Join the Global celebration of the Weekend of Light over 25-28 September 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) has already reached over a hundred countries and millions of people worldwide. Activities are taking place on all continents, and more and more events are being added to the global calendar. Coming soon will be a truly spectacular series of events taking place worldwide during the Weekend of Light from Friday 25th to Monday 28th September. This four day period will see a remarkable series of activities of all kinds taking place, and we would like to encourage all IYL 2015 partners to get involved.


The list below provides a summary of some events that are already being planned for the Weekend of Light, and even if you have already planned something for the International Year, it is easy to organise something extra for a few hours during this very special weekend, so that you and your institution can play an active role in making this particular weekend something to remember.  For those in the zones of the total lunar eclipse on Monday 28th September, it is especially simple to organise an all-night “light party” to watch the eclipse, and this can be easily coupled with talks and lab tours that can be organised at short notice.   

Please don’t hesitate to get involved.  If you need ideas for activities please check out the IYL 2015 Event Programme, and remember you can print out posters and banners using the templates on the IYL 2015 Resources webpage.

IYL 2015 Weekend of Light | 25-28 September

  • European Researchers’ Night 2015  | Europe - 25 September 2015

The European Researchers' Night takes place every year all over Europe and beyond at the end of September. In 2015, these popular science events are happening on Friday 25 September in around 300 cities located in 24 European and neighbouring countries. CERN will be celebrating this year’s European Researchers’ Night with the theme of light in physics… and poetry! The event to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, will see the participation of Nobel Laureate Gao Xinjian, who was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature, along with physicists and engineers from across CERN.

A series of conferences delivered by researchers and specialists in the field is planned, together with an evening of observation, as well as an exhibition.

More information:

  • Lightfest | Birmingham, United Kingdom - 25 September

As part of Aston University’s forthcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, researchers from the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies are hosting lots of bright and exciting demonstrations, workshops and public lectures at the Library of Birmingham. Come play and learn about the wonders of the science of light and how photonic technologies is changing the world.

More Information:

  • Lunar Eclipse | Worldwide - 28 September

On 28 September 2015, a lunar eclipse will be visible from most of North America, South America, Europe, west Asia and parts of Africa making it a great opportunity to organize night-sky observations. You can check here if the eclipse is visible in your region. If it is not, don’t worry, the Offenburg University, Germany, is broadcasting the eclipse online live on its website.

The Circle of Light Moscow International Festival is a unique event at which Russian and International designers create light masterpieces and multimedia shows utilizing the metropolitan city as a canvas. In 2014 over 6 million people visited it!

  • Light: Beyond The Bulb Exhibition | Curitiba, Brazil – 28 September – 2 October

"LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb" is an open-source international exhibition program that showcases the incredible variety of light-based science being researched today across the electromagnetic spectrum, across scientific disciplines, and across technological platforms. The exhibit materials and striking images were crowd-sourced and expert curated for science content, high-quality printability, stunning beauty and ability to engage wide audiences.

More information:

  • iSPEX-EU Campaign | Europe - 1-28 September

The LIGHT2015 project will organise a European-wide citizen science campaign with thou- sands of participants that, aided by smartphone Photonics, will yield information related to air pollution. To this aim, participants will use iSPEX, an add-on that turns their smartphone into an optical sensor suitable for the observaion of atmospheric aerosol. Over 9,000 of these add-ons will be distributed among citizens in over 10 major cities across Europe who will be asked to take measurements from 1-28 September 2015 with a grand finale during the Weekend of Light.

More information:

  • LIGHTtalks: The Power of Photonics

LIGHTtalks are a series of inspirational talks that will take place in different European cities in order to bring photonics closer to students and entrepreneurs in the local communities within the LIGHT2015 Porject. A specific series of LIGHTtalks events targeted to local industry and entrepreneurs, will take place during the weekend 25-28 September 2015 to leverage on the international Weekend of Light.

More information:

  • Advanced School/Workshop on Fibre Optics: Light in action from science to technology | Alice, South Africa – 28 September – 2 October

This workshop will offer introductory lectures for students on the basics of fibre optics, starting with the science and indicating the applications and future technologies we are likely to see.

September of Light

The Weekend of Light serves as a grand finale for month full of interesting IYL 2015 activities such as:

Share your activities

Don’t forget to include your activities on the IYL 2015 Event Programme and share news and updates about them on social media channels using the #IYL2015 hashtag to help us raise awareness of the importance of light and light-based technologies for the world.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015