International Year of Light

About OSA

International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies 2015

Images of light being used in the fields of health, communications, economy, environment and social

UNESCO and International Year of Light Logos

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative that will highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society.

A resolution declaring 2015 the International Year of Light was passed by the full United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2013. The Optical Society is one of six founding scientific organizations that worked to obtain the formal declaration.
The International Year of Light will consist of coordinated activities on national, regional and international levels.

Raising Global Awareness

In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.

Light in our Daily Life

Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century.  It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.  For centuries light has transcended all boundaries, including geographic, gender, age, culture and race, and is a tremendous subject to motivate education.

United Nations Support

Prior to approval by the full U.N. General Assembly, the IYL 2015 resolution was submitted to the United Nations Second Committee on 6 November 2013 by the nation of Mexico, with delegates from both Mexico and New Zealand speaking in support. As Ana MarĂ­a Cetto from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) says: “Light matters to all of us. It is thanks to light that we know our place in the Universe, and that there is life on Earth.  The IYL will create a forum for scientists, engineers, artists, poets and all others inspired by light to interact both with each other and with the public so as to learn more about the nature of light, its many applications, and to discuss its role in our culture.” 

The resolution was adopted with co-sponsorship from 35 countries: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and United States of America.

This impressive list of co-sponsors reflects the truly international and inclusive nature of the theme of an International Year of Light.

OSA Past President Anthony Johnson presents information on the International Year of Light to the OSA Student Chapter Leadership members at FiO 2013 in Orlando, FL.

OSA Student Members brainstorming ideas for IYL 2015 activities and events.

A Play of Light
This video describes how LEDs used to decorate some Christmas trees function as a play of light.
Upcoming Events
15 January 2015 - Opening Ceremony in Paris, France
Past Events
OSA Student Chapter Leadership IYL 2015 Brainstorming Session (video)
OSA Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO), Orlando, FL, October 2013
Image of posters created by Students from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg, Germany

View the artwork created by students from Hochschule Offenburg, Department of Media and Information Technology.