International Day of Light

16 May is the annual International Day of Light

A global celebration of light

The International Day of Light (IDL) is a global initiative that provides a focal point for the continued appreciation of light. IDL aims to raise awareness of the critical role that light-based technologies play in our lives, elevating science, technology, art, and culture to help achieve the goals of UNESCO – education, equality, and peace.

Our future is light. Play your part.

Watch the Day of Light movie trailer

An action-packed video styled as a blockbuster-movie trailer provides the linchpin for this year's International Day of Light (IDL) campaign, "Our future is light. Play your part." Released on 16 May, 2022, Day of Light features diverse characters successfully solving global-level problems using photonics-enabled technologies.

We partnered with IEEE Photonics Society and Optica to create the video and an accompanying website to promote the importance of light-based technologies and interesting careers in optics and photonics, while raising awareness of the annual IDL celebration on 16 May. 

Watch movie trailer


2022 IDL photo contest

Take aim with our annual photo contest

The SPIE Annual International Day of Light Photo Contest is open for entries from 16 May through 16 September. The contest aims to raise awareness about IDL and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life. Amateur and professional photographers alike submit photos for a chance to win US$2,500.

Promote the International Day of Light

Plan your own celebration of light

Free resources to view and download, including the official International Day of Light logo, social media assets, digital wallpapers, and lesson plans to experiment with light.

Volunteers needed

Help translate IDL promotional materials for global use.

Fill out our volunteer form, let us know what languages you speak fluently, and we will follow up with you.