HFR1, a basic helix-loop-helix protein, is known to be required for a subset of phytochrome A (phyA)-dependent photoresponses. To investigate the role of HFR1 in light signalling, we have examined the genetic interaction between HFR1 and HY5, a positive regulator of light signalling, and COP1, a repressor of photomorphogenesis. Double mutant analysis suggests that HFR1 mediates phyA-dependent inhibition of hypocotyl elongation independently of HY5. HFR1 was shown to be necessary for a subset of cop1-triggered photomorphogenic phenotypes in the dark, including inhibition of hypocotyl elongation, gravitropic hypocotyl growth, and expression of the light-inducible genes CAB and RBCS. Phenotypic analysis of the triple mutant cop1hy5hfr1 indicated that both HFR1 and HY5 are required for cop1-mediated photomorphogenic seedling development in darkness, consistent with their additive roles in phyA-dependent signalling. Taken together, these results suggest that HFR1 might act downstream of COP1, in a separate pathway from HY5, to mediate photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis.