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What are light levels in Minecraft?

Flashing Lights (Image via Minecraft)
Flashing Lights (Image via Minecraft)
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Joe Greene

Light levels in Minecraft are the specific levels of light that are emitted by blocks, torches and the sun.

Light level is a fundamental mechanic of Minecraft and is necessary for most features to function correctly. Players can also take advantage of this mechanic to create certain builds and farms.


Also read: Top 5 Easter Eggs in Minecraft


Light levels in Minecraft

Block-emitted light

Light up the Night (Image via Minecraft)
Light up the Night (Image via Minecraft)

Minecraft players already know that certain blocks create light. However, most of them may not be aware of the specifics.

Each light-emitting block has its own light level. For instance, there is a difference in light between a Redstone Torch and a regular Torch.

Here are the light levels of the most commonly used light-emitting blocks:

  • Torch: 14
  • Furnace: 13
  • Jack O' Lantern: 15
  • Fire: 15
  • Lava: 15
  • Glowstone: 15
  • Soul Campfire: 10
Each light-emitting block has its own light level (Image via Minecraft)
Each light-emitting block has its own light level (Image via Minecraft)

Torches are usually the most resource-efficient light block unless, of course, the player frequents the Nether and has an abundance of Glowstone.


Also read: Top 5 mobs that were removed from Minecraft


Light Level Mechanic

 Light levels of multiple light-emitting blocks (Image via Minecraft. gamepedia)
Light levels of multiple light-emitting blocks (Image via Minecraft. gamepedia)

Light level on a flat surface is reduced by one level for every block it travels. For example, if the player places a torch with a light level of 14, the blocks adjacent to it will have a light level of 13. Blocks diagonal from the light source will be reduced by two levels.

When it comes to light from the sky, any block exposed directly to sunlight will have a light level of 15.


Mobs and light levels

 A Creeper spawning in the area between two light-emitting blocks (Image via Minecraft)
A Creeper spawning in the area between two light-emitting blocks (Image via Minecraft)

Players may be unaware that certain mobs have different light levels that they are able to spawn on.

The most common hostile mobs, such as Creepers, Skeletons, Endermen, Zombies and Spiders, all spawn at light level eight or lower. Special mobs such as Bats only spawn at light level three or lower.

Due to this feature, players can create dark structures that are set up to automatically kill mobs as they spawn, more formally known as a Mob Farm.


Blocks and light level

 Torches melting an Ice block due to light level (Image via Minecraft)
Torches melting an Ice block due to light level (Image via Minecraft)

Much like mobs, some blocks rely on certain light levels to be able to spawn.

Listed below are the blocks that require a specific light level:

  • Ice: Forms at light level nine or lower
  • Snow: Forms at light level ten or lower
  • Mushrooms: Spread at light level 12 or lower
  • Saplings: Grow at light level nine or higher
  • Crops: Grow at light level nine or higher
  • Dirt: Spreads at light level nine or higher

This is very important information that players need to know if they plan on growing crops, raising animals or living in cold biomes.


Also read: 5 things players didn't know about Ghasts in Minecraft


For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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