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by (one's) lights

Directed by or in accordance with one's own beliefs, convictions, or understanding. Never let someone else try to dictate who you are—you have to live by your own lights.
See also: lights

stop the lights

An expression of disbelief or incredulity. (Sometimes used ironically or disingenuously.) The phrase comes from the catchphrase from the Irish game show Quicksilver. Primarily heard in Ireland. A: "My aunt Edna won the lotto!" B: "Stop the lights, that's incredible news!" A: "My uncle Pat once met President Reagan, you know." B: "Ah here, stop the lights. Your uncle Pat's never even been to America!" Stop the lights, Jimmy's buying a round for everyone! I never thought I'd see the day!
See also: lights, stop

guiding light

Someone who is influential or an inspiration to others. Mother Teresa was certainly a guiding light to many who shared her faith.
See also: guide, light

put (one's) lights out

To render someone unconscious with a punch. A: "Oh man, what happened?" B: "Well, you and Bart were fighting, and then Bart put your lights out." Wow, you're strong—you could put someone's lights out with a punch like that!
See also: lights, out, put

red light

1. noun On a traffic light, the color that means "stop." I pulled up to the red light and stopped the car. Please be careful driving out there—people are maniacs and don't even stop at red lights!
2. noun A message or signal to stop. I'm really not interested in dating Rob, and I thought I gave him a red light, but he keeps pursuing me nonetheless.
3. adjective (often hyphenated) Indicative of a brothel (due to the practice of using red lamps to show that an establishment is a brothel). Be careful if you venture into the red-light district, there are a lot of shady characters there.
See also: light, red

according to (one's) own lights

Based on one's beliefs or inclinations. You may not agree with Kara's free-spirited lifestyle, but she has always lived according to her own lights.
See also: accord, lights, own

have (one's) name in lights

To be well-known due to one's work in show business or the arts. Alice has always dreamed of having her name in lights, so I'm not surprised that she's making her Broadway debut tonight.
See also: have, lights, name

light (one's) fire

To romantically or sexually arouse someone. I've never met a woman who lights my fire like she does. There's no point being with someone who doesn't light your fire.
See also: fire, light

see (one's) name in lights

To be known worldwide for one's work or accomplishments; to be very famous and popular. I've always prioritized improving my performance in the game over seeing my name in lights. If you go into this profession with the sole aim of seeing your name in lights, then you're in for a rough ride of it.
See also: lights, name, see

the bright lights

Collectively, the alluring and exciting aspects of a city. I want to put this one-horse town in my rear-view and head for the bright lights!
See also: bright, lights

The lights are on, but nobody's home

A humorous expression used to say that someone is stupid or not paying attention, perhaps because they are not responding to what one is saying. Hello, Pete? Earth to Pete. The lights are on, but nobody's home.
See also: but, home, lights

punch (one's) lights out

To render someone unconscious with a punch. A: "Oh man, what happened?" B: "Well, you and Bart were fighting, and then Bart punched your lights out." Wow, you're strong—you could punch someone's lights out no problem!
See also: lights, out, punch

hide (one's) light under a bushel

To avoid utilizing or emphasizing one's talents. Don't give up drawing! You're a talented artist and shouldn't hide your light under a bushel.
See also: bushel, hide, light

according to one's own lights

according to the way one believes; according to the way one's conscience or inclinations lead one. John may have been wrong, but he did what he did according to his own lights.
See also: accord, lights, own

punch someone's lights out

Sl. to knock someone out with a fist. You had better stop that, or I will punch your lights out! Do you want me to punch your lights out?
See also: lights, out, punch

the lights are on but nobody's home


the lights are on but no one's home

If you say of someone that the lights are on but nobody's home, you mean that they are stupid or not reacting to what is happening. When I tell them anything, they look at me like the lights are on but nobody's home.
See also: but, home, lights, on

the bright lights

the glamour and excitement of a big city.
See also: bright, lights

according to your lights

in accordance with your own personal standards of morality or propriety.
See also: accord, lights

the lights are on but no one is at home

used to refer sardonically to someone of limited mental capacity.
See also: but, home, lights, on, one

punch someone's lights out

beat someone up.
See also: lights, out, punch

have your name in lights

1 (of an actor or performer) have their name displayed in lights outside a theatre, concert hall, etc. 2 be famous.
See also: have, lights, name

the bright ˈlights

(informal) the big city seen as a centre of entertainment, enjoyment, etc: Many people from other places are still tempted by the bright lights of London.
See also: bright, lights

jump the ˈlights

(informal) drive on when the traffic lights are red: A policeman stopped us for jumping the lights.
See also: jump, lights

the lights are ˈon but nobody’s ˈhome

(saying, humorous) used to describe somebody who is stupid, not thinking clearly or not paying attention: Don’t try discussing anything intelligent with Alice. The lights are on but nobody’s home, I’m afraid.
See also: but, home, lights, on

shoot the ˈlights

(informal) go through red traffic lights: In this city people shoot the lights all the time.
See also: lights, shoot

lights out

1. n. bedtime. It’s lights out, kids. Radios off, too!
2. n. death; time to die. (Underworld.) It’s lights out for you, chum.
See also: lights, out

punch someone’s lights out

tv. to knock someone out; to close someone’s eyes with a hard blow. Shut up, or I’ll punch your lights out.
See also: lights, out, punch
References in periodicals archive ?
Replacement of Light Sources (includes corresponding
There's only one thing that I would have changed--a light that was high, out of reach, that should have been a different color for one of the dances--but it was the only thing.
described a new class of light receptors in the human eye.
But in Isaiah, we have the vision of a family all coming together in radiance and in joy, brought together in harmony in the light of the Lord.
PAC lights have a lot of moving parts housed in a fairly heavy metal type box.
Tuck them behind shrubs, tree branches or plants, unless the whole idea is to use them as a decorative element such as strings of white lights.
An excellent way to accomplish this when ceiling heights are sufficient (generally a minimum of 8'6", preferably 9', for indirect lighting) is through cove or indirect light that is bounced off the ceiling.
The compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) has revolutionized people's perceptions of fluorescent light by moving away from awkward tube fixtures and glare-prone light.
Lasers produce brilliant special effects because they shine a very particular kind of light: laser light.
Sheila Kennedy's team at Kennedy & Violich Architecture in Boston designed the solar-powered lamps, which depend on light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Focal light or task lighting is a concentrated source of light with greater intensity than the background, bringing light to where the work is being done to improve visibility, such as fixtures or lamps placed over or near work areas - the kitchen sink, a desk or reading chair.
But don't we need all those lights to ensure our safety?
First, Brunswick installs several rows of black lights above the lanes and pins.
Through considerable trial and error, Fuller had discovered that costumes and lights are as much a part of dance as the movement itself.
Installation of the low bay LED lights, expected to be complete prior to the end of the year, will be performed by Amtech Lighting Services, a subsidiary of ABM industries (NYSE:ABM).