In recent years the importance of the organic light emitting diode (OLED) has grown immensely, and the past two decades have seen ongoing and exhaustive research in organic routes to solid state lighting, wherein electricity is directly converted into emitted light through an excited state relaxation mechanism. The benefits of incorporating polymeric and small molecule materials into solid state lighting devices include high efficiences, low production costs, amenability to large-scale production and devices, reduced environmental impact and low energy consumption. Herein are presented novel routes to materials engineering and preparation, device fabrication and emission tailoring through the abilility to form a variety of polymeric and small molecule materials into aqueously dispersed semiconductive electroluminescent (EL) colloids. Compartmentalization of the emissive and semiconductive species into colloidal particles affords the ability to systematically control energy transfer processes that occur in light emitting devices. Energy transfer can occur through a Coulombic (Forster) or an electronic (Dexter) process, each needing several conditions to be met for the transfer to occur, however common to both are spectral and proximal characteristics. In this work, energy transfer will be simultaneously exploited and inhibited through the creation of EL colloidal particles which can be combined in a dispersion or thin layer in order to tailor the light emission for a variety of applications.