Photomediated controlled radical polymerization is a versatile method to prepare, under mild conditions, various well-defined polymers with complex architecture, such as block and graft copolymers, sequence-controlled polymers, or hybrid materials via surface initiated polymerization. It also provides opportunity to manipulate the reaction through spatiotemporal control. This review presents a comprehensive account of the fundamentals and applications of various photomediated CRP techniques, including atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT), nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP) and other procedures. In addition, mechanistic aspects of other photomediated methods are discussed. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.