After the successful application in neurosciences, it did not take long to discover that the characteristics of optogenetics are also advantageous in other areas of biology. The field of non-neuronal optogenetics relies on ‘second generation’ light-responsive fusion proteins that are assembled in a modular fashion. These genetically-encoded photoactivatable proteins are not hardwired to a specific cellular response but can be fused to virtually any output or signaling domain. Non-neuronal optogenetics allows for the precise temporal and spatial control of a chosen signaling pathway of interest by irradiation of the cells. In addition, non-neuronal optogenetics has been successfully applied for the control of cellular motility, cell contraction, apoptosis and cell differentiation.