The retirement of the 33-year-old Light left New England quarterback Tom Brady as the only current Patriot to have been on the team's roster for each of their three Super Bowl wins and five trips in all to the title game since the 2001 season.
Light, who played 11 NFL seasons, said he wanted to leave the game in good health and spend more time with his children.
"On the field, (Light) was a tenacious competitor who had one of the toughest jobs," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said.
"Every week he's (been) going up against the greatest athlete on the defensive (line) who was coming after our quarterback's blindside."
Light, a three-time Pro Bowler chosen by the Patriots in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft out of Purdue, played his entire NFL career with New England.