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100 Stunning Names Meaning Light

Updated
These light names shine brighter than the sun!

Light names are bright, vibrant, and beautiful. Choosing one for your baby will make them shine from the moment they open their eyes!

When selecting names that mean light for your little girl or boy, it’s essential to know the origins, style, and popularity. This will help you narrow the list to find the perfect options for your newest addition.

We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and found some of the most beautiful names meaning light. We hope some of these names will “light” your spark!


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100 Vibrant Names That Mean Light for Boys and Girls

Discover these gorgeous light names as bright and colorful as your little babe!

Abner

Abner is a religious option among our names meaning light, born by the commander-in-chief of Saul’s army in the Old Testament. It has been used as a Christian name since the start of the Protestant Reformation. If you want a classic name with an old-world feel, Abner might “light your fire.”

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: My father is a light
  • Namesakes: Abner Doubleday, a United States Army officer, and Union major general in the American Civil War.
  • Popularity: Abner fell out of the U.S. top 1,000 boys’ names in 1938.
Traditional, Old-fashioned, Religious

Aegle

Aegle hails from Greek mythology, born by a daughter of the sun associated with health and beauty. Selecting Aegle could bless your daughter with good health – and the glowing beauty that accompanies it.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: EAGLE
  • Variations: Aigle
Mythical, Strong, Cool

Aine

In Irish mythology, Aine was the goddess of summer, love, and fertility, associated with midsummer and the sun. Choosing Aine could make your daughter feel as radiant as a goddess!

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Radiance, brilliance
  • Pronunciation: awn-YE
  • Namesakes: Aine Ni Mhuiri, an Irish actress who began her career in the Damer Theater in Ireland.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Aine was the 94th most popular name for Irish girls.
Mythical, Sophisticated, Beautiful

Akemi

Akemi is an adorable choice among our light names for girls, derived from the Japanese “ake” (bright) and “mi” (beautiful). Your little Akemi’s sunny outlook on life could be her loveliest attribute.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Bright and beautiful
  • Pronunciation: A-KEH-MEE
  • Namesakes: Akemi Okamura, a Japanese voice actress and a narrator for Nami in the anime series One Piece.
Cute

Albus

Author J.K. Rowling brought Albus into the limelight after choosing it for the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Like Albus Dumbledore, your son could be a bright light who guides others to become their best selves.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Bright, white
Whimsical, Old-fashioned

Amardeep

Amardeep is typically chosen for males in the Sikh Indian community but is occasionally given to females. This name is spiritual and profound, offering an enlightened choice for your tiny light bringer. Excellent nickname options are Amar and Deep.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Immortal light
  • Namesakes: Amardeep Chowdary, an Indian television actor who played the lead role in the series Siri Siri Muvvalu.
Cool

Anwar

Anwar is a common name throughout the Muslim world. It can also mean “a collection of lights” or “more enlightened.” In the U.S., Anwar hasn’t made the top 1,000 boy’s names since 1984. If your son is American, Anwar will “shine” brightly in the sea of Liams, Williams, and Benjamins.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Luminous
  • Variations: Anwer, Anwaar, Anouar, Anvar, Enver
  • Namesakes: Anwar Sadat, a former Egyptian president who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.
  • Popularity: Anwar received its highest ranking of 697th in 1978.
Common, Popular

Aonani

Lovely and tropical, Aonani hails from the island of Hawaii. It’s less popular than Leilani or Kailani, making it an original option for your little ray of sunshine. Your little Aonani’s vibrant personality could light up every room she enters.

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Beautiful light
Beautiful, Unique

Ayla

Ayla could be perfect for a girl born at night. It’s also an excellent option for a little one with eyes as round and luminous as the moon. This dreamy Turkish name has been rising in popularity in the U.S. since the late 90s. We predict it’ll make the top 50 in the next few years.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Moonlight, halo
  • Variations: Ajla
  • Namesakes: Ayla Brown, an American recording artist, and former NCAA basketball player.
  • Popularity: Ayla is a popular name meaning light in the U.S., ranked 108th in 2021.
Popular, Sophisticated, Beautiful

Baer

Baer is a short form of Albaer, derived from the Germanic “beraht” (bright). Baer’s typically a surname. However, its close similarity to “bear” makes it an excellent light-related name for animal lovers.

  • Origin: Limburgish
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: BEHR
  • Variations: Ber
Strong, Cool
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Belenus

In Celtic mythology, Belenus was a healing god, primarily worshiped in Aquileia in Northern Italy. His name comes from either the Indo-European “bhel-” (bright, brilliant) or “bel-” (strong). Belenus’s powerful sound and godly ties will make your son shine from the moment he’s born.

  • Origin: Gaulish
  • Meaning: Bright, brilliant
  • Variations: Belenos
Mythical, Unique, Ancient

Berhane

Berhane is an Amharic name – the official language of Ethiopia. It’s primarily given to boys and girls living in Ethiopia and nearby Eritrea. Your little one will shine brightly with such an unusual name.

  • Origin: Amharic
  • Meaning: My light
  • Variations: Berhanu
  • Namesakes: Berhane Debala, an Ethiopian long-distance runner specializing in the 10,000 meters and half marathon.
Cute, Unique

Bertha

Bertha is an old-timey name popularized by the Normans in the Middle Ages. It fell out of favor for many years but was revived in the 19th-century. Today, Bertha remains outside the U.S. top 1,000. Vintage names are trendy now, so Bertha may soon have its day in the sun.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Bright, famous
  • Namesakes: Bertha von Suttner, an Austrian-Bohemian pacifist, and novelist who was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Popularity: Bertha received its highest U.S. ranking of 16th in 1900.
Old-fashioned, Cute

Bertram

Bertram is a vintage option on our list of light names, popular in England and the U.S. at the start of the 20th-century. It’s derived from the Germanic “beraht” (bright) combined with “hramn” (raven). Ravens are one of the most intelligent birds in the world, suggesting a young Bertram’s wit will light his way.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Bright raven
  • Pronunciation: BER-TRUHM
  • Namesakes: Bertram Goodhue, an American architect known for his work in Gothic Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival design.
  • Popularity: Bertram’s highest ranking for U.S. boys was 394th in 1923.
Natural, Old-fashioned

Bhaskara

Bhaskara is derived from the Sanskrit “bhasa” (light) and “kara” (maker). This is another name for Surya – the Hindu god of the sun. Bhaskara was also the name of two important Indian astronomers and mathematicians. If your son is anything like the Bhaskara’s before him, his intellect will be his shining achievement.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Light maker
  • Pronunciation: BAY-skur-uh
  • Variations: Bhaskar
  • Namesakes: Bhaskara II, an ancient mathematician, and astronomer often called the greatest mathematician of medieval India.
Cool, Religious

Byung-Ho

Byung-Ho is a picturesque title derived from the Sino-Korean “byeong” (bright, luminous, glorious) combined with “ho” (sky, heaven, summer). You’ll be reminded of the bright summer sky every time you look at your little Byung-Ho.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Luminous heaven, bright sky
  • Pronunciation: PYUNG-HO
  • Variations: Byeong-Ho, Pyong-Ho
  • Namesakes: Byung-Ho, a South Korean professional baseball player for the KT Wiz and KBO League.
  • Popularity: Byung-Ho was the 3rd most popular name for boys in South Korea in 1940.
Cute

Cahaya

An elegant choice on our list of names that mean light, Cahaya is the Indonesian word for “light,” “glow,” “radiance,” or “illumination.” It’s rarely used as a given name, so its uniqueness is bound to impress your friends and family.

  • Origin: Malay, Indonesian
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: CHA-ha-ya
  • Variations: Cahya
Sophisticated, Unique

Cassandra

Are you looking for a classic light name adored across the globe? You can’t go wrong with Cassandra, previously ranked in nine countries’ top 1,000 girl names. Cassandra can be shortened to Cass, Cassie, Andrea, Ann, Andy, Sandra, or Sandy. Pick whichever nickname suits your daughter’s vibrant personality.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: To shine
  • Variations: Kassandra, Kasandra, Cassandre
  • Namesakes: Cassandra “Cassie” Ventura, an American singer, model, and dancer known for her hit songs Me & U, Official Girl, and Must Be Love.
  • Popularity: Cassandra is a long-time favorite in the U.S., ranked in the top 1,000 since 1942.
Traditional, Elegant, Common

Castor

In Greek mythology, Castor was Zeus’s son and twin brother of Pollux. The twins were known for aiding those in trouble at sea and during wars. In the Gemini constellation, two close stars of similar brightness are named after the twins. Your son’s bright personality will glow more brilliantly than any star.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: To shine
  • Namesakes: Castor of Rhodes, a Greek grammarian, and rhetorician.
  • Popularity: Castor was popular in Spain in the early 20th-century, receiving its highest ranking of 343rd in 1930.
Mythical, Natural, Unique

Chang

Chang is a common surname in China, occasionally used as a given name for boys and girls. It can also mean “flourish,” “unrestrained,” or “long.” Chang is familiar in the U.S. but is rarely given as a first name. Selecting Chang ensures you won’t hide your little ray of sunshine in the crowd.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Sunlight
  • Pronunciation: CHAHNG
  • Namesakes: Chang Bunker, a conjoined twin and one of the 19th-centuries most studied human beings.
Common
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Chiara

Romantic and lovely, Chiara is the Italian form of Clara – a Latin name meaning “clear,” “bright,” or “famous.” It’s associated with Saint Chiara – a devout Christian who founded a monastic religious order for women. Chiara is little known in the States, earning it our “glowing” approval for unique name enthusiasts.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: kee-AHR-ah
  • Namesakes: Chiara Offreduccio, an Italian saint and the first woman to write a set of monastic guidelines.
  • Popularity: Chiara is a long-standing favorite in Italy, ranked in the top 15 since 1999.
Sophisticated, Beautiful

Clara

Clara is the feminine form of Clarus – a Late Latin name meaning “bright,” “clear,” or “famous.” This vintage title has been used since the Middle Ages but was overtaken by Claire in the 20th-century. Ballet fans associate Clara with the little girl who dreamt of a fantasy land in The Nutcracker. Your little Clara will be a shining light – on and off the stage!

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Variations: Klara, Chiara, Claire, Clare
  • Namesakes: Clara Schumann, a German pianist, and composer regarded as one of the most distinguished musicians of the Romantic era.
  • Popularity: Clara’s popularity is rising in the U.S., ranked 102nd in 2021.
Elegant, Cute, Whimsical

Deepa

This classic Indian name is used by Hindi, Gurmukhi, Bengali, Malayalam, and Tamil speakers. The male equivalent is Deep, offering a vibrant pairing for boy-girl twins. Like a lamp, your little Deepa could be a guiding light for those in the dark.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Light, lamp
  • Variations: Dipa
  • Namesakes: Deepa Mehta, an Indo-Canadian film director best known for her Elements Trilogy Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005).
Beautiful

Dian

Dian took off for U.S. girls in the 1940s, used as an alternative to the more popular Diane. This gender-neutral name could also be a unique Dion variation for boys. Dian is beautiful but not overstated – just like the light from a candle’s flame.

  • Origin: Indonesian, English
  • Meaning: Candle
  • Pronunciation: DEE-an
  • Namesakes: Dian Fossey, an American primatologist and conservationist known for her extensive study of mountain gorillas in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
  • Popularity: Dian was a popular choice for U.S. girls in the 40s and 50s, falling out of favor by 1959.
Simple, Cool

Dritan

Dritan is a strong choice among our names that mean light, derived from the Albanian “drite.” The name’s rare outside of Albania. However, Dritan has potential Stateside as an alternative for popular “-an” names like Sebastian, Julian, and Nolan. Dritan’s masculine sound radiates power and authority.

  • Origin: Albanian
  • Meaning: Light
  • Namesakes: Dritan Hoxha, an Albanian businessman who founded Top Media, Albania’s largest media company.
Cool, Strong

Eirian

Eirian is undeniably charming, radiating warmth and happiness to all who hear it. Rarely used outside of Wales, Eirian is like a hidden lamp, waiting to be discovered to release its glorious light. You could use Rian as an adorable nickname.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Bright, beautiful
  • Pronunciation: eye-REE-an
  • Namesakes: Eirian Williams, a former professional snooker referee from Wales.
Cute, Friendly, Unique

Elaine

Elaine first entered the limelight in 1859 when Tennyson used it for the unrequited lover of Lancelot in his epic, Idylls of the King. The name peaked in the 40s, giving it a vintage charm. Like a torch, your little Elaine will glow brightly with such a lovely classic.

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Torchlight
  • Pronunciation: ee-LANE
  • Variations: Elaina
  • Namesakes: Elaine de Kooning, an Abstract Expressionist and Figurative Expressionist painter in the post-World War II era.
  • Popularity: Elaine was the 482nd most popular name for U.S. girls in 2021.
Cute, Common

Elior

Are you looking for a light name with religious undertones? You can’t go wrong with Elior, a Jewish title primarily used in Israel. Elior is typically chosen for babies born around Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Light.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: My God is my light
  • Pronunciation: EH-LEE-OR
Religious, Sophisticated, Beautiful

Elouan

While Elouan’s exact origins are uncertain, many scholars believe it’s a Celtic name from the elements “eu” (good) combined with “lou” (light). The most notable bearer was Saint Elouan, a 6th-century holy man primarily venerated in Brittany and Cornwall.

  • Origin: French, Celtic
  • Meaning: Good light
  • Pronunciation: EH-loo-awn
  • Popularity: Elouan was a top pick in France in the early 2000s, peaking at 127th in 2006.
Sophisticated

Faina

Faina is derived from Phaenna – an ancient Greek name meaning “shining” or “ray of light.” Faina’s an elegant girl’s name in Russia. However, in Uruguay and Argentina, it refers to bread made with chickpea flour. It could be an odd choice if you’re in South America (unless you’re really into baked goods)!

  • Origin: Russian, Greek
  • Meaning: Ray of light
  • Pronunciation: fu-EE-nah
  • Namesakes: Faina Melnik, a Soviet discus thrower and the 1972 Summer Olympics champion in the discus event.
Unique
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Fotis

Fotis is the modern form of Photios – an ancient Greek name derived from “phos” (light). Fotis’s ancient origins give this light name an added depth.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Light
  • Variations: Photios, Fotios
  • Namesakes: Fotis Kafatos, a Greek biologist and founding European Research Council (ERC) president.
Cute, Friendly

Gerel

Gerel is an unusual choice on our list of names meaning light, rarely used outside of Mongolia. In the U.S., it could be an exciting alternative for old-timey Geraldine.

  • Origin: Mongolian
  • Meaning: Light
Unique

Gilbert

Gilbert comes from the Germanic “gisil” (pledge, hostage) and “beraht” (bright). The name was typical in the Middle Ages, fell out of favor, then re-entered the limelight in the early 2000s. Your little Gilbert’s guiding light could be his strong sense of justice and honor.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Bright pledge
  • Namesakes: Gilbert de Motier, a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Popularity: Gilbert’s highest ranking for U.S. boys was 527th in 2000.
Old-fashioned, Traditional

Guang

Guang is deeply entwined with Chinese culture, as a boy’s name, city name, and title of an ancient drinking vessel. Guang “lights” the way for your son to find a connection with his Chinese heritage.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Light, glory
  • Pronunciation: goo-ANG
  • Namesakes: Guang Liang, a Malaysian Chinese singer, and composer known as the “Prince of Love Songs” in the Mandarin pop scene.
Sophisticated

Gulnur

Gulnur comes from the Persian “gol” (flower, rose) combined with the Arabic “nur” (light). This picturesque title makes us think of the rose-colored light in the early morning sky.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Rose light
Unique, Beautiful

Hardeep

Hardeep is derived from the Hindu protector of the universe, Hari, combined with “dipa” (lamp, light). It’s generally chosen for members of the Sikh religion living in India. Your sweet Hardeep can use his inner light to guide others from harm’s way.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Lamp of Hari, light of Hari
  • Namesakes: Hardeep Singh Kohli, a British presenter of Sikh heritage.
Strong, Religious

Haru

Let your little one’s glowing personality shine through with a vibrant name like Haru. This gender-neutral name can also mean “sun,” “spring,” or “clear weather,” depending on the Kanji symbols used.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: HA-ROO
  • Namesakes: Haru Kuroki, a Japanese actress who gained international recognition after winning the Best Actress Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2014.
Cute, Friendly

Helen

In Greek mythology, Helen was the queen of Sparta, said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. She was kidnapped by the Trojan prince Paris, which sparked the Trojan War. Perhaps your Helen will be a radiant beauty like her mythical forebear?

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Torchlight
  • Variations: Helena, Elena, Ellen Helene
  • Namesakes: Helen Mirren, an English actress and the only performer to receive the Triple Crown of Acting in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Popularity: Helen was ranked as the 440th most popular name for U.S. girls in 2021.
Traditional, Sophisticated, Strong

Helios

Helios is a badass option for your little warrior, derived from the early Greek “hawelios” (sun). In Greek mythology, Helios was a sun god who pulled his chariot across the sky each morning to make the sun rise. Helios could “light” your spark if you want something powerful and unique.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Sun
Mythical, Ancient, Unique

Hila

Hila is the Hebrew alternative for Hala – an Arabic name from “halal” (to shine, to praise). Hila is prevalent in Israel but rare everywhere else. This heavenly title is so pure your little Hila could be born with a halo around her head!

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Halo of light, aura
  • Variations: Hilla
  • Namesakes: Hila Plitmann, an Israeli operatic soprano.
  • Popularity: Hila is a top pick for girls in Israel, ranked 53rd in 2020.
Cute, Simple, Friendly
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Hye

Hye rarely appears as a single-character name. It’s often combined with other characters, as in Hye-Bin (bright and cultivated), Hye-Jin (bright and rare), or Hye-Kyung (bright respect). Hye is simple but still exciting enough for a little boy with a vibrant spirit.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bright, intelligent
Cute, Simple

Idril

Idril is an invented name from the Silmarillion, a 1977 novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. In the book, Idril was the brave elf daughter of Turgon, the king of Gondolin. This magical name could make your daughter “sparkle” in a world full of Emmas, Charlottes, and Sophias.

  • Origin: Literature
  • Meaning: Sparkle brilliance
Whimsical, Beautiful, Unique

Ifa

Ifa is a rare option on our list of names that mean light, almost exclusively used by Oromo speakers – an Afroasiatic language used in the Ethiopian state of Oromia. Ifa is easy to pronounce and spell, but it’s still exotic enough to make your son shine!

  • Origin: Oromo
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: ee-FA
  • Variations: Ifaa
Unique, Cute, Simple

Ileana

In Romanian folklore, Ileana is a princess who represents feminine beauty and goodness. She is kidnapped by a Zmeu (similar to a dragon) and is saved by a heroic prince. Perhaps your Ileana’s radiant beauty will also be her defining characteristic.

  • Origin: Romanian, Greek
  • Meaning: Torchlight
  • Pronunciation: ee-LYA-na
  • Namesakes: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a politician, and lobbyist who represented Florida’s 27th congressional district from 1989 to 2019.
Beautiful, Sophisticated, Whimsical

Jair

Jair is an Old Testament name born by one of the ruling judges of Israel. Jair’s biblical connection and heavenly meaning make this an excellent light-related name for a boy of Christian or Jewish faith.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: He shines, he enlightens
  • Variations: Yair
  • Namesakes: Jair Bolsonaro, the 38th President of Brazil.
  • Popularity: Jair peaked for U.S. boys with a rating of 506th in 2002.
Religious

Jomei

Your son will spread the light wherever he goes with a joyous name like Jomei. This vibrant title is rarely used outside of Japan, leaving it open for the taking in the U.S.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Spread light
  • Namesakes: Emperor Jomei, the 34th ruler of Japan who reigned from 629 to 641 CE.
Cool, Ancient, Strong

Kashi

The Kashi Vishwanath is a well-known temple in India dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Kashi’s now occasionally used as a name for girls, but its popularity dwindled after the release of Kashi cereal. If you can get past the breakfast association, Kashi could be an enlightening option for a girl of the Hindu faith.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Shining
Cute, Religious

Keren

Do you love the name Karen, but not the negative associations that come with it? Then, consider Keren, a Hebrew name meaning “ray of light” or “horn.” Keren’s sleek spelling gives old-fashioned Karen a much-needed revamp.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Ray of light
  • Namesakes: Keren Woodward, an English singer and a founding member of the girl group Bananarama.
Old-fashioned

Kiara

Kiara is the Americanized version of the Italian name Chiara. It was a hip choice for American girls in the 90s, but its popularity fell slightly in the mid-2000s. Although Kiara isn’t as popular as it once was, it’s still a fun and bubbly option for your little ray of sunshine.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: kee-AHR-ah
  • Variations: Keara, Kierra, Kira, Keira, Kyra
  • Namesakes: Kiara Advani, an Indian actress known for her roles in Fugly (2014), M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), and Lust Stories (2018).
  • Popularity: Kiara was the 332nd most popular girl’s name in the U.S. in 2021.
Beautiful, Cool

Kiran

“K” names and unisex names are rising in popularity. Kiran fits both categories, giving it the potential to become a leading light in the States. Kiran’s calming sound and ancient roots add to its appeal.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Ray of light, sunbeam
  • Namesakes: Kiran Kumar, an Indian screen and theater actor featured in numerous Hindi film productions.
  • Popularity: Kiran fell out of the U.K.’s top 500 girl names in 2005.
Cool
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Koki

Koki is an adorable choice on our list of names that mean light, radiating youthful energy. It can also mean “happiness,” “good luck,” or “hope,” depending on the Kanji symbols used. Your little Koki will carry sunshine in his heart from the moment he’s born.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Light and brightness
  • Variations: Kouki
  • Namesakes: Koki Mizuno, a Japanese soccer player who plays for the SC Sagamihara in J3 League.
Cute

Lambert

Lambert is derived from the Germanic “landa” (land) combined with “beraht” (bright). This old-timey name was popular in the U.S. and France in the early 20th century, falling out of favor by the 1950s. Lambert’s strong sound and vintage charm could revive it in the 2020s.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Bright land
  • Namesakes: Lambert Simnel, a pretender to the throne of England and figurehead of a Yorkist rebellion in the late 1400s.
  • Popularity: Lambert was common in the U.S. in the early 1900s, falling out of favor by 1941.
Strong, Old-fashioned

Lamia

Lamia’s an elegant choice in the Middle East, meaning “shining” or “radiant” in Arabic. This name was much less charming to the ancient Greeks, who associated the Lamia with a child-eating monster. Lamia certainly walks the line between darkness and light.

  • Origin: Arabic, Greek
  • Meaning: Radiant
  • Pronunciation: LA-mee-ah
  • Variations: Lamija
  • Popularity: Lamia received its highest ranking of 363rd in France in 1985.
Sophisticated, Mythical

Lena

Lena is a short form of Helena and is so popular it deserves its own place on our list of names that mean light. Lena’s popularity is often attributed to its pure and youthful sound.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Torchlight
  • Namesakes: Lena Horne, an American dancer, actress, singer, and civil rights activist.
  • Popularity: Lena was the 293rd most popular name for U.S. girls in 2021.
Cute, Popular, Simple

Leocadia

Leocadia is either derived from the Greek “leukos” (bright, clear, white) or the island of Leucadia. The most famous bearer was Saint Leocadia – a 3rd-century Spanish martyr. If you’re looking for a melodic name with religious undertones, Leocadia may be a keeper.

  • Origin: Greek, Latin, Spanish
  • Meaning: Bright, clear
  • Pronunciation: leh-o-KA-dhya
  • Namesakes: Saint Leocadia, a Spanish holy woman honored as a martyr.
  • Popularity: Leocadia left Spain’s top 500 names for girls in 1940.
Beautiful, Whimsical

Lior

Lior is an elegant option on our list of light names, regularly used in Israel. The name’s only setback is its potential to be mispronounced as “liar.” When said correctly, Lior is a beautiful name for the future light of your life!

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Light for me
  • Pronunciation: lee-OR
  • Variations: Liora, Lyor, Leeor
  • Namesakes: Lior Attar, better known by his stage name Lior, an Australian singer-songwriter known for his 2005 album Autumn Flow.
  • Popularity: Lior is more popular for Israeli boys than girls, ranked 94th in 2020.
Cute

Lucia

Lucia is a pleasant name associated with a 4th-century martyr and patron saint of the blind. Lucia was popular in early Christian Europe but was eventually replaced by trendier Lucy and Luce. Vintage names are rising in the 2020s, putting Lucia back in the spotlight.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: loo-SEE-ah
  • Variations: Luce, Luzia, Lucinda, Lucy
  • Namesakes: Saint Lucia, a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution.
  • Popularity: Lucia’s popularity is rising in the U.S., ranked 136th in 2021.
Popular, Friendly, Old-fashioned

Lucifer

A mischievous choice for your little light bearer, Lucifer comes from the Latin “lux” (light) combined with “ferre” (to bring). This name initially had an innocent association with the morning star, Venus. However, in the Bible, Lucifer is synonymous with the rebellious angel who fought against God’s rule (AKA Satan). This bold name will undoubtedly elicit a strong reaction.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Bringing light
Strong, Unique

Lucius

Sleek and refined, Lucius is a Roman name derived from the Latin “lux” (light). Several ancient Roman kings, politicians, and philosophers bore this name, giving it an enlightened air. Your little Lucius will surely be the picture of poise and sophistication.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: LOO-sheus, LOO-see-us
  • Namesakes: Lucius Clay, a senior officer of the United States Army who commanded the American sector of Germany after World War II.
  • Popularity: Lucius left the U.S. top 1,000 names for boys in 1968.
Sophisticated

Lugus

In Celtic mythology, Lugus was the god of commerce and craftsmanship, often linked to the Roman god Mercury. His name is either derived from the Indo-European “lewk” (light, brightness), “lewg” (dark), or “lewgh” (oath). This legendary title is rare today, ensuring your light warrior will stand out from his peers.

  • Origin: Gaulish
  • Meaning: Light, bright
  • Pronunciation: luw-GAHS
  • Variations: Lugos
Mythical
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Lux

Are you searching for a badass light name for a baby of either gender? Consider Lux – the Latin word for “light” or “brightness.” Lux is also short for “luxury,” giving the name a high-end flair. If Lux is too flashy, consider the softer Spanish variation, Luz.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: LUKS
  • Popularity: Luks is rising in the Netherlands, ranked 142nd for boys and 369th for girls in 2021.
Cool, Unique

Malo

Malo’s honorable meaning implies your son will be a rule-follower who stays in the light and strays from the darkness. The name’s association with a 6th-century Welsh saint furthers its respectability. Malo’s only downside is it means “bad” in Spanish, but we think the good outweighs the bad!

  • Origin: Breton
  • Meaning: Bright pledge
  • Namesakes: Saint Malo, one of the seven founding saints of Brittany, France.
  • Popularity: Malo is newly popular in France, rated as the 25th most popular name for boys in 2021.
Cool, Unique

Maor

Maor is little known outside of Israel, where it’s been in the top 100 boy names since 2014. In the U.S., Maor could be an unexpected alternative to Milo or Max for boys and Maya, Mila, or Mia for girls. Maor is subtle yet captivating – like a flame in the darkness.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: A light
  • Pronunciation: mah-OR
  • Popularity: Maor was the 56th most popular name for boys in Israel in 2020.
Unique

Meira

Your daughter will glow with a gorgeous name like Meira. This light name is often chosen for Jewish girls born during Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights. Consider coupling Meira with the masculine form, Meir, for boy-girl twins.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Giving light
  • Pronunciation: MEER-AH
  • Variations: Meirit
  • Namesakes: Meira Kumar, an Indian politician, and former diplomat.
Beautiful

Mitsuko

Mitsuko is derived from the Japanese “mitsu” (light) combined with “ko” (child). Mitsuko was popular in Japan at the start of the 20th-century but is now less common. This luminous light name is beautiful and original – just like your daughter-to-be!

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Light child
  • Pronunciation: MEE-TSOO-KO, MEETS-KO
  • Namesakes: Mitsuko Baisho, a Japanese actress known for her work in director Shohei Imamura’s films.
  • Popularity: Mitsuko was a top 10 name for Japanese girls in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s.
Cute, Old-fashioned

Nadra

Nadra is a lovely light name for girls, primarily used in the Middle East. Although Nadra isn’t directly mentioned in the Quran, its uplifting meaning has made it a hit in the Muslim community. Nadra could be perfect for a vibrant little lady who radiates beauty and love.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Radiance
Beautiful

Narangerel

Are you looking for unusual names that mean light for your little sun queen? Consider Narangerel, a picturesque title almost exclusively used in Mongolia. Consider pairing Narangerel with Sarangerel (meaning “moonlight”) for girl twins.

  • Origin: Mongolian
  • Meaning: Sunlight
  • Pronunciation: nar-ANG-ger-al
Complex, Natural, Unique

Natela

Natela is a cheerful name filled with hope and light. It’s derived from the Georgian “nateli” (light, bright). In the U.S., Natela could be an original substitute for Natalie and Natalia, both ranked in the U.S. top 100.

  • Origin: Georgian
  • Meaning: Light, bright
  • Pronunciation: NAH-TEH-LAH
  • Variations: Natia
  • Namesakes: Natela Dzalamidze, a Russian-born Georgian tennis player with a career-high ranking of #245 globally.
Beautiful, Unique

Nera

Nera is the feminine form of Ner – a Hebrew name meaning “light” or “candle.” Nera is often chosen for baby girls born during Hanukkah because of the holiday’s association with lights. Nera is simple yet original, appealing to those who want a unique name that isn’t complex.

  • Origin: Croatian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Light
  • Variations: Ner
  • Namesakes: Nera White, an American basketball player who led the U.S. national women’s team to victory in the 1957 FIBA World Championship.
Religious, Simple, Cute

Niamh

In Irish mythology, Niamh was a goddess who fell in love with the human poet Oisin. She took him to the Land of the Youth, where they lived together for 300 years. Its unique spelling, beautiful sound, and mythical origins may be a gorgeous find.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: NEEV
  • Variations: Neve, Niam
  • Namesakes: Niamh Cusack, an Irish actress known for her role as Dr. Kate Rowan in the UK series Heartbeat.
  • Popularity: Niamh has been in Ireland’s top 100 names for girls since the late 90s.
Beautiful, Complex
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Nimai

Nimai is an enlightening choice on our list of names that mean light, mostly used by followers of the Hindu religion. Nimai’s cute sound and profound meaning could make it a meaningful option for your “guiding light.”

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Filled with inner light
Cute, Unique

Nora

Nora comes from the Arabic Nur (light). In Islam, Al-Nur (the light one, the illuminating one) is one of the 99 names of Allah. This name is well-liked globally, ranked in 20+ countries’ top 1,000 girl names. Your daughter Nora will be cherished wherever life takes her.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Light
  • Variations: Noor, Noora, Norah, Nour, Noura, Nur, Nura
  • Namesakes: Nora Ephron, an American writer, and filmmaker known for her romantic comedy films Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally (1989), and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
  • Popularity: Nora’s a top choice for U.S. girls, ranked 27th in 2021.
Popular, Common, Sophisticated

Nuri

Nuri is a common surname and boys’ name in the Middle East. This name is simple yet exotic, permitting your son to shine without adding complexity.

  • Origin: Arabic, Turkish
  • Meaning: My light
  • Variations: Nouri, Noori, Nori, Noory
  • Pronunciation: NOO-ree
  • Namesakes: Nuri al-Said, a former Prime Minister of Iraq.
Cute, Simple

Nurlan

This light name is fit for a warrior, derived from the Arabic “nur” (light) combined with the Kazakh “ulan” (young man, soldier). In the U.S., Nurlan could be an exciting Nolan alternative your friends and family probably haven’t heard of.

  • Origin: Kazakh, Kyrgyz
  • Meaning: Light of the soldier
  • Namesakes: Nurlan Balgimbayev, a former Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.
  • Popularity: Nurlan was previously ranked in Kyrgyzstan’s top 10 names for boys.
Cool, Strong

Olena

Olena is the elegant Ukrainian variant of Helen. Game of Thrones fans may prefer the double-n Olenna, given its association with the elderly matriarch of House Tyrell. Try nicknames Oli or Leni for a gender-neutral sound.

  • Origin: Ukrainian
  • Meaning: Torchlight, shining light
  • Variations: Olenna
  • Namesakes: Olena Krasovska, a Ukrainian hurdler who won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games.
  • Popularity: Olena was popular in Spain in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Beautiful, Unique, Strong

Orel

Orel is a modern variation of Uriel – one of the seven archangels mentioned in the Hebrew bible. Uriel is the “angel of repentance and wisdom” who shines God’s light on those in need. This could be a perfect light name for a boy of Jewish or Christian faith.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Light of God
  • Pronunciation: URAL
  • Variations: Uriel
  • Namesakes: Orel Hershiser IV, an American former baseball pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1983 to 2000.
  • Popularity: Orel only made Israel’s top 100 names for boys in 2015.
Strong, Religious

Osbert

Osbert is derived from the Old English “os” (god) combined with “beorht” (bright). The name was commonly used before the Norman Conquest, falling out of favor during the Middle Ages. If you love strong, old-world names, Osbert could kindle your interest.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bright god
  • Namesakes: Osbert Salvin, an English naturalist, ornithologist, and herpetologist during the mid to late 1800s.
Old-fashioned, Strong

Phaedra

Phaedra was King Minos’s daughter and Theseus’s wife in Greek mythology. Despite her name’s joyful meaning, Phaedra had a sad life, ending in her untimely death. If you enjoy beautiful names with a tragic backstory, Phaedra could light your spark.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: FAY-druh
  • Variations: Phaidra
Mythical, Ancient

Phoebe

When people hear Phoebe, they often think of the quirky and lovable character from the hit TV show Friends. But, Phoebe has been around for much longer than this, initially belonging to a Greek goddess of the moon. Phoebe is perfect for a bright star who will march to the beat of her own drum!

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: Light, bright, pure
  • Pronunciation: FEE-bee
  • Namesakes: Phoebe Hearst, an American philanthropist, feminist, and suffragist who founded the University of California Museum of Anthropology.
  • Popularity: Phoebe’s risen in popularity for U.S. girls since the 90s, ranked 247th in 2021.
Popular, Cute, Friendly

Prakash

Prakash is an unusual Indian light name for boys, derived from the Sanskrit “prakasha” (light, bright, shining). Kash could be a delightful nickname that hints at your son’s promising future.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Light
  • Namesakes: Prakash Raj, an Indian actor, film director, and producer known for his work in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi films.
  • Popularity: Prakash was previously a top 10 name for boys in Nepal.
Cute
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Pratibha

Pratibha is an exotic choice on our list of names meaning light, derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “light,” “splendor,” or “intelligence.” A notable bearer was Pratibha Patil, India’s first and only female president.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: PRUH-tee-bah
  • Namesakes: Pratibha Patil, an Indian politician, and lawyer who served as the 12th president of India.
Unique, Complex

Ray

Ray is a short form of Raymond but is also used independently. In English, a “ray” refers to an intense light beam. Several Rays have made history, including iconic soul musician Ray Charles and Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury. Perhaps your son Ray will also be a star?

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Beam of light, protector of advice
  • Variations: Rae
  • Namesakes: Ray Robinson Sr., an American singer, songwriter, and pianist regarded as one of the most iconic and influential singers ever.
  • Popularity: Ray was a top 100 name for U.S. boys in the early 1800s, falling to 839th by 2021.
Cute, Old-fashioned, Simple

Rayansh

Rayansh is another name for Vishnu – the peace-loving Hindu God who sustains life. Rayansh has sneakily been climbing the U.S. charts, ranking in the top 1,000 boys’ names from 2014 to 2019. You could shorten Reyansh to Ray for an American spin.

  • Origin: Hindi
  • Meaning: Ray of light
  • Popularity: Rayansh received its highest U.S. ranking of 664th in 2017.
Cute

Robin

Robin is a short form of Robert. The name was popular for girls in the 90s but flipped back to boys in 2015. Whether your little one is as chivalrous as Robin Hood or as funny as Robin Williams, their charisma will certainly light up the room!

  • Origin: English, Germanic
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Namesakes: Robin Williams, an American actor, and comedian known for his improvisational skills.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Robin ranked 896th for boys and 916th for girls in 2021.
Cute, Cool, Natural

Roshan

Roshan is a handsome Persian name used by Hindu, Marathi, and Nepali speakers. This was the name of the sweet baby rescued by the sarcastic yet lovable wooly mammoth in Ice Age. Roshan can be shortened to Rosh as a trendy nickname.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Light, bright
  • Variations: Roshanak
  • Namesakes: Roshan Nagrath, an Indian music director and esraj player.
  • Popularity: Roshan made England and Wales top 500 one time in 2002.
Cool, Sophisticated

Roxana

Roxana is the Greek form of the Persian Roshanak, meaning “bright” or “dawn.” It belonged to the Bactrian wife of Alexander the Great, giving it a regal flair. Nicknames range from badass Roxy to classic Ana.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: rahk-SAN-ah
  • Variations: Roxane, Roxanne, Roxanna
  • Namesakes: Roxana Diaz Sanchez, a female track and field sprinter from Cuba and a two-time Olympian.
  • Popularity: Roxana was in the U.S. top 1,000 girl names from 1982 to 2005.
Cool, Strong

Shri

Shri is an alternate name for Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of luck, prosperity, and beauty. It’s also a title of respect in India and several Southeast Asian countries. Bestowing your child with this enlightening name honors her in more ways than one.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Diffusing light
  • Pronunciation: SHREE
  • Namesakes: Shri K. Singh, a Professor of Mathematics from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Simple

Sorcha

Sorcha has been used in Ireland since Medieval times, giving it an old-world feel. It reminds us of the word “scorch,” invoking mental images of a bright flame. Your little Sorcha will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with!

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Radiant, bright
  • Pronunciation: SOR-ca
  • Namesakes: Sorcha Cusack, an Irish TV and stage actress known for her roles in Jane Eyre (1973), Casualty (1994-1997), and Coronation Street (2008).
  • Popularity: Sorcha received its highest ranking for Irish girls of 74th in 1999.
Cool, Unique

Svetlana

This elegant name was popularized in Russia by Vasily Zhukovsky’s ballad, Svetlana (1813). It’s also used in Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Macedonia, and Serbia. Svetlana’s radiant beauty and grace make this light name challenging to ignore.

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Light, world
  • Pronunciation: svet-lah-NUH
  • Variations: Svetla, Svjetlana
  • Namesakes: Svetlana Kuznetsova, a former Russian tennis player who appeared in four Grand Slam singles finals.
  • Popularity: Svetlana was the #1 name for girls in Latvia in 1965.
Sophisticated

Tahel

Tahel derives from the Hebrew root “halal” (to praise, to shine). This sweet name is rare outside of Israel, where it’s been a top choice for girls since the mid-2000s. Your daughter will undoubtedly shine with this unique pick!

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: You will shine
  • Variations: Hallel, Hila, Tehila
  • Popularity: Tahel is a top choice in Israel, ranked 47th in 2020.
Cute
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Tifawt

Tifawt is an unusual choice on our list of light names, exclusively used by the indigenous peoples of Northern Africa. While Tifawt isn’t the easiest to spell or pronounce, its exotic sound has “bright” possibilities for unique name enthusiasts.

  • Origin: Berber
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: TIF-aw
Unique, Complex

Toshiaki

Toshiaki is a classic Japanese name derived from “toshi” (talented, handsome) and “aki” (bright, light, clear). Calling your son Toshiaki implies he will be a beautiful light in the dark world.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Handsome light
  • Pronunciation: TO-SHEE-AH-KEY
  • Namesakes: Toshiaki Kawada, a Japanese semi-retired professional wrestler best known for his All Japan Pro Wrestling work.
Cool, Traditional

Uri

Uri is an Old Testament name born by the father of Bezalel – one of the architects of the Tabernacle. Uri is short yet mighty, offering a powerful choice for your little light bearer.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: My light
  • Variations: Ori
  • Namesakes: Uri Geller, an Israeli-British illusionist, magician, and self-proclaimed psychic.
  • Popularity: Uri is a top name for boys in Israel, ranked 6th in 2020.
Simple

Vulcan

Vulcan is derived from the Latin Vulcanus, ultimately from “fulgere” (to flash). In Roman mythology, Vulcan was the god of fire said to be the creator of smithing and metal work. With a bold name like Vulcan, your son will glow more brightly than a candle’s flame.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Flash of light
  • Variations: Vulcanus
Mythical

Wilbert

Wilbert is derived from the Germanic “wil” (will, desire) and “beraht” (bright). Wilbert comes with ready-made nicknames, such as Will and Bert. Choosing Wilbert implies your son’s future aspirations will be as bright as the sun.

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Bright will
  • Pronunciation: VIL-bert, WIL-bert
  • Variations: Willabert
  • Namesakes: Wilbert Awdry, an English minister, author, and railway enthusiast, best known for his popular children’s series, Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • Popularity: Wilbert was popular in the U.S. in the 1900s, falling out of favor by 1990.
Old-fashioned

Yang

The first version of Yang, meaning “light,” “sun,” or “male,” is primarily masculine. The second version meaning “ocean,” is unisex. So, feel free to give this adorable light name to a baby of either gender!

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Light
  • Namesakes: Yang Hyun-suk, a South Korean music executive who rose to fame as a member of the musical group Seo Taiji and Boys during the 1990s.
Common, Strong, Simple

Yuki

Yuki comes from the Japanese “yu” (excellence, superiority, gentleness) combined with “ki” (brightness). Other possible meanings are “permanent hope,” “excellent living,” or “gentleness and brightness.” This adorable name has potential well beyond Japan’s borders.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Excellence and brightness
  • Pronunciation: YOO-KEE
  • Variations: Yuuki
  • Namesakes: Yuki Matsuoka, a Japanese actress, voice actress, and narrator.
Cute, Friendly

Zahra

Zahra is another name for the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah. This gorgeous Muslim name entered the U.S. top 1,000 in 2012, rising in popularity since. Zahra’s exotic beauty will make your daughter shine as brightly as a star.

  • Origin: Arabic, Persian
  • Meaning: Bright, brilliant
  • Variations: Zaahira, Zahira
  • Popularity: Zahra ranked as the 694th most popular girl’s name in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool

Ziv

Ziv is a Hebrew name and the second month of the ancient Jewish calendar. “Z” names are “in” right now, with Zane, Zayden, and Zayn ranked in the top 300 names for boys. Ziv could easily fit this trend.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Light, radiant
  • Pronunciation: ZEEV
  • Variations: Ziva, Zivit
  • Namesakes: Ziv Bar-Joseph, an Israeli computational biologist and professor.
Cool, Simple

Zohar

Zohar is a mighty Hebrew name ranked in Israel’s top 500 since the mid-2000s. This name is unusual in the U.S., offering a captivating option for your tiny light bearer.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Light, brilliance
  • Namesakes: Zohar Argov, an Israeli singer known as the “king of Mizrahi music.”
  • Popularity: Zohar ranked as the 90th most popular name for boys in Israel in 2020.
Cool, Strong
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About the Author

Chelsea Nelthropp

Chelsea Nelthropp previously worked with special needs children before transitioning to her current passion, freelance writing. She's written on a plethora of topics and enjoys the diversity of her work. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys hiking, creating artwork, reading about true crime, and spending time with her husband and their adorable French Bulldog, Stella.
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