Lanthanide complexes, Eu(dbM)(3)(Phen), [Et4N][Eu(nta)(4)] and Er(dbM)(3)(Phen), are employed as luminescent dopants within planar waveguides based on a UV-processable fluorinated polymer material. Thin films doped with each of the complexes are fabricated and their spectroscopic properties investigated in detail. The films act as low loss multi-mode planar waveguides capable of guiding visible and near infrared light emitted following optical excitation of the lanthanide dopants. Judd-Ofelt parameters are calculated for the europiurn complex dopants and effects of the polymer host environment on the photophysical properties of the chelates are identified. The radiative properties of the europium complexes are also determined viz. their potential for use in optical amplification applications.