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Ten Ways to Celebrate the first International Day of Light

The first International Day of Light (IDL) is less than a month away. A global initiative highlighting the importance of light and light-based technologies, communities around the world are planning events celebrating IDL on 16 May.

First Place Winner of the
2017 SPIE IDL Photo Contest
SPIE will participate in outreach events local to our community in Bellingham, Washington, attend the inauguration in Paris, France, and host an IDL reception for our conference attendees at SPIE Optical Systems Design in Frankfurt, Germany taking place May 14-17.

SPIE is also supporting local events in 13 different communities from the US to India, Canada to South Africa, who were awarded SPIE IDL Micro Grants to create activities that highlight the critical role light plays in our daily lives.

Do you need some ideas on how to show your appreciation of light on the 16th?
Here is our top ten list of ways you can celebrate IDL 2018:

1. Throw a Celebration: 
Light up your party with light and laser shows and optics demonstrations. Local universities with SPIE Student Chapters are experienced in community outreach and frequently have the tools and resources to put on a show, and the knowledge to demonstrate to revelers the value of light.

2. Join an Existing Event:
If one month isn’t enough time to prepare, don’t worry! The International Day of Light website has a list of events occurring all around the globe. Activities are planned so that people of all ages and all backgrounds can gain an appreciation for the central role of light in science and culture.

3. Update Your Social Media Channels:
SPIE created Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter cover photos and profile pictures featuring images from our 2017 SPIE IDL Photo Contest and the official IDL logo designed and created by SPIE. Show your support and help spread the word via social media.

4. Take Your Own Photos:
Take pictures that show the various properties of light and how it interacts with the atmosphere, nature, and materials. There are so many different ways to capture how we and our environments interact with light. Share your photos on social media and tag them #IDL2018 – and then be sure to enter the 2018 SPIE-IDL Photo Contest that launches on the Day of Light!

5. Paint with Light:
IDL Logo Light Painting
by Sergey Churkin, LPWA
Light makes an excellent artistic medium to express your appreciation of light. The results of light painting are worth celebrating themselves. Here are 11 Easy Light Painting Ideas to Try and IDL 2018 Light Painting Activities. Be sure to share your art on social media with the official IDL hashtag #IDL2018.

For inspiration check out these postcards for IDL created by the Light Painting World Alliance.

6. Plan Educational Presentations:
SPIE has lesson plans, translated into multiple languages that immerse children in the world of light and how light works. Partner with an elementary school or middle school and put on interactive demonstrations of the wonders of light.

7. Show off IDL Promotional Pieces:
Hand out IDL bookmarks or fact sheets, put on an SPIE tee shirt, or official IDL tie or scarf. Put an IDL pin on your coat. Or perhaps you have your own wearable technology that actually lights up… Wear your appreciation of light!

8. Hang Posters and Banners:
SPIE has dozens of posters that illustrate the importance of light. There are poster series that breakdown What is Light and how light addresses the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Download these free posters from SPIE. Or download and print these larger banners created for IDL – perfect for any event you are planning.

9. Share the IDL Video:
Looking for an easy way to communicate the importance of light? Share the SPIE International Day of Light promotional video. In less than two minutes, this video shows how light impacts our daily lives and supports sustainable development in all corners of the world.

10. Host a Speaker:
SPIE Student Chapters in good standing can request travel support for one lecturer per calendar year using the Visiting Lecturer funding. What better opportunity than hosting a lecturer as part of an IDL celebration on 16 May.


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