To date, the breadth of scientific research that has been devoted to investigating the photochemical and photophysical behavior of the lanthanide elements has generally fallen into one of two camps: solution studies of luminescent lanthanide metal-ligand complexes or investigations of solid-state nanoparticles, composed primarily of, or doped with, lanthanide lumiphores. In the latter case, most research of lanthanide nanocolloids has precluded any investigations regarding the use of organic ligands to overcome the difficulties associated with f-f excitation of lanthanides. Instead, most work on condensed-phase lanthanide luminescence has centered on strategies such as d-f charge separation in divalent lanthanides and the sensitization of lanthanide excited states using quantum dots. Current work now aims at bridging the camps of condensed-phase lanthanide photophysics and the solution chemistry of ligand-lanthanide molecular complexes. Recent efforts have partly focused on the fundamental characterization of NaGd1-xLnxF4 nanoparticles featuring surface display of the sensitizer ligand 3,4,3-LI(1,2-HOPO), showing these structures to be capable of converting absorbed UV light into luminescence from Eu3+ and Tb3+ ions. These results suggest such a use of the ligand sensitization as a tool of choice to overcome the constraints of UV solar spectrum/semiconductor band-gap mismatch and low absorption cross sections in solid-state lanthanide systems.