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The Best Minecraft Light Sources

Posted: Oct 13, 2021 in Minecraft

mc head By Kevin Lott


In general, light is an odd subject when it comes to Minecraft. Unlike other games, we aren’t used to fancy mechanics like dynamic lighting or variable shadows. In the Caves and Cliffs update, lighting has actually been changed a little with some light sources receiving significant buffs to their lighting range. This begs the question: which light sources are the best? What light source offers the most bang for your buck? Well, there’s a lot of things to think of when making the choice. Today we’re going to answer these questions and then some. Let’s begin.

Minecraft torch

Light Source Mechanics

First, let’s understand how light works in Minecraft. Light is what affects visibility, mob spawning, and plant growth. There are three aspects of Minecraft’s lighting system: light level, internal lighting level, and rendering brightness. For gameplay, the only thing we need to worry about is light level.

light sources in game

Block light levels determine whether or not mob spawns, and increase or decrease visibility. The block light level decreases by one for each meter of distance from the light source. Light level decreases diagonally by the sum of the distances along each axis, which is a little complicated, but basically the further away from the light source, the darker it will be.


light sources

To find the best possible light source, we need to look at the level of light produced by different sources. This is a list of most light sources along with the light level of the block. We’re looking for the highest value.

With this information, we could determine that there are many sources of light with the highest possible light level of 15. So we’re finished, right? Well, sort of. Now, all you would have to do is pick something off of this list and just start using it for whatever you may will, but your choice may be swayed by more than just light level. There are other factors to consider.

Campfires and Glowstone may be attractive to you considering their light level is incredibly high, but they are more expensive than a simple torch, which only has 1 light level lower. Perhaps aesthetics are more important than affordability or light level to you, and you rather use something like Glowstone, even though they’re much more expensive than Campfires.


In my opinion, the best light source in Minecraft has to be the Torch. It is a tried and true item that is definitely the cheapest in the game when it comes to lighting your world, and their aesthetics are second to none when attempting to emulate that classic Minecraft feel. They can also be placed on walls! If I was to select a light source solely for its ability to deter mobs, however, I would go with the Lantern. It looks just as nice as Torches and they can hang from ceilings.


To conclude, light sources are pretty simple. Depending on what you use them for, determining the ‘best’ light source is pretty difficult, but I feel like I did a decent enough job at explaining how light works, what you may want out of a light source, and which ones are preferable. There are some easy sources you flat out never want, like Beacons. Too expensive! In any case, I hope this blog helps you, and have a great day!

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