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The International Day of Light: A United Nations Program

16 May | The International Day of Light

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

The 2022 SPIE IDL Photo Contest will launch on 16 May as part of the celebration. Submit your prize winning photos for cash prizes.

New this year is the SPIE Student Member IDL Video Contest. Check out the details here on 16 May. 

Celebrate IDL Year-round

Decorate your social media platforms

Get IDL virtual backgrounds for your Zoom meetings

Add IDL wallpapers to your computer or smartphone

Tag your images #LightDay2022 #IDL2022

2022 IDL Campaign

Our future is light. Play your part. Woman stands facing sunset at the beach

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. From technolgies that improve vision and power smartphones, to those that provide tools to study Earth and Space, from healthcare to communications at the speed of light, photonics is the key enabling technology of a brighter future. Read the SPIE news article to learn more about the campaign.

Click through to view this exciting and fun video, and learn about careers in optics and photonics.

Promote the International Day of Light

Download the Official Logo
Access SPIE IDL Resources

The SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest

IDL 2022 Photo Contest now open

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.

Learn more  ›      

Get inspired by the winning images of our 2021 contest, including those from our Youth Category and Technology Categories, as well as past photo contest submissions.

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.