Terthiophene derivatives were prepared and utilized as photoinitiators of photopolymerization reactions upon exposure to LEDs (410 and 445 nm). The photochemical mechanisms of the terthiophene-based photoinitiating systems were investigated and confirmed by steady-state photolysis, fluorescence quenching, and electron paramagnetic resonance spin-trapping techniques. The photoinitiation ability of terthiophene derivatives in combination with the iodonium salt and optionally with a tertiary amine in the free radical polymerization of multifunctional acrylates and cationic polymerization of epoxides under mild light irradiation was investigated. Exceptionally, a sodium salt form of a terthiophene derivative presented exceeding water solubility and admirable efficiency in rapid hydrogel formation from the 2-hydroxy ethyl acrylate and water blend. The storage stability of the effective photoinitiating systems in the formulations was also studied under moderate conditions.