Dear Supporters of the International Day of Light,

Thank you all again for your fantastic support in making the celebration of the International Day of Light in 2022 a great success. Events took place in over 70 countries around the world, and for more details, you can download a summary infographic which presents the key facts and figures. 

We are enthusiastically preparing for the International Day of Light on 16 May 2023, and we are now welcoming registration of events for next year on our global calendar.   Our website contains useful information about all aspects of event organisation. 

Note that the International Day of Light 2023 falls on a Tuesday, and so we have the chance for a strong focus during the entire week of 15-19 May. Of course, we remain completely flexible, and events celebrating light at all other times of the year can also be recognized as part of the International Day of Light!  Indeed, the items below also highlight some events that have taken place since our last newsletter, underlining how successful events celebrating the themes of the International Day of Light can take place all year.  

Significantly, the United Nations International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development will be running until June 2023, and so the International Day of Light next year provides a perfect opportunity to couple two major UN observances.  As always, we will be promoting as much as possible the importance of light and light-based technologies to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

As we begin our planning, we encourage you all to continue following and engaging with our social media channels using the hashtag #LightDay2023 and the official channels: @IDLOfficial on Twitter, @DayOfLight2023 on Instagram, and the @InternationalDayOfLight on Facebook. And once again, we acknowledge the continued commitment and support from the Steering Committee and other partners. Information about our partnership and how to get involved is here.

John Dudley and Joseph Niemela
IDL 2023 Steering Committee Chairs
Geethu Paulose
IDL Communications Coordinator

The International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development

The United Nations General Assembly International Year of Basic Sciences For Sustainable Development (IYBSSD) was officially launched at UNESCO Headquarters on 8 July 2022, and will run until June 2023, overlapping with the International Day of Light on 16 May 2023. The aim of IYBSSD is to stress the importance of basic science and long-term research to develop the science and technologies that are essential for modern society, and we encourage all IDL events to incorporate some messaging related to the importance of sustainable development and the role that light-based technologies can play.  You can also review the remarkable range of activities taking place for IYBSSD scheduled on their global calendar.  And if you wish to register an IDL event also with IYBSSD, you can do so through the registration link on their website. 


International logos in 36 languages
Thanks to help from our many volunteers, we have the International Day of Light logo available in 36 languages!  Please see our resources page for downloads.  Remember to click on "Show More" to see the full range that is available.

Education and Training in Optics & Photonics 2023

The Education and Training and Optics and Photonics (ETOP) conference will be held in Cocoa Beach Florida from May 15-18 2023.  ETOP is the major educational conference in the field of optics and photonics where educators from around the world and from all levels and orientations discuss, demonstrate and learn about new developments and approaches to teaching in these fields.  Through presentations, panel discussions, workshops and exhibits, ETOP informs professors, students, teachers and professional trainers on how to teach optics and photonics for the future.  The deadline for submission of 250 word abstracts is 1 December 2022, and a direct link to the abstract submission page is here.  See the conference website for full details.
About ETOP: ETOP, Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, is a conference held every two years. The organizing sponsors are SPIE, Optica, the IEEE Photonics Society and the International Commission for Optics ICO. 

Image: Winning photos from the 2022 SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest 

SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest Winners Announced

The annual SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest is held to raise awareness about IDL and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life. For the 2022 edition, photographers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Germany, Ireland and the United States were recognized as winners in the main category. Youth category winners (aged 13-17) came from Australia, Italy, and Iran.  See the winning photos at  The 2023 SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest will open on 16 May 2023 and will run until 16 September 2023.  

SPIE Outreach Grants Available – 1 December 2022 Deadline

SPIE Members are eligible to apply for funding for their International Day of Light activity or event. As part of its education outreach mission, SPIE provides support for optics and photonics related outreach activities and events, including IDL specific events. Applications due 1 December 2022.  SPIE is committed to the principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), and so we encourage all proposals to have EDI principles at their foundation. More details are on the application form.

It's never too early to start planning!  
Even though 16 May 2023 is 6 months away, it is always a good idea to make plans early for the International Day of Light. Please make use of our Quick Guide for event organisation which includes many useful tips and pointers, and check out our Resources page on the website for more ideas.  And if there is anything you think you might need where we can help, just ask!  Also, if you already have an idea of what you will be planning, please register it on our event submission page.

Optica Foundation 20th Anniversary Challenge Winners Announced.

The Optica Foundation 20th Anniversary challenge has just announced the 10 winners of its competition to support early-career researchers to propose optics and photonics solutions to transform society. Closely aligned with the themes of the International Day of Light to leverage technologies to improve quality of life worldwide, the challenge received a large number of exceptional applications in all three categories: environment, health and information. The prizes will provide seed and financial support for ideas that are often difficult to fund from other sources.  For more information, please visit

John Taylor

Zaheer Science Foundation Online Workshop on the Disruption of Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Continuing the programme of events related to the International Day of Light 2022, the Zaheer Science Foundation of New Delhi, India organised an online workshop on 30 August 2022 to discuss the important theme of how education and related opportunities have been disrupted as a result of COVID-19. Distinguished scientists were invited as Chief Guest, Guests of Honour, Session Chairpersons, and 11 Invited Speakers, chosen from different sectors of higher education, school education and NGOs, all involved in improving the quality of education, which is one of the most important Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Since school children and teachers were the greatest sufferers during the Covid-19 Pandemic, a principal and two school teachers of science and humanities streams from different parts of the country were also invited to share their thoughts with the participants of the workshop. About 100 participants, mostly from India and also from Iran and U.A.E. attended the workshop online. The workshop was made possible thanks to the media partner for the event, Virtual Studio Private Ltd., Greater Noida, New Delhi.  

Speakers highlighted the gains as well as the losses due to disruption of education during the pandemic. The negative aspects of Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in learning losses and also affected millions of children who will never be able to go to schools for a variety of reasons. The achievements were the fast adoption of online learning technologies by school teachers and university faculty as well as the learners. It was particularly emphasised that online learning should not be abandoned by the teaching institutions altogether as a blended mode of learning appears to be the most appropriate solution in the future.  The pandemic has also highlighted the committment of teachers in openly sharing resources and information, and their important role in mentoring children.

The various sessions of the workshop are free to watch online.  

Prof. Zahid H. Khan
National Node for India for the International Day of Light
& Vice-Chairman, Zaheer Science Foundation, New Delhi

IDL is on Instagram! 
The International Day of Light has its own Instagram page for #LightDay2023! Follow @DayOfLight2023 for updates about the next International Day Of Light in May 2023.  This will include 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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