Despite its importance in the design of photocaged molecules, less attention is focused on linker chemistry than the cage itself. Here, we describe unique uncaging properties displayed by two coumarin-caged thymidine compounds, each conjugated with (2) or without (1) an extended, self-immolative spacer. Photolysis of 1 using long-wavelength UVA (365 nm) or visible (420, 455 nm) light led to the release of free thymidine along with the competitive generation of a thymidine-bearing recombination product. The occurrence of this undesired side reaction, which is previously unreported, was not present with the photolysis of 2, which released thymidine exclusively with higher quantum efficiency. We propose that the spatial separation between the cage and the substrate molecule conferred by the extended linker can play a critical role in circumventing this unproductive reaction. This report reinforces the importance of linker selection in the design of coumarin-caged oligonucleosides and other conjugates.