This story was originally published in Architectural Lighting.

UNESCO has announced that May 16 will serve at the International Day of Light (IDL). This global initiative follows the International Year of Light held in 2015, which saw more than 13,000 activities take place in 147 countries to celebrate “light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.”

The goal of the IDL is to “highlight—to citizens of the world—the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures and for the development of society.” The day is organized and administered by the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO and by a Steering Committee that includes representatives from UNESCO as well as several other organizations and associations including the American Institute of Physics (AIP); the American Physical Society (APS); Bosca, the European Centres for Outreach in Photonics (ECOP); the European Physical Society (EPS); the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD); the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP); the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS); the International Commission on Illumination (CIE); (the international network of accelerator based light sources); Light: Science and Applications; The Optical Society (OSA); Philips Lighting; the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE); SESAME; and Thorlabs. An Advisory Board representing the science, technology, design, energy, art, lighting, and architecture communities is assisting the Steering Committee.

A flagship event will take place in Paris on May 16 at the UNESCO headquarters. For a list of activities planned around the world visit the IDL calendar. For more information and how one can participate on May 16, visit the IDL website.

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