LIGHT in sign language

ASL sign for LIGHT

ASL signs for 'light'

How do you say "light" in American Sign Language?

Definition: The natural substance that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant "8" handshape with the middle finger and thumb tips in contact with the chin flicks twice.

Variation: Occasionally, one may find a Deaf person signing LIGHT with upright forefinger on the chin, palm facing left, moves upward twice.

Learner tip: Don't confuse this meaning with LAMP which has the downturned hand reminiscent of a light shining, spreading its rays out.

How do you sign "turn light off/on"? Classifier and grammar are used, such as TURN OFF for LIGHT #OFF or LIGHT CL-#OFF and TURN ON for LIGHT #ON and LIGHT CL-ON where "CL" means "classifier".


For another meaning if you mean a light-colored or lightweight, then use a different sign: LIGHT (WEIGHT).

Through toddler's cognitive lens

Kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, say the darndest cute things in sign language.

One evening at around bedtime, the toddler Juli (age 1;4) repeated uttering light, light.. light.. light (early production). Her father turned to me, "What did she sign?" Without any context, I answered my best, signing light. I trusted my instinct.

The father let Juli lead him from the family room through the hallway to the front door. He came back, signing "You're right. She was referring the light to the sunset." SUNSET? Fascinating little mind's interpretation of the world.


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Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL written for LIGHT

ASL digit written and contributed by the ASLwrite community, 2017.

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