Tomato, tomato... no, but seriously, I see the confusion now.
In terms of the final print, the lights are overexposed (one could say burnt out) and indeed you wouldn't literally "hold back" while printing with a negative/positive scheme. However, if you consider my phrase just in terms of a final print, you want to make the lights appear less bright than they are, considering the exposure you've given them, so to "hold them back" could make sense.
But you're right... I said it very weirdly, especially to any analog printer.