Intracellular signaling forms complicated networks that involve dynamic alterations of the protein-protein interactions occurring inside a cell. To dissect these complex networks, light-inducible optogenetic technologies have offered a novel approach for modulating the function of intracellular machineries in space and time. Optogenetic approaches combine genetic and optical methods to initiate and control protein functions within live cells. In this review, we provide an overview of the optical strategies that can be used to manipulate intracellular signaling proteins and secondary messengers at the molecular level. We briefly address how an optogenetic actuator can be engineered to enhance homo- or hetero-interactions, survey various optical tools and targeting strategies for controlling cell-signaling pathways, examine their extension to in vivo systems and discuss the future prospects for the field.