International Day of Light (IDL)

International Day of Light (IDL)

Basic Information

International Day of Light (IDL) is an annual observance on May 16 to raise awareness of the role of light science and its application play to humankind and to achieve the goals of UNESCO.


Observed on: May 16

Organized by: UNESCO, UN

Introduced in: 2018 (First Observation)

Observed: Worldwide


About International Day of Light

Light and light technologies are playing critical role in a person’s daily life. It had roles in science, culture, art, education, development, medicine, communications, energy, etc. So, it is important to appreciate and raise awareness about light and its technology. So, 2015 is observed as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015), which raise global awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and their importance to humankind. As a continuous program and to raise awareness about light UNESCO adopted May 16 as International Day of Light (IDL) in 2017. The first observation was made on 16 May 2018.

The date May 16 is important as this day is the anniversary of first successful laser operation by Theodore Mainman in 1960. Light have major roles in science and technology, sustainable development, education and culture. So, the observation has much value and importance. Since light has roles in many fields, the observation will help to build bridges between scientific disciplines, education and the art, different cultures, relationship between citizens, scientists, decisions makers, industry leaders and governmental organizations.


Activities and Programs on International Day of Light

Different programs and events are conducted on behalf of this observation. Many contests are organized like photo contests as part of the observation. Many programs aim at improve educational knowledge about various technologies used with light are also part of the program.

Many organizations like NGOs, government agencies, educational institutions, physics groups, industries, etc. are organizing various programs on this day. Seminars, discussions, presentations are all part of the observation. Programs relating to use of light and solar rays as part of energy source and to reduce wastage of energy.


Click here for List of Important Days or UN Observations

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