Never mind ... solved the issue by using the jQuery Easy plugin by http://www.simplifyyourweb.com/
It calls jQuery libs from Google CDN (or local paths if needed) and inserts them into <head> with the Joomla core libs, before any other plugin or module.
It also solves various other conflict/multiple-library-instances/versions issues
It seems to play nice with lime_light, and I've not seen any ill effects from it stripping out the templates jquery libs.
Hopefully this whole mess will go away when Joomla 3.5LTS arrives, with jQuery properly built in from the get go.