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I'm building a very large planar room. How far should I place torches from each other, in order to avoid mob spawning?

In How far do I have to place torches so that mobs will not spawn near me? question, a lot of details are mentioned, but there is no specific answer about how to distribute torches over a large plane. That's why I'm asking it here.

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My answer (the second one) covers where to place torches in an open room too. The "Go until you see two tiles the same darkness level, then place the torch back on the second darkest one" still applies. –  Tyr Feb 4 '11 at 5:04
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@Tyr, you're right, your answer covers this case, and somehow I missed it. So maybe this is indeed a duplicate (but astryad answer here is very good). However "Go until you see two tiles the same darkness level" is not a good solution, as things are quite hard to distinguish in some monitors. I'd prefer to say "leave X tiles between each torch". –  Denilson Sá Feb 4 '11 at 16:02
    
It's possible to merge the questions, so that for example astryad and Ronan's answers here will be on the other question. If this seems to be a good idea, I'm fine to perform the merging. But consider whether these answers (geared towards a planar room) would be appropriate on the other question (geared towards a general strategy), as we don't want to invalidate the answers in doing so. –  Grace Note Feb 4 '11 at 16:22
    
I believe these two questions approach the same subject, but for different purposes (and, thus, similar but different strategies). Thus, I believe they are different enough. –  Denilson Sá Feb 4 '11 at 16:51
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3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

If you want to optimize your torch consumption, I think the best pattern would be this :

Torches

  • Oranges dots are torches
  • Yellow dots are sufficient-lit blocks
  • Gray dots are insufficient-lit blocks, where mobs can spawn
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That would still allow mobs to spawn at the edges because the blocks as high as the torches have 8 but the ones 1 above and 1 below will have only 7. –  Ronan Forman Feb 4 '11 at 14:41
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Well, the question is about a large planar room, so I assumed the edges were not part of the question :-) –  astryad Feb 4 '11 at 14:54
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Rule of thumb: Stay on the block that has the torch. From there, choose a direction and start counting: 1,2,3,4,5,6. Now, turn right and continue counting: 7,8,9,10,11,12,13. Stop! Place a torch at the 13th block. Also... If you count from 1 to 13 in a straight line, there should be a torch on block to the right (14th block). –  Denilson Sá Feb 5 '11 at 2:38
    
Ronan Forman: Only the light level of the floor matters, because mobs spawn on the floor, so this pattern will work no matter the height as long as the torches are placed on the floor. –  Kevin Reid Feb 6 '11 at 16:26
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Just to forestall anyone considering spending a few hours on seeing if they can find a better pattern... I'm pretty sure this is the absolute optimal pattern, so don't bother :) –  Rawling Mar 24 '11 at 9:40
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Torches create light of 14 in the block they are in, all neighboring blocks will have light of 13 and so on.

Enemy mobs spawn at light level 7 or less

Placing one in each corner and two in the center covers all the places.

XX XX XX XX XX 08 XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX 08 XX XX XX XX XX 
XX XX XX XX 08 09 08 XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX 08 09 08 XX XX XX XX
XX XX XX 08 09 10 09 08 XX XX XX XX XX XX 08 09 10 09 08 XX XX XX
XX XX 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 XX XX XX XX 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 XX XX
XX 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 XX XX 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 XX
08 09 10 11 12[13]12 11 10 09 08 08 09 10 11 12[13]12 11 10 09 08
XX 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 08 09 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 XX
XX XX 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 08 09 10 09 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 XX XX
XX XX XX 08 09 10 09 08 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 09 10 09 08 XX XX XX
XX XX XX XX 08 09 08 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 09 08 XX XX XX XX
XX XX XX XX XX 08 08 09 10 11 12[13]12 11 10 09 08 XX XX XX XX XX
XX XX XX XX XX 08 09 10 11 12[13]12 11 10 09 08 08 XX XX XX XX XX
XX XX XX XX 08 09 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 08 09 08 XX XX XX XX
XX XX XX 08 09 10 09 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 08 09 10 09 08 XX XX XX
XX XX 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 09 10 09 08 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 XX XX
XX 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 09 08 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 XX
08 09 10 11 12[13]12 11 10 09 08 08 09 10 11 12[13]12 11 10 09 08
XX 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 XX XX 08 09 10 11 12 11 10 09 08 XX
XX XX 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 XX XX XX XX 08 09 10 11 10 09 08 XX XX
XX XX XX 08 09 10 09 08 XX XX XX XX XX XX 08 09 10 09 08 XX XX XX
XX XX XX XX 08 09 08 XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX 08 09 08 XX XX XX XX
XX XX XX XX XX 08 XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX 08 XX XX XX XX XX

[13] = Torch
XX = Spawning available
Numbers show the lowest light level in that area

This can only work in a three high or shorter room with all torches on the middle row

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Check your character width. On the plus side, your image looks very groovy in the meantime! –  Raven Dreamer Feb 4 '11 at 15:27
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"Torches create light of 14 in the block they are in" → So... shouldn't torches be [14] instead of [13] ? Also, why have you placed 2 torches near the center? –  Denilson Sá Feb 4 '11 at 15:59
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the block above the torch has 13 light and is said I'm using the lowest number. –  Ronan Forman Feb 4 '11 at 16:21
    
@Denilson For example, if he omitted the top-right center torch, then the light would be 07 where the 09 is NE of the removed torch. –  opedog Feb 14 '11 at 20:34
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I find it easier to just place torches every 8 and use the (x,z) coordinate mod 8 = 0 as guide. That ends up putting torches (0,0) (0,8) (0,16) etc. When it comes to hillsides, i.e. 45 degree slopes or 1 block rise for 1 block of run, I put torchs twice as often or at coordinates congruent 0 mod 4.

Note that recently (since summer 2012) I've noticed mosters still spawning in what should be light > 7 locations. This is annoying and I suspect an (undocumnted on wiki) change to mob spawning rules. :(

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you have to do it every 7 blocks (0,0)(0,7)(0,14) etc. every 8 blocks will leave a + shape of 5 blocks with 6/7 light in the middle of each grid square made by the torches. Your point about using mod is very relevant to computercraft turtles :) –  Luke Feb 18 at 23:12
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