Due to their high and variable coordination numbers leading to poorly predictable threedimensional coordination spheres, the trivalent lanthanide metal ions are challenging molecular objects for introduction into thermotropic liquid crystals. Conversely, their predictive electronic, optical and magnetic metal-centred properties make them particularly attractive for being incorporated into switchable macroscopic materials responding to external electric and magnetic stimuli. We briefly describe here some of the important concepts and strategies leading to the recent successful preparation of luminescent thermotropic lanthanide-containing mesophases, for which the generic term lanthanidomesogens is proposed.