Light and temperature cues share many common signaling events towards plant photothermal morphogenesis. Particularly, the red (R)/far-red (FR)-absorbing phytochrome photoreceptors also function as temperature sensors, suggesting that light and temperature responses are intimately associated with each other. Here, we present data from physicochemical modeling of temperature sensing and thermomorphogenic patterning of hypocotyl growth, which illustrate that the two seemingly distinct stimulating cues are tightly coupled through physicochemical principles and temperature effects can be described as a function of infra-red (IR) thermal radiation. It is possible that the dark reversion from the FR-absorbing Pfr to the R-absorbing Pr phytochromes is essentially an IR-mediated thermal conversion. We propose that the phytochromes modulate photothermal responses by monitoring R:IR ratios, as they sense R:FR ratios during photomorphogenesis.