Happy International Year of Light 2015

January 1, 2015 in Education, Lighting Profession

The United Nations has proclaimed that 2015 is the International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies, also referred to as IYL 2015.  2015 is the anniversary of quite a few notable discoveries about light.  The UN resolution recognizes “the works on optics by Ibn Al-Haytham in 1015, the notion of light as a wave proposed by Fresnel in 1815, the electromagnetic theory of light propagation proposed by Maxwell in 1865, Einstein’s theory of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and of the embedding of light in cosmology through general relativity in 1915, the discovery of the cosmic microwave background by Penzias and Wilson, and Kao’s achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication, both in 1965.”

By focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the UN hopes to raise global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. It’s an exciting idea, and I hope that we see a lot of activity surrounding light and lighting design in the profession, allied professions, and the media.  It’s a great opportunity for the IALD, IES, manufacturers, etc. to raise their profile, raise the profile of lighting design, and educate people about the advantages of well designed lighting.  Unfortunately, as of today very few activities have been announced and none of them are activities or events related to lighting in the built environment (not counting annual events, such as LightFair, that would happen anyway).    If you have any contacts within these organizations, urge them to take advantage of this special year.