Photoluminescent compounds can undergo various structural changes upon interaction with light. When these changes manifest themselves in the excited state, the resulting emitters can obtain a sensory function. In this work, we designed coordination compounds that can vary their emission color in response to thermal and mechanical stimuli. When embedded in a polymer matrix, Cu-NHC sensors act as mechanophores, and their color-based response can readily describe mechanical stress and phase transition phenomena. A strong practical advantage of new mechanophores over previous generations of organometallic stress sensors stems from their reliance on emission color variations that are easy to detect. In a broad context, our work implies that emission color variations that we often view as thermally governed can also be triggered mechanically and used to generate sensory information.