By proclaiming the IYL2015, the United Nations recognized 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 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). The UN-designated year 2015 represented 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.
As such, the International Year of Light served as a launching pad for several projects during 2015. Two other projects with equally as impressive programs are highlighted and begin the narrative for this section on public education and outreach programs on light pollution issues and solutions.