1660s (trans.), "kindle or set on fire, cause to burn," from Latin ignitus, past participle of ignire "set on fire, make red hot," from ignis "fire" (see igneous). Attested earlier as an adjective (1550s). Intransitive sense of "catch fire, begin to burn" is from 1818. Related: Ignited; igniting.
Flash in the pan (1704 literal, 1705 figurative) is from old-style firearms, where the powder might ignite in the pan but fail to spark the main charge; hence figurative sense "brilliant outburst followed by failure."
Meaning "furnish light for" is from c. 1200; sense of "emit light, shed light, shine" is from c. 1300. Buck writes that light is "much more common than kindle even with fire, and only light, not kindle, with candle, lamp, pipe, etc." To light up is from c. 1200 as "give light to" (a room, etc.); 1861 in reference to a pipe, cigar, etc. Related: Lighted; lighting.