Light is an extremely powerful, benign and environmentally friendly source for carrying out various chemical reactions including catalysis. In our laboratories, we use light for both catalysis, as well as for bond activation reactions resulting in highly reactive and exotic chemical species. In many cases, it is not possible to carry out these light-induced reactions through normal thermal means. A first focus of these investigations is to convert light into useful chemistry. However, the mid- and long-term goals of these projects are to understand the photochemical landscapes of such species, and to correlate these with the observed chemical reactivity. Many of the spectroscopic methods mentioned above are combined with photochemical reactions to probe mechanisms. Additionally, we collaborate with photochemists and photophysicists to have a closer look at the excited states of these molecules.