Semiconductor nanowires have been used in a variety of passive and active optoelectronic devices including waveguides, photodetectors, solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, sensors, and optical antennas. We review the optical properties of these nanowires in terms of absorption, guiding, and radiation of light, which may be termed light management. Analysis of the interaction of light with long cylindrical/hexagonal structures with subwavelength diameters identifies radial resonant modes, such as Leaky Mode Resonances, or Whispering Gallery modes. The two-dimensional treatment should incorporate axial variations in “volumetric modes,”which have so far been presented in terms of Fabry–Perot (FP), and helical resonance modes. We report on finite-difference timedomain (FDTD) simulations with the aim of identifying the dependence of these modes on geometry (length, width), tapering, shape (cylindrical, hexagonal), core–shell versus core-only, and dielectric cores with semiconductor shells. This demonstrates how nanowires (NWs) form excellent optical cavities without the need for top and bottommirrors. However, optically equivalent structures such as hexagonal and cylindrical wires can have very different optoelectronic properties meaning that light management alone does not sufficiently describe the observed enhancement in upward (absorption) and downward transitions (emission) of light inNWs; rather, the electronic transition rates should be considered. We discuss this “rate management” scheme showing its strong dimensional dependence, making a case for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that can take advantage of the confluence of the desirable optical and electronic properties of these nanostructures.