Light is crucial for plant life, and perception of the light environment dictates plant growth, morphology, and developmental changes. Such adjustments in growth and development in response to light conditions are often established through changes in hormone levels and signaling. This review discusses examples of light-regulated processes throughout a plant’s life cycle for which it is known how light signals lead to hormonal regulation. Light acts as an important developmental switch in germination, photomorphogenesis, and transition to flowering, and light cues are essential to ensure light capture through architectural changes during phototropism and the shade avoidance response. In describing well-established links between light perception and hormonal changes, we aim to give insight into the mechanisms that enable plants to thrive in variable light environments. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 67 is April 29, 2016. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.