Most of the technological breakthroughs that profoundly impact our society involve light, whether in solar energy, optoelectronic displays or for medical purposes. In these applications, new materials are intended to function within complex assemblages of molecules rather than as single entities. Therefore, molecular properties explored in dilute solutions might not translate to applications due to the forced proximity between molecules in a confined environment. The ability to predict these changes in functionality in going from solution to application is key to improving performance, accuracy and ultimately cost of these technologies. Our goal is to unravel key structural factors regulating optical and photochemical changes in confined environments.