Institution(s): 1. The Open University
By proclaiming the IYL2015, the United Nations recognizes the importance of light and light based technology in the lives of the citizens of the world and for the development of global society on many levels. Light and application of light science and technology are vital for existing and future advances in many scientific areas (from medicine to information & communication technology) and culture. Light is a key element in Astronomy: as astronomers, it is what we study and makes our science possible, but it is also what threatens our observations when it is set-off from the ground (light pollution). This year represents a magnificent and unique opportunity for the global Astronomical community to disseminate these messages and raise the awareness of the importance and preservation of dark skies for heritage and the natural environment. Global and National initiatives are taking place during the year of 2015 (and beyond) and in my talk I will give an overview of what, as IYL National Committee and Gold Sponsor of the year, we are carrying out in the UK. I will explain how we developed our National Programme and I will discuss how we can build-up a long-lasting “cosmic light” communication strategy exploiting the lesson learnt while carrying out our IYL UK year plan.