Minecraft: Best Light Sources [Top 15]

This guide entails types of Minecraft light sources and their uses with explanation on how they work.

Best Light source in minecraft
Best Light source in minecraft

Minecraft plays intricately around the light mechanics of the game. It is a complex mechanic to understand, yet knowing numbers and what they mean helps a lot in understanding most of Minecraft’s hurdles. Thus we will be what are Minecraft light sources and what role they play in the game to make them such a significant part of the game.

Key Takeaways

  • There are two types of light sources, one being a light block source and the other being a skylight source.
  • Light helps in visibility mob spawn and plant growth.
  • Different light levels vary from 0-15.
  • Depending on the light level, different mobs spawn, and some don’t burn.
  • Light levels also dictate plant growth.
  • There is multiple Light source block which has different uses and appearance.
  • Lava Cauldron, Normal torches, classic lanterns, Beacon, etc have a light level of 15 which is the highest.
  • Most blocks in the ranking have established themes that fit the aesthetics of sci-fi, spooky, and earthy.
  • Some items such as Laca Cauldron have multiple uses rather than one use.
  • Few light blocks are tough to obtain, thus not practical for repetitive use such as sea lanterns.
  • Sea lanterns are lit underwater rather than on a surface without water.
  • Freedom of placement gives certain blocks, such as the end rod an edge over other blocks.

What Are Minecraft Light Sources?

Lighting in Minecraft is an essential factor that affects mob spawn ability, perceptibility, and agricultural growth. Keeping that in mind there are different light levels ranging from 0 to 15. These light levels dictate what effects take place and which products don’t.

There are two light-emitting elements, one being the Light block source and the other being the Sky light source. Various light block sources give different levels of light, thus creating different types of ambiance.

Light sources
Minecraft light sources

This light level variance is not only restricted to light blocks, but this variability also occurs sky light sources. Depending on the time of the day and the weather sky light level varies. In broad daylight, the sky level light is 15 whereas at night it’s 0. However, during a storm, the light level is 10 nevertheless they treat it as 5 so mobs can spawn and it doesn’t affect visibility.

In rainy weather conditions with biomes where the temperature is between 0.15 and 0.95, the light level in those conditions is 12; however, in this condition mobs do not spawn, but they do not burn as well.

What Mobs Spawn On What Light Level?

light sources
Few Mobs

Different mobs spawn in varying light levels, and some burn on different light levels. We will be discussing the light levels required for each one. There are three dimensions in Minecraft, which include Overworld,  the Nether, and the End.

The only mobs that spawn in the end due to light levels are the Endermen. Nonetheless, they generate in all dimensions with different conditions. Endermen spawn in all dimensions in light level 0 and spawn only in nether till light level 7; however, they do not spawn in all dimensions above light level 7.

Zombies, skeletons, and spiders spawn on the Overworld at light level 0; however, only skeletons spawn till light level 7 in nether. Whereas spiders spawn at light level 0 but are hostile till light level 11, and between light levels 12 to 15, spiders just become neutral, whereas, on the flip side, zombies and skeletons burn. Creeper and witches spawn only in light level 0 nonetheless do not burn in any light level.

Slimes spawn in slime chunks in all light groups. However, in a non-slime chunk, they only spawn on swamps under 8 light levels. You can learn more about them in our extensive Minecraft slime guide.

Blaze and wither spawn only in the nether fortress. Withers spawn on light levels 0- 7, whereas blazes and zombified piggins spawn in light levels 0-11. Phantoms spawn on light levels 0-7 if the player hasn’t slept for three days and does nothing noteworthy in the rest except they burn on light levels 12-15.

How To Check A Light Level Of An Area

To check the light level of an area, press F3 and then look middle left of the screen, where you will find “Client Light” after that, you will find the light level of the block you are looking at. The sky is the amount of light given by the skylight and the light emitted from the block.

The menu shown when f3 is pressed
F3 Menu

Top 15 Best Minecraft Light Sources Block

We will be discussing the top five light source blocks available in Minecraft. They will be graded according to their aesthetic, light level, and ambiance they provide to the environment.

Lava Cauldron

Minecraft light source: Lava coldron
Lava Cauldron

Although meant for farming lava, the Lava Cauldron has been persistently used as a decoration piece in many builds throughout Minecraft history. To further add to this, the block has 15 light levels and can be used to make an ominous atmosphere, such as a witch hut, etc. Lava Cauldron can be used to fill buckets of lava and even water; however, doing this would make it a normal block rather than a light block. The aesthetic follows a creepy vibe.


Minecraft light source: tourch

The touch is the most commonly used and inexpensive light source item. There are two variations of the torch, one being the soul torch and the other being the standard one. The standard torch is crafted with coal and stick (4 output) thus they are highly valued in new survival worlds. Even though they are the most basic of the options however the new soul torch gives a new spooky ambiance because they provide fewer light levels (light level 10) and they appear haunted.

Shroom Light

Minecraft Light sources shroom light
Shroom Light

This block can be found in the nether on the giant fungi biome. This light-emitting block is much like glow stones however with little tweaks. Shroom Lights are blocks that emit a light level of 15. They have a very earthy look which might be very good when creating tree houses etc. The shroom light is placed where it is because it fits many aesthetics from sci-fi to natural terrain and looks impressive. Shroom light, unlike glow stone, allows Redstone to go through it as it acts like a solid block.


Minecraft light source: froglight
Frog Lights

The Froglight block is a new addition to the Minecraft universe. There are multiple variations of this block with different colors. They emit light level 15, which is the highest number a block can have. There are three frog light colors: Pearlescent, Ochre, and Verdant.

Frog lights are hard to obtain without a farm; however, you can obtain them when a frog eats a tiny magma cube. These blocks are very unique design-wise and can be used with limited aesthetics, which, thus, makes it lower than it is besides that it is ve.


Minecraft light source: glowstone

These blocks are light-emitting blocks found in the ceiling of the nether. They have a light level of 15; however, these mined with a regular pickaxe give glow dust which can be crafted together to get the Glowstone.

Glow stones, aesthetic-wise, are ordinary as many blocks do what Glow stones do better. However, Glowstones are theatrical when used in a scary environment as they do not have a soft look like most other light blocks.

Sea Lantern

Minecraft light source: Sea lantern
Sea Lantern

These lanterns are very meticulous solid light blocks. They can be crafted and found; however, both of these ways of obtaining the block are very tedious as there is a need to kill guardians to get the items that craft this block. Guardians are hard to kill as they are underwater and have good maneuverability in the ocean.

However, there are ways to make guardians farms, and they can be used to get these blocks efficiently; nonetheless, these farms themselves are very tedious to make and require hours of work. Because of these factors, the Sea Lantern is placed as low as it is, although they are a very good block in terms of aesthetics in sci-fi themes.

Sea Pickle

Minecraft light source: Sea pickle
Sea pickle in the glass of water

The Sea pickle is a torch-like item whose primary purpose is to work underwater. Although blocks can arguably do the same job, the sea pickle provides the ambiance of nature with its presence.

The sea pickle item is found under the sea and, like candles, can be stacked by 4 per block depending on the number of sea pickles. The non-solid blocks emit varying light levels, for example:

  • 1 Sea Pickle has six light levels
  • 2 Sea Pickle has nine light levels
  • 3 Sea Pickle has 12 light levels
  • 4 Sea Pickle has 15 light levels

 Jack O Lantern

Best Minecraft light sources: Jack o lantern
Jack o’ lantern

This block is a light-emitting item made from a carved pumpkin. Carved pumpkins are made by shearing ordinary pumpkins. After carving out the pumpkin, it is crafted with a torch to make a jack-o-lantern. Jack O Lantern is a great light block as it emits light level 15, and it also has a very creepy and spooky ambiance, much more reminiscent of the Halloween spirit. This block could be used on many horror-related occasions and is regarded as a tremendous luminous light source.

Lit/Lit-Soul Campfires

Minecraft light source: campfires

There are two types of lit campfires: the normal campfire emits a light level of 15, while the lit soul campfire gives a light level of 10. The Lit campfire has multiple uses; it can act as a cooking stove as it can cook meats and multiple examples.

Lit campfires are extensively used for camping aesthetics in most of the world as they can cook food and provide light without needing fuel to keep it going.


Minecraft light source: Candles

Bringing a unique light-level mechanic, candles are an eccentric light-emitting block. The reasons why candles are such a unique light-emitting block is that light levels vary the more candles you use. This creates an exciting situation as you can change the ambiance/setting of the room by using different amounts of candles.

Candles can be so dim that they make mobs spawn, thus making horror survival maps possible as well. Candles can also exude moody lighting, thus increasing their usage in different scenarios. The light levels for each candle are as follows

  • 1 candle has three light levels
  • 2 candles have six light levels
  • 3 candles have nine light levels
  • 4 candles have 12 light levels

End rod

Minecraft light source: End rods
End rod

This rod can be found in the end dimension and are in a category of their own as they provide an eccentric aesthetic. This aesthetic is reminiscent of sci-fi, but only if used well. End rods are stackable and can be placed in all directions thus, it is such a good light source. End rods can be crafted using blaze rods and popped chorus fruit. The end rod has a light level of 14 out of 15, which is the only disadvantage of this light source item.

Cave Vines

Minecraft light source: cave vines
Cave vines

Found in lush caves, the “Cave vines” are a source of food as well as a source of light. Cave vines provide a great atmosphere as they are a significant portion of what makes a lush cave excellent. Moreover, they have a light level of 14.

Cave vines have an earthy feel; thus they can be used in multiple ways and styles. These vines have a very intriguing and unique look in Minecraft and can help in earthy themes, thus being as highly listed as they are.

Redstone Lamp

Minecraft light source: redstone block
Redstone Lamp

This light block like most light blocks previously discussed, emits a light level of 15. Redstone lamp is a very unique block as it functions off Redstone and can be turned on and off using Redstone which could be used for very interesting ideas such as it could be used as an indicator if the Redstone circuit is working or what path it followed in the contraption. The design of the block itself is very modern-like. Thus, it has been marked good in terms of aesthetics as modern builds are the kin of the trend right now.


Minecraft light source: Beacon

This Block has various uses and is a “Jack of all trades and a master of most of them as well.” Beacon’s initial use is to become a signal/indicator for location purposes. However, these blocks also provide multiple powerups by placing them above pyramids of ore blocks. These powerups include speed, haste, resistance, and jump boost.

Beacons are also aesthetically pleasing, thus putting them higher in the category. Additionally, the beacon can change its beams color by putting colored glass above it, thus creating more possibilities for usage in different aesthetics


Normal and Soul Lanterns Best Minecraft light source
Normal and Soul Lanterns

Lantern is one of the best Minecraft light sources of all time. The reason it is the best is that it can be used in so many places that it is not limited to theme. Lanterns would look good in a medieval build, spooky build, luxurious build, etc.

Lanterns emit a light level of 15(if it is a standard lantern, then 15, and if it’s a soul lantern, the light level is 10) and can be hung off fences, making them look good outdoors and indoors. The flexibility and the plain yet complex design of the lantern are what make this the best light-emitting source in Minecraft.


Light sources are essential to Minecraft as they dictate many significant factors of the game that make it enjoyable. They have provided a near-excellent system to make mob spawning recognizable and fun to play around with. Few light sources vary depending on things like material weather or time.

Moreover, Light sources aid in making farms such as mob spawners as they need a certain amount of light source to see but not stop spawning. Light sources are used for different aesthetics; thus, choosing a ranking is very subjective. Please let us know your opinions on the best Minecraft light sources.

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