International year of light 2015 banner
 International year of light2015 will be the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed.  

The purpose is to raise awareness around the world of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.

The intention is to improve public and political understanding of the central role of light in modern life as well as the problem-solving potential of the latest light technology.

Photonics provides cost-effective solutions to challenges in so many different areas: energy, sustainable development, climate change, health, communications and agriculture. For example, innovative lighting solutions reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, while minimizing light pollution so that we can all appreciate the beauty of the universe in a dark sky. IYL2015 is a unique opportunity to raise global awareness of advances in this field,” explains IYL 2015 Steering Committee chair John Dudley.

Examples of that, he continued, include innovative lighting technologies like LEDs to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, while also minimizing the light pollution to improve observations of the night sky. “IYL2015 is a unique opportunity to raise global awareness of advances in this field,” Dudley said.

IYL 2015 will bring together various stakeholders including UNESCO, scientific societies and unions, educational and research institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organizations, and public and private sector partners. 

 skyline Rotterdam

To provide an example of what can be achieved with modern lighting and smart technology in a city in the developed world, Rotterdam in the Netherlands has extended an invitation to city representatives and lighting professionals worldwide to join the LUCI City under Microscope in Rotterdam (5 - 8 March 2014).

LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International) is an international network of cities and lighting professionals engaged in using light as a major tool for urban, social and economic development, with a concern for sustainability and environmental issues.

LUCI’s aim is to help cities find appropriate answers to these major challenges by making use of light as a tool for urban development through lighting plans, projects and innovations.

Created in 2002, at the behest of the City of Lyon, it has almost 100 members, comprising around 63 cities covering four continents and 35 associated members (international companies, lighting designers and architects, universities, independent lighting professionals…) 

This event in March will unveil the City of Rotterdam's urban lighting strategy in a two day programme of conferences and site visits.

The programme will feature Rotterdam’s lighting master plan, its initiatives on intelligent lighting and smart grids, its use of light to enhance urban art and architecture, as well as the special lighting for the Port of Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world.

Highlights include a keynote speech by Daan Roosegaarde, Artist, Innovator, and winner of the 2013 World Technology Awards, and a light excursion to the Broken Light project, the 2nd prize winner of the city.people.light award 2011.