Redstone Lamp

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[edit]Redstone Lamp
Redstone Lamp.png
Redstone Lamp (Active).png
Redstone Lamp

Solid Block






Partial (when on)


Yes, 15 (when on)

Blast resistance





Any tool




Yes (64)



First appearance

1.2.1 (12w07a)



Data values
dec: 123 hex: 7B bin: 1111011
dec: 124 hex: 7C bin: 1111100
Redstone Lamps being powered and snow melting pattern.

A Redstone Lamp is a brownish (when off; gold when on) block visually resembling Glowstone (due to its crafting materials) that gives off light as long as it is powered. While powered, they have a luminance of 15, one level higher than a torch and the same light level as glowstone. They require constant input in order to emit light. Similarly to other light-emitting blocks, they will melt nearby snow and ice.


Ingredients Crafting recipe

Redstone +

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Redstone Lamp
Redstone Glowstone Redstone



A redstone lamp's behavior is the same as for a standard opaque solid block:

  • Opaque, blocking all light.
  • Allows normal placement of attachable blocks (torches, levers, buttons, pumpkins, etc.).
  • Creates a redstone dust side-of-block link when redstone dust is placed both above and on the side of the block.
  • Cuts a redstone dust side-of-block link (and thus redstone power transmission) that existed between two redstone dusts, one on top a block and the other on the side of that block, when the redstone lamp is placed on top of the lower-level dust.
  • Becomes weakly powered when placed adjacent to powered redstone dust, propagating redstone power to redstone components but not to other redstone dust.
  • Becomes strongly powered when connected to a powered redstone power source or any powered transmission component (other than redstone dust), propagating redstone power to both redstone components and redstone dust.
  • When placed next to a powered opaque block (including other redstone lamps), a redstone lamp will activate (turn on) but is not powered (it won't power adjacent dust or other redstone components).
  • Exception: Despite usually being an opaque block, an activated redstone lamp allows sky light to go through it (but diffused, reducing its light level by 1). Since the block light of the activated lamp will always be higher than the sky light it allows through, this can only be seen with the F3 debug screen.

A redstone lamp activates normally, but takes 2 ticks to deactivate. However, this delay does not apply to any object receiving power through the redstone lamp (meaning the lamp can not be used to add delays to a signal like a repeater).


Redstone lamps can be used as an attractive and functional light source. Where the lamps are hooked up to a switch, caution should be used when leaving a room with the lamps off, as mobs will likely spawn in the unlit room. This can be used to the player's advantage; in a trap based on a monster spawner, for example, redstone lamps on a switch can be activated to raise the light level and temporarily prevent mobs from spawning. Similarly, lamps could be turned off to allow growing huge mushrooms, then on again to avoid mob spawning.

Redstone lamps can also be used to create a redstone display as an alternative for redstone torches, which do not emit much light. The player creating such a display however should be aware that each "pixel" is a small cross making straight lines impossible. This can be corrected by making the screen 2 blocks (of any redstone conducting block) thick. Then add levers or some other activator on one side of the display. On the opposite side, only one pixel will be displayed.

Alternatively: to make a solid wall of square 2*2 pixels, this arrangement can be used. The redstone wires exit the back every second horizontal and vertical square, meaning that they can be individually controlled.

A system of redstone lamps wired to a daylight sensor with an inverted signal can be used to illuminate a structure at night automatically. A half day clock can also be used as long as the clock is synchronized properly to spawning light levels of mobs.

Because mobs can spawn on unlit lamps it makes them a great way to make a mob killing system because you can control when you want the mobs to spawn by having the lights on or off. You can also hook up a bunch of lamps to a line of repeaters to make a timed light.

Redstone lamps may also be used for automated mushroom farming, since a mushroom will "pop" if the light level becomes too high.



Redstone Lamps, originally called Lanterns, were planned crafted objects originally planned to be introduced in the Halloween Update. This feature was delayed because of the lack of time and would have been implemented in a future update.[1]
November 11, 2010 On Notch's Twitter account, he claimed (likely as a joke) that "lamps" had actually stood for "Light A-givin' Material Portal Side... the yellow stone thing", probably referring to Glowstone.[2][3]
January 13, 2011 Notch claimed that lanterns were "postponed".[4]
January 20, 2011 Notch stated that he was "not sure" when they would be implemented.[5]
June 12, 2011 Notch also hinted at adding them, or at least that he was working on them.[6]
Official release
1.0.0 During Minecon when confronted about Lanterns, Notch said that lanterns were scrapped due to the majority of people preferring torches.
Later Jeb started working on a Lantern-like idea that would feature a glowstone light source, but would be purely generational as their existence will not change the effects of torches like the Lantern was supposed to do. This idea grew into the Redstone Lamp.
1.2.1 12w07a The Redstone Lamp was introduced. Jeb passively announced the addition of Lamps in a tweet the day before its release in response to another tweet.[7]
Originally when released, levers could not be placed directly on redstone lamps to power them.
1.2-pre The texture for the off-state lamp was darkened.
1.2.4 Previously, breaking a lit Redstone Lamp will yield a lit Redstone Lamp block which does not stack with normal, unlit Redstone Lamps in the inventory. This was fixed as of 1.2.4.
When first implemented, hooking a redstone lamp up to a rapid-pulser will strobe the light, causing lag. This was fixed in 1.2.4.
Console Edition
TU12 Added redstone lamps.


Before Redstone lamps, Notch wanted to implement an item called the Lantern, but the idea was scrapped and only later reemerged as the Redstone Lamp; however, several differences exist between the two.

With the addition of the lantern, torches would flicker out and need to be re-lit with flint and steel. The lantern would serve as a permanent source of light. According to Notch, when the update would occur, all torches placed on the map, in the inventory, and in chests prior to the update would be converted to lanterns. To do this, the lanterns would use the (former) block ID of torches along with a re-skin.

The glowstone introduced in the Halloween Update was a potential item requirement to craft lanterns, as it has the greatest luminance as a raw material. This would also make lanterns relatively inaccessible and a risky item to get, as has been hinted at by Notch. A second potential item that might have been required to create lanterns was Netherrack, a block that never burns out while lit. Glowstone can be obtained by trading with villagers, and can also be obtained by going to the The Nether, along with netherrack.


Issues relating to "Redstone Lamp" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • In Notch's Ludum Dare 22 contest entry, Minicraft, lanterns can be made in the crafting table.[8]
  • If you set the redstone lamp on a timer so it turns on and off and you shoot an arrow at the top or side, the arrow will vibrate while making the sound of the arrow sticking to a block.
  • Although it makes the sound of glass (like glowstone, glass pane, and glass) when broken, it acts like a solid block.
  • Placing a redstone torch anywhere adjacent to the lamp, other than on the lamp itself, will power it.
  • Pressure plates, buttons, and levers can all be placed on top of it or next to it, giving it power.
  • Unlike redstone torches, rapidly turning lamps on and off will not burn them out.
  • Just like TNT, you can have a block above a redstone lamp, and a pressure plate on that, and the lamp will light if the plate is stepped on. This can be an effective warning method.
  • Placing one unlit redstone lamp anywhere beside a lit redstone lamp, that is powered directly, will cause the unlit redstone lamp to become lit. (This only happens because the redstone lamp transmits power to the second one.)
  • Redstone lamps can be powered by detector rails, making them an interesting material to use for rollercoasters and lighthouses.
  • Placing an on-state redstone lamp will cause it to deactivate due to the lack of redstone powering the lamp.
  • In the Xbox 360 Edition, it is possible to make an RS NOR latch with a redstone lamp. Whether or not this is a bug is currently unknown. First, place the redstone lamp and place two redstone dust connecting to it. Then, on the opposite side of the dust, place a repeater directing into the lamp and connect it to a redstone torch. Then, destroy the repeater. The lamp should still be on, along with the wiring from the lamp.


Note that lamps are themselves solid blocks, and so power other lamps. This causes the cross-shaped patterns that you see.

A glowing roof is easy to do - just lay wire across the blocks, or line the top of the lamps with redstone blocks. Floors and walls are also do-able. For a floor, just use the "knight's move" shape underneath the floor with torches. For a wall, use wall-mounted torches that power blocks above them.

See Also[edit]


  1. - Minicraft game made by Notch for Ludum Dare 22.