Photomechanics, i.e., the conversion of light into thermal and mechanical work is of significant importance for energy conversion/reconfigurable technologies. Advantages of such photo-thermal mechanisms for transducers include remote energy transfer, remote controllability, control of actuation using number of photons (intensity) and photon energies (wavelength), fast actuation (milliseconds), low signal to noise ratio, high stored elastic strain energy densities with hyperelastic elastomers and scalability at different length scales using batch fabrication and high-volume semiconductor manufacturing. However, only a few materials exist that can convert light into mechanical work. Azobenzene liquid crystal elastomers were one of the first materials to exhibit the photomechanical effect. However, their application required two different light sources for reversible thermal switching (420 nm and 365 nm) between an extended trans and a shorter cis configuration. In this talk, we will cover how light is used with new materials to create the mechanical effect. New nanomaterials, when mixed with polymeric materials, show the unusual photomechanical effect that can be practically harnessed for real-world application. Straining new 2D nanomaterials such as graphene, MoS2 and others creates a new effect called the coupled straintronic photo-thermic effect enables large light absorption and also increase in mechanical effect. The talk will go through an overview of this new and upcoming area of research based on light-matter interaction in 1D and 2D nanomaterial composites.