Let There Be Light Challenge takes over social media

A selection of the images shared by Arup's Melissa Mak for the #LetThereBeLightChallenge.

(Worldwide) – Social media photo challenge receives more than 3,000 posts.

For the past month, what started as a simple idea for the lighting community to share images of light has grown into a worldwide phenomenon that has taken over LinkedIn.

The Let There Be Light Challenge has inspired hundreds of people from across the lighting community to look back through their photo libraries and share inspiring images of light, with results ranging from light art installations, to beautiful natural sunsets, to stunning pieces of architecture.

The challenge was initiated by Melissa Mak, Lighting Designer at Arup, who hoped to “activate people’s engagement, and encourage positivity during a year full of unprecedented challenges”.

“It began with my turn to do a presentation at Arup’s weekly Design Share session,” she explained. “I thought instead of showing my design project that I have recently worked on, I wanted to share something about myself to my colleagues, i.e. my personal experience of light.

“During the lockdown period, while working from home, I have noticed some amazing lighting phenomena, which has excited and surprised me. During some recent renovations on my house, I captured some pictures of light on the construction site with my phone, so I thought that it was a golden opportunity for me to share with my colleagues some pictures from my personal collection. However, I did not want to stop there, I wanted to extend this sharing experience to everyone and encourage others to do the same as everyone, whether they are within the lighting industry or not, has experienced light and its many hidden moments.”

Since Mak started the challenge, which calls for the participant to share seven photos of their experience with light over seven days before nominating others to take part, more than 3,000 photos have been shared under the #LetThereBeLightChallenge hashtag, and Mak said she’s surprised at how popular it has become. “I think after just one week there were around 100+ posts shared,” she said. “I was amazed that after four weeks it had reached more than 2,000, not including those posts not using the hashtag.

“I am thrilled and amazed by the popularity, and by everyone’s contribution. I feel very satisfied to have curated something that has got so many people connected, and it’s such a beautiful scenario to see the lighting community full of energy and passion, sharing without boundary.

“On my Day 1 post, I started off by nominating three of my Arup colleagues, Arfon Davies, Aliki Vaina and Dima Zogheib, and I wanted to thank them for their help in spreading the challenge.”

When asked why she thought that the challenge has become so popular across the lighting community, Mak said that it taps into peoples’ desire to connect. “It is the cascading effect of connection and the network that each person has,” she said. “Communication through visual images is a powerful medium for drawing attention – a picture paints a thousand words. Each post shared is unique on its own, as each contains its own story and memory, as well as the thought and idea behind it.

“For this, it is a collective activity that sets an encouragement for one another to engage through nomination and participation. It’s not just about the inspiration of light, but it’s about connection; connection to people, connection to emotions, connection to memories and stories.

“Through the challenge, it’s been so nice not just to have reconnected with my colleagues and ex-colleagues, and professional friends who are scattered across different parts of the world, but also people I haven’t met. But now I’m getting to know them and have made many new friends as well.”

Despite the fact that the challenge has now received more than 3,000 images, Mak said that she is still following along and keeping an eye on the latest images, and she has been touched by the vast scope of photos, and their accompanying stories, that people have shared.

“I am hooked! Every day there are more than 100 new posts to process. They’re all so valuable with all the stories and memories that people have shared,” she said.

“I love the multifaced nature of light – light really does come in different forms. It gives us so many possibilities. 3,000+ posts, and no single one is the same. The collective participation from everyone has captured the spirit, and made the best and most beautiful picture for the summer of 2020. It will certainly become my new memory of light.”

To see the range of posts, search #LetThereBeLightChallenge on LinkedIn.

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