The ability of a robot vision system to capture informative images is greatly affected by the condition of lighting in the scene. This paper reveals the importance of active lighting control for robotic manipulation and proposes novel strategies for good visual interpretation of objects in the workspace. Good illumination means that it helps to get images with large signal-to-noise ratio, wide range of linearity, high image contrast, and true color rendering of the object`s natural properties. It should also avoid occurrences of highlight and extreme intensity unbalance. If only passive illumination is used, the robot often gets poor images where no appropriate algorithms can be used to extract useful information. A fuzzy controller is further developed to maintain the lighting level suitable for robotic manipulation and guidance in dynamic environments. As carried out in this paper, with both examples of numerical simulations and practical experiments, it promises satisfactory results with the proposed idea of active lighting control. © 2012 IEEE.