There are 16 levels of light (0 to 15), the highest being produced by Sunlight, Jack o' Lanterns, Beacons, End Portal Blocks, Fire, Glowstone, Lava, Active Redstone Lamps, Sea Lanterns, and Lanterns. Light is decreased (or blocked entirely) when a block is situated in front of a light source (this doesn't apply with glass). The block which decreases light the most is the base of a piston. The light level of a block affects whether or not certain hostile mobs will spawn on it. The light level depends on how many blocks the light can extend until it goes to light level 0, every block reducing a light level. For example if you were 3 blocks away from a Torch, then the light level would be 11.
Levels of Light
The light level determines if hostile or passive mobs will spawn. For example, a cow will spawn in light level 7 or higher on grass blocks. This is also the case for pigs, chickens, and sheep. Hostile mobs, such as skeletons and zombies, will spawn in light levels 7 or lower. A player can keep hostile mobs from spawning in an area by lighting up the area with torches or other light-emitting objects.
List of light levels in Minecraft
|Cauldron containing lava[BE only]|
|End Gateway (block)|
|End Portal (block)|
|Jack o' Lantern|
|Redstone Lamp (lit)|
|Sea Pickle with four bodies (when in water)|
|Blast Furnace (lit)|
|Sunlight (during Rain or Snow)||12|
|Sea Pickle with three bodies (when in water)|
|Nether Portal (block)||11|
|Sunlight (during a Thunderstorm)||10|
|Soul Fire Lantern|
|Soul Fire Torch|
|Redstone Ore (when touched)||9|
|Sea Pickle with two bodies (when in water)|
|Redstone Torch (lit)|
|Sea Pickle with a single body (when in water)||6|
|End Portal Frame|
Smooth lighting is the lighting engine added in Beta 1.3. This lighting engine is on by default (it is always on in Minecraft: Pocket Edition) and can be set to maximum, minimum or off by accessing "Video Options" from the "Options" menu.
The engine blends lighting to add semi-realistic shadows and glow from light sources. It darkens inside corners, resulting in small spaces appearing much darker. Before Beta 1.3, the feature could be only obtained by modifying the game with the help of MrMessiah's BetterLife Mod.
The "maximum" smooth lighting toggle fixes bugs with stairs. However, this is an optional toggle. The "minimum performance" does not fix the bug.
Minecraft has been evolving over time, and the lighting system itself has changed along with it.
Lighting was very simple, although there were only two light levels, bright and dark.
Smooth lighting didn't exist in Minecraft Classic. Instead, light spread out on dim-lit areas. "Sunlight" was emitted by the top edge of the map and would hit any block that was under it. It would pass through transparent blocks to light blocks underneath. Blocks that did not receive light were in a dim shadow that remained at the same level of brightness, no matter how far the block was from a light source.
Alpha - Beta 1.2_02
Lighting in Alpha through pre-Beta 1.3 worked similarly to Indev and Infdev, except the light scale was not linear.
Beta 1.3 - Beta 1.7.3
Lighting from Beta 1.3 to Beta 1.7.3 worked the same as it was in Alpha, but was optimized to allow "smooth lighting."
Black patches in world generation and structure generation were fixed in update 1.7.2.
- Even though the light level is 10 during thunderstorms, hostile mobs can still spawn.
- When a player obtains Blindness, the Sun is one of the only things you can see, but it won't produce light.
- Rarely, a Lightning Bolt can emit a light level lower than 5.
- When a player drinks a potion of Night Vision, light sources (excluding the sun), gain a dim color.
- Zombies, Skeletons, and their variants can only burn at light level 15.