||In this special issue, we argue that light(s) and darkness(es) should be understood in their multiplicity, and that they constitute two aspects of the same phenomenon. They should, therefore, be studied in relation to each other. The complex dynamics of light and dark are more integral to the history of art than other fields, thus offering models for a relational approach to empirical studies beyond this discipline. Drawing on this work, this special issue aims to challenge reductionist frameworks that focus on light alone, without reference to darkness. It explores some of the nuances of light/darkness created by candle, kerosene, oil, gas, and electricity, teasing out the diverse, sometimes contradictory meanings and experiences of light(s) and darkness(es) in the past. It thus aims to study the juxtaposition of light and dark, placing this seeming contrast in dialogue with broader conversations in the history of energy, environmental history, the history of science and technology, as well as the history of representations.