The album's lead single "Will Do" was released on February 23, 2011. Its closing track, "Caffeinated Consciousness", was made available on the band's website as a free download on March 10, 2011.
Nine Types of Light was very well received by critics and has a "Universal Acclaim" rating of 82 at review aggregating website Metacritic.
It is the final TV on the Radio album to feature bassist Gerard Smith, who died of lung cancer nine days after it was released.
The band created an accompanying film to go with the album, an hourlong visual companion that offers music videos for all of Nine Types of Light's tracks. Packaged with a deluxe version of the CD, the film also exists on YouTube in its entirety. Characterized by eclectic visual style and thematic content as well as TV on the Radio's diverse, unique sound, the film allows for a different interpretation and method of experiencing the album. Directed by singer Tunde Adebimpe (with different directors helming the individual clips, see below for list), the film also features interviews with a variety of New Yorkers discussing topics including dreams, love, fame, and the future. A humorous epilogue, set to the song "You" and featuring the band members meeting for lunch ten years after a fictional breakup, concludes the film. Overall, the work can be seen as Afrofuturistic, particularly the video for "Will Do," which incorporates virtual-reality technology to tell a unique love story starring Adebimpe and Joy Bryant.