I would like to have a large underground room without it being either very dark or have light sources in the open (lava columns, torches). I use to build columns using stairs since they allowed light to pass through them, but this bug no longer seems to work.

10 Answers 10


Light will shine through paintings, but paintings have to be placed over solid blocks (which signs count as!), so you could make a wall like so:

## ##

The hole in the middle would actually be 2 deep; you'd place a torch in the back, then a sign in front, then put a painting over the hole/sign; the torch would shine through the sign and painting, and light up the room (although the light would be somewhat diminished because the torch is recessed by 2 blocks).





  • Also, you could put a lava source in place of the torch (just make sure there's an empty hole below the source to drain into, and that there's nothing flammable nearby)
    – Doktor J
    Commented May 13, 2011 at 19:13
  • 4
    I would even recommend combining Strix's answer and just use a lightstone block under the painting. If you don't wan't to "cheat" there are some legitimate mods that let you craft lightstone (I recommend Industrial Craft). Commented May 13, 2011 at 19:14
  • 5
    @ScottChamberlain: Glowstone's actually craftable in vanilla Minecraft. Commented May 13, 2011 at 20:23
  • 1
    @Arkive: No, the OP mentioned that they fixed that. Commented May 13, 2011 at 20:24
  • 1
    Glowstone is an even more attractive method now that you get more drops per block mined, and the recipe size has been made smaller. 1.66 changelog
    – soulBit
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:57

One of the newest features, carpet, makes it extremely EASY to add lighting to your house without the need for fancy tricks.


Carpet allows light to show through, so easily placing Jack O Lanterns or Glowstone underneath carpets in your home allows for easier lighting, without all the hassle.

  • 3
    Good answer! I think it works out better than glowstone because then you need paintings. But paintings do work out better underground.
    – Timtech
    Commented Aug 24, 2013 at 10:56

You could try these two methods of my own:

Raise your floor using stone slabs, and place glowstone at the lowest level around the edges, so that only half of it shows Raise the floor with stone slabs, and put glowstone around the bottom. Note: In newer versions of Minecraft, this no longer works. Since 1.4.2, half slabs block light from passing through them. So although you can see the lit glowstone (and smooth lighthing may cause the surrounding area to light up a bit), there isn't any "real" lighting going on, so the rest of the room will still remain dark, allowing for things such as mob spawning.

Put glowstone in a location you can't see it, and let the light shine through glass Hide glowstone in a location you can't see it, and let the light shine through glass. (This works well at the top and bottom of your room; my example shines through both the top, and bottom of the wooden wall, I just used water instead of glass on the bottom.)

Note: This is the piehole texture pack; the yellow stuff is glowstone.

  • 4
    I was just about to ask you what texture pack this is but you went ahead and pre-empted me. +1 Commented May 13, 2011 at 19:45
  • Some good techniques here, and +1 for Piehole
    – soulBit
    Commented May 14, 2011 at 11:38

I like to build lights into the wall thus:

   g #

Where # is stone (or whatever your walls are made out of), g is glass, and l is lightstone, or a torch.

  • 2
    For pictures, see GnomeSlice's answer!
    – fredley
    Commented May 13, 2011 at 21:45

You can dig a 2 deep trench in the floor, then place a glowstone block on the bottom. Once you place it, place a piston (either sticky or regular works) on top, and it'll give off the same amount of light as if the glowstone was above ground.

You can place jack-o-lanterns in the ground as well.

You could also place pressure plates (wooden or stone) over a jack-o-lantern that is in the ground. It doesn't have the most appealing look but it is hidden and gives off a lot of light.

Hope I helped!


I just make a bush, but, instead of dirt for the bottom, I use glowstone or jack-o-lanterns because light can glow through leaves.


Lightstone is generally your best bet for things like this, because it can be worked into the design and shape of the room. Obviously, people will know this is the source of light, but it doesn't stand out as starkly as torches or lava would.


Jack-o-Lanterns will provide light from underneath pistons, so you could put them beneath some for a mysterious light source.

  • What blocks are you using for this? It doesn't work with any solid blocks I've tried, or even with non-opaque blocks like slabs (both ways) or stairs. All of them block the pumpkin's light. Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 20:51
  • Oh, I'm sorry. My friend told me but forgot the part where he used a piston. I think all light sources can go through pistons...
    – Timtech
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 21:53

Another way of doing this, besides the other answers:

  • Redstone Lamp (powered by redstone, switches, or buttons)

enter image description here

  • I will update my answer with screenshots soon.
    – childe
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 9:07
  • 6
    Is it soon yet? ;) Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 20:51
  • Now? :-) You know we won't let go :-)
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 8:07
  • @SevenSidedDie 1.75 years in the making
    – childe
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 4:47

For light that are concealed when turned off, use a piston system to pull out a glowstone and replace it with another, more inconspicuous block.

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