International Day of Light

Quick Facts - US

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2023 DateMay 16, 2023
2024 DateMay 16, 2024

International Day of Light

International Day of Light History

International Day of Light seeks to raise awareness about light and the role it plays in science, art, and education. Light is a vital resource that sustains every living creature on Earth. This day aims to highlight how important light is within science and technology. It aims to highlight the importance of light science and its many applications.

International Day of Light was established in 2017 by UNESCO. It is observed annually on May 16th, a date that serves as the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser in 1960 by physicist Theodore Maiman.

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International Day of Light facts

  • Light travels in a straight line. If objects are in its path, they will cause the light to bend or refract.
  • The speed of light is 186,282 miles or 299,792 km per second.
  • According to, it takes over 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth.

Top things to do in the US for International Day of Light

  • Discover events near you. UNESCO hosts activities and events for people of all ages and backgrounds. They participate globally so that everyone around the world can gain an appreciation for the central role of light in science and culture.
  • Stay informed about upcoming news. UNESCO periodically releases news about scientific progress involving light technology.
  • Check out the International Day of Light video if you missed it. It addresses how light science and technology can provide solutions to global challenges.

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