Light is a mechanic in Minecraft which allows the player to see, and affects whether hostile mobs will spawn nearby. Most monsters will spawn at a Light Level of 7 or lower, which you’ll mostly get during the night.
There are two sources of light in Minecraft. The light provided by the blocks listed below, and light provided by the Sun. Minecrafts Sun provides a global Light Level of 15 whilst visible in the sky.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the Best and Worst Light Sources currently available in Minecraft. These light sources all work on Minecraft PC, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and Pocket Edition. For more Minecraft Guides and Best-of content, make sure to check our dedicated area here!
First up is the Beacon. Beacons are one of the brightest objects in Minecraft, with a Light Level of 15. However it’s also one of the hardest to obtain, as you’ll need to destroy a Wither, which is considered close to end-game content. Not to worry though, as there are many other items which have the same Light Level.
Next up is Fire. Probably one of the most dangerous blocks in Minecraft, especially to be having indoors. Fire has a Light Level of 15, but is a risk to have inside as surrounding objects can catch fire. It’s best to keep it away from Wood (surround it with Stone blocks), and place Fire on top of Netherrack so that it never extinguishes.
Glowstone also has a Light Level of 15, but can be difficult to obtain. Glowstone Blocks are each made up of 4 Glowstone Dust. The easiest way to obtain Glowstone Dust is by heading into the Nether and mining. Glowstone makes a great light source as it can be used to make lampposts, and won’t catch fire.
Jack o’Lanterns are Pumpkins which light up, they also offer a Light Level of 15. When you obtain a Jack o’Lanter, it will be unlit. You’ll need to add a torch to it inside a Crafting Table to light it, getting the result shown above. They make a great light source to use outdoors in Minecraft.
Similar to Glowstone Blocks, Redstone Lamps are in block form and make a great interior or exterior light. However they need to be powered with Redstone to function. If you’re handy with Redstone, then you can wire them up to a lever, so that you have fully functioning light switches. They have a Light Level of 15 when lit, and 0 when unlit.
Lanterns are one of Minecrafts newer items, and they look great. They can be placed on top of blocks such as fences, and even hang from walls, looking super realistic. They have a Light Level of 15, and can be crafted by surrounding a Torch with Iron Nuggets inside of a Crafting Table.
Campfires where added with Minecraft 1.14, and provide an immersive way to cook food items. They release a lot of smoke though, and are designed to be used outdoors, where they will provide a Light Level of 15. If you place a Hay Bale below a Campfire, the smoke will travel much higher, turning it into a Smoke Signal which can be seen from some distance.
Torches are easily the most common light source in Minecraft, mainly because of how cheap and easy they are to make. With a single Stick and a piece of Coal, you can craft 4 torches, making them incredibly efficient. Although compared to all the previous light sources in this list, they actually offer a lower Light Level, which is 14.
A Furnace which is smelting also acts as a light source in Minecraft, having a Light Level of 13. It’s enough to stop mobs spawning, but you will need to be constantly burning through Coal. Similar items such as the Blast Furnace and Smoker also have a Light Level of 13, they’re all incredibly inefficient to run as a permanent light source.
Finally, we have the Redstone Torch. Whilst it’s not the worst light source in Minecraft, it’s close. It has a Light Level of 7, meaning it’s just low enough to allow the spawning of hostile mobs nearby. These really aren’t worth using for anything other than to power Redstone items.