Today marks a special day on not only the luxury lighting calendar, but calendars worldwide. All across the globe people will be finding their own unique ways to celebrate the medium of light. The reason? Today marks the first ever International Day Of Light. The result of a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light, the International Day Of Light is a new annual celebration of, as its name might seem to suggest, light. Acting as a reason to delve in to, explore, and celebrate the role light plays in science, culture, art, education, sustainable development, medicine, communications, energy, and beyond, the International Day Of Light might be in its first year, but there's already no doubting its relevance and importance. By celebrating such a broad theme as light, many different sectors of industry, culture, and society from all across the world can participate the occasion, hosting or taking part in events or activities that demonstrate how science, technology, art, and culture can all help to achieve the goals of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The major goals of the International Day of Light, as listed on the International Day Of Light website, are:
Improve the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies touch the daily lives of everybody, and are central to the future development of the global society.
Build worldwide educational capacity through activities targeted on science for young people, addressing issues of gender balance, and focusing especially on developing countries and emerging economies.
Highlight and explain the intimate link between light and art and culture, enhancing the role of optical technology to preserve cultural heritage.
Enhance international cooperation by acting as a central information resource for activities coordinated by learned societies, NGOs, government agencies, educational establishments, industry, and other partners.
Emphasise the importance of basic research in the fundamental science of light, the need for investment in light-based technology to develop new applications, and the global necessity to promote careers in science and engineering in these fields.
Promote the importance of lighting technology and the need for access to light and energy infrastructure in sustainable development, and for improving quality of life in the developing world.
Raise awareness that technologies and design can play an important role in the achievement of greater energy efficiency, in particular by limiting energy waste, and in the reduction of light pollution, which is key to the preservation of dark skies.
The International Day of Light will be held on May 16th every year. The date remains significant as it marks the anniversary of the very first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. Such an occasion as the very first successful operation of the laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields - something that the International Day Of Light aims to promote as it focuses on the medium of illumination.