by the philanthropic foundations VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN and VELUX STIFTUNG, and is conferred biennially in two categories: The Daylight Award for Research and The Daylight Award for Architecture. To sign up and join the live announcement of the 2022 laureates, visit

Jadrana Curkovic
The Daylight Award Communication

Image Credit: Jadrana Curkovic |

IDL Outreach Activities in Pakistan  

The beginning of year 2022 saw Pakistan’s educational institutes starting in-person activities in full swing. Dr. Imrana Ashraf and Dr. Abdul Rahman of the OPTICA Quaid-i-Azam University Physics Chapter, took this opportunity to organise various outreach activities, especially for female students, as part of the 5th edition of the International Day of Light in March, in association with Optics college at The Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Trieste, Italy.

The first event was held at the University of Wah, Wah Cantt, the town with the highest literacy rate in Pakistan. The Physics department had a total of 350 undergraduates of which 250 were female students. The activities began with a presentation entitled 'See it with Light', that emphasised the importance of light and light-based technologies in society. Some basic experiments of optics were also performed on stage with students. This included experiments such as colour mixing, creation of white light, diffraction glasses, home-made spectroscopes, scattering of light and fibre optics, and a demonstration explaining the difference between ordinary light, LEDs and Lasers.

The second activity was held in a private school, Headstart School - Kuri Campus, Islamabad, that included hands-on optics activities for students, demonstration of different optical components of LIDAR including a laser gyro, a fibre optics gyro, and more.

Imrana Ashraf
Quaid-i-Azam University

Image Credits:  Imrana Ashraf| Abdul Rahman / Quaid-i-Azam University

IDL Celebrations in Finland

The Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN) and the Science Education organisations in Tampere University, Aalto University and University of Eastern Finland are organising ‘Valon Viiko’ (Week of Light) as part of the IDL celebrations this year. This outreach event was first organised in 2021, and is now a recurring annual event to celebrate the International Day of Light. It includes several workshops on different light-related themes organised for children and young people, from primary to high-school. A detailed programme for 2022 can be found here.  

PREIN and Photonics Finland are also organising a webinar series 'Photonics for X' exploring light-based solutions for industrial applications and societal challenges. Whilst 'Photonics for All' has already introduced the optics manufacturing capabilities available in Finland, 'Photonics Starts from Design' takes us one step backward to the start of any R&D&I project. During this webinar, researchers and experts will describe how the optical design industry meets photonics and discuss current and future challenges. 

Goëry Genty, Tea Vellamo 
Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation,

Image Credit: PREIN

IDL Celebrations in India

Our National Nodes play a central role in communicating IDL objectives and encouraging events that help achieve our goals from various institutes and grassroots organisations. This year our National Node coordinator of India, Dr. Zahid H. Khan, has facilitated a range of very interesting events for IDL 2022 that cover topics ranging from light-matter interactions and laser applications, to enlightening humanity.

Laser Applications: Lighting and Illumination Engineering with 'Li-Fi'
The Physics Department of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, is organising the event, Laser Applications: Lighting and Illumination Engineering with 'Li-Fi', from 13-16 May 2022 that includes an invited talk focusing on the recent developments in the field of optical wireless communication technology which uses light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a medium to deliver network, mobile, high-speed communication and more. The event will also include a quiz competition on 'Properties of Light' for young students, laboratory visits and optics demonstrations. The Physics Department has an illustrious past spanning more than a century of teaching and research in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, and is a strong supporter of outreach and education events.

Prof. Bhanu Prakash Singh, Chairperson
Prof. Shabbir Ahmad, Dr. S.M. Afzal, and Dr. Jai Prakash,Physics Department, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. 

Light to Illuminate Humanity
The Kainat International School, Jehanabad, based in the village Kako, Bihar, will celebrate the International Day of Light for the first time on the theme 'Light to Illuminate Humanity'. The event from 14-16 May 2022 will be based on an exhibition on different aspects of light by school children. A Mobile Science Exhibition Van will be set up for creating scientific awareness among the rural masses to build trust in science and combat superstitions. Activities such as drawing, slogan, speeches, poetry based on light will be organised for students belonging to different age groups. The valedictory function together with prize distribution will be followed by switching off light for 63 seconds to create awareness among the children to save energy.  

Shakil Ahmed Kakvi (Kainat Foundation)

Workshop on 'Light – Matter Interaction at the Nano Scale'
The Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in collaboration with the Department of Physics, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, will be organising a workshop on ‘Light – Matter Interaction at the Nano-Scale’ on 27 October. From cancer therapy to water splitting to single-molecule (bio-)sensing, such light localisation phenomena are finding an ever-increasing variety of fundamentally relevant applications. Nano scale light–matter interactions are essential for the efficient conversion of light into chemical energy in biological light harvesting systems and for the light-to-current conversion in artificial photovoltaic devices.

Dr. A.K. Hafiz, Officiating Director, Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Prof. Mohd. Shahid Khan, Department of Physics, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Image Credits: Aligarh Muslim University & Kainat Foundation

The 2022 Spanish IDL Flagship Event

The 2022 Flagship Event of the International Day of Light in Spain will take place in the city of Valladolid, organised by the University of Valladolid through its Unit of Scientific Culture, together with the Museum of Science of the City.

This flagship event will include a complete programme of activities related to light science and technology, and represents a fourth edition, in 2022, of the previous Spanish IDL flagship events organised at the University Complutense of Madrid (2018), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (2019) and Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Terrassa (2020/21). Promoted by the Spanish Committee of the IDL, the flagship Spanish commemoration of the IDL has been celebrated every year since 2018 aside from 2020, when the unique circumstances of the covid pandemic forced cancellation of all events.  

María Josefa Yzuel, Ignacio Moreno
Spanish Committee of the IDL 

Image Credit: Spanish Committee of the IDL 

Don’t forget the International Year of Light 2015 website! 
When searching for material and ideas related to light, please don’t forget the many resources that are available on the International Year of Light 2015 website, which is still online at The website will remain online until the end of 2022 so please make use of these resources as much as you like!

Seeing Stars Leiden

In the month of September 2022, Leiden will be home to a remarkable experiment: Seeing Stars Leiden.  In a wider area around the heart of the city of Leiden, the Netherlands, centred on the Old Observatory, all lights will be turned off for one hour. The more lights go out, the less light pollution and the more stars we can see in the sky. There will be plenty to do around Seeing Stars Leiden, from star-gazing activities in the neighbourhoods, to astronomy talks at the Old Observatory Leiden, the oldest university observatory in the world, plus a range of citizen science investigations into the impacts of light pollution on our health, our perception of safety, our energy bill, and on the nature around us - culminating in the night that the lights go off. Sign up to the newsletter to find out more. The event is organised as part of Leiden2022 in association with Leiden&Partners, Gemeente Leiden and the Citizen Science Lab, Leiden University.

Seeing Stars Leiden
Gemeente Leiden
Citizen Science Lab, Leiden University

Image Credits: ©Dirk van Egmond | Seeing Stars Leiden

IAU OAO and IDL Collaborate for the Year 2022

In alignment with UNESCO's International Day of Light on 16 May, the International Astronomical Union Office for Astronomy Outreach (IAU OAO) is dedicating the entire month of May 2022 to Dark and Quiet Skies Awareness. This project raises awareness about the need to preserve dark and quiet skies. Through the project, people can learn about the importance of dark skies for human culture, heritage, and health as well as the use of dark and quiet skies for astronomy research. The IAU OAO will also be running a drawing contest, social media campaign (on Facebook and Twitter), and a seminar on dark sky protection. For more information, and to register your events, see the website and promote your events using hashtags #DarkSkies4All and #IDL2022.

Kelly Blumenthal & Suzana Filipecki Martins
IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

Image Credit: IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

Organise James Webb Space Telescope Events! 
At the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope lies a host of #optics and #photonics technologies and instrumentation 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.

20 Years of LUCI

20 years ago, the founding cities of LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International) launched the creation of a network that would bring together cities from around the world to think about urban lighting and how it can be used to improve quality of life for citizens. During these 20 years, the network has involved more and more members worldwide, and has evolved through a variety of events, projects, publications and tools to share knowledge between members. This year LUCI is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is organising a specific event Sparking the Future of Urban Lighting! which will begin on 16 May, the International Day of Light. This special online 2 day event will feature keynotes, roundtables and LUCI working group meetings. The event will be a wonderful opportunity to look back over 20 years of the Network, be inspired by peers and experts, and participate in the co-creation of a major LUCI Declaration on the future of urban lighting.  During the event, LUCI will launch the new Cities & Lighting Awards.  Through celebration, participation, and inspiration in all of LUCI’s activities this year, the network looks forward to building a common vision of the Future of Urban Lighting. 

LUCI Association

Image Credit: LUCI Association

Events from South Africa

The International Day of Light has some exciting events from South Africa that includes an online public lecture, ‘Quantum Talk’ organised in Johannesburg-Braamfontein by Andrew Forbes (of University of the Witwatersrand), and the Lab-Olympics organised by Anneke Erasmus of University of Stellenbosch where students will compete in a series of fun tasks designed to test their optics lab skills, speed, creativity, and mathematical knowledge. Andrew Forbes is also organising an outreach event ‘Wits IDL Day’ at a remote high school, Kagiso, in Noordheuvel. In another outreach event, postgraduate students of the University of Stellenbosch will show high school students fun and exciting physics demonstrations in an interactive and engaging session with the aim to spread awareness of physics, especially optics and photonics.

Anneke Erasmus 
University of Stellenbosch

Andrew Forbes
University of the Witwatersrand

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!

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International Day of Light Secretariat · Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics ICTP · Str. Costiera 11 · Trieste, TS 34151 · Italy

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