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On our 1.0 minecraft server, the spawn is in the center of a snow biome.

We started to create a nice little village near the spawn, building wooden houses and buildings to match with the snow theme.

However, we'd like to make the village safer, and thus need to put some more lighting on the surroundings.

Currently, if we put torches on the ground or near snow, the snow will melt and leave an empty ground. As we do like the snow theme for our village, how can we arrange the lighting to preserve the snow on a maximum of blocks and prevent mob spawning in the area ?

Is possible, we would like to avoid having glass on the ground, which is not really realistic.

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I don't think crafted snow blocks can melt, so you could dig out the dirt and replace it with snow blocks. They're different from the sides, and are slightly lower than "block with snow on top", though... might be a solution for within the radius that the torches melt, though. Can mobs even spawn on snow? –  Random832 Nov 30 '11 at 16:59
    
Yes mobs can spawn on snow. I remember playing back when there was a 1/5 chance your world would be snowy (pre-biomes) and there were definitely plenty of mobs around! –  fredley Dec 1 '11 at 14:58
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5 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Your best bet is to place torches or glowstone (or even fire or lava) a sufficient distance in the air (using lampposts) that the light level at the ground isn't sufficient to melt the snow, but is sufficient to stop mobs spawning. The answers in this question should help you with this calculation.

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Lampposts are a good solution for roads and such, as it fits correctly with the village, but having lampposts in every empty area seems a bit strange. I guess there is no real alternative to light blank spaces :-( –  astryad Nov 30 '11 at 15:02
    
Probably not. :( Or just use floating glowstone blocks. ;) –  ver Nov 30 '11 at 15:05
    
I use the floating glowstone blocks in my servers. BUt that's because i'm strange ;P (I have an entire village made from glowstones :P) –  Thomas W. Nov 30 '11 at 17:14
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If using the standard Minecraft server isn't a requirement, I know there are a ton of Bukkit plugins that let you control the melt of snow and ice (and presumably Canary has similar, although I don't use it.)

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yes, you just use glowstone, add 2 layers of glass and 1 layer of leaves at the top to stop the heat, but not the light and you cover it with snow, no melting at all, just since the glowstone is kinda in the ground, it lights up a bit less, but it is invisible, so you can use it as much as you want

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There is no such thing as "stopping the heat". Snow melts at block light level 12 and that's all. –  Kevin Reid Mar 14 '13 at 20:16
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You could use wool to fill the spots that the torches melt. Depending on your texture pack, you can make it so you can't tell wool from snow using this method.

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you could use redstone lamps in the ground with levers underneath them, so that they are constantly on. I think that lamps don't melt snow, but I am not totally sure.

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