The energy required for ion uptake in guard cells is provided by two important bioenergetic processes, namely respiration and photosynthesis. The blue light-sensitive plasma membrane redox system is considered as the third bioenergetic phenomenon, since it uses blue light to create a proton gradient across the membrane. The unique features of respiration and photosynthesis in guard cells and their role in stomatal function are emphasized. Evidence for and against the blue light-sensitive components on plasma membrane (ATPase/distinct redox chain) and the photoreceptors (flavins, carotenoids, pterins) in guard cells are presented. The information on ion channels and their response to various kinds of secondary messengers including G-proteins, phosphoinositides, diacylglycerol, calcium, cAMP and protein kinases are reviewed. A model is presented indicating the possible mechanism of perception and transduction by guard cells of external signals and their interaction with different bioenergetic components.