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You've Always Wanted This -- Held Torches And Burning Entities Now Cast Real Light

This is something people have asked for for a long time. Basically torches should act like torches and cast light while being carried. This is different from lighting engines like Optifine because in this case it is "real" light meaning the light level has all the normal effects (preventing mob spawning, causing mushrooms to uproot, snow to melt, etc.)

So here it is: A mod where torches and all other things that emit light will do so while being carried.

Especially useful is that a torch can be carried in your off-hand lighting the way while you work with tool in your main hand.

Also, burning entities cast light and for added fun torches can be used as weapons and burn entities.

Dropped items that represent light-emitting blocks will emit light.

Basically all the things you wanted to do with torches is now possible!

All Light-Emitting Blocks Can Be Used

If the player is holding (in either hand) any light-emitting block (see FAQ below for list), the immediate area around the player will light up with same light level as the related block.

Light-emitting blocks from other mods should work as long as their default state is to emit light. 

Torches Can Be Used As Weapons

As an option, torches now can be used as a weapon to burn entities.

Burning Entities Emit Light

I personally think it adds a lot of realism to see burning entities emitting light.

This includes flaming arrows! Hope you like it.

Some Enchantments Emit Light

"Fire type" enchantments (Flame and Fire Aspect) will emit light if player is holding item with such enchantment.

Screenshots And Vids

Here is video showing how holding (in either hand) a torch or other light-emitting item can light your way at night and underground. You can also see it being used as a weapon to burn mobs, and you can see how a burning mob will emit light as well.:

Here is demo of using flaming arrows to help light up a chasm at night:

Here is demo showing that holding a torch affects the actual light level, in this case causing snow to melt just like a placed torch:

Recommended Mod Pairings

Some recommended mods related to light and darkness to try with mine:


  1. How much light does a held item give off?
    • It will give off the same light level as the associated block would.
  2. Does it affect the light level to prevent mob spawning and other things like snow melting?
  3. Which blocks/items can give off light when held?
    • Torch, redstone torch, redstone ore, glowstone block, glowstone dust, lava bucket, beacon, sea lantern, end rod, jack o' lantern
    • Blocks from other mods which emit light in their default state should also work. (File an issue if you find a mod where this doesn't work!)
  4. Does it matter which hand the item is held in?
    • No, it will give off light in either hand.
  5. What happens if you're holding light-emitting items in both hands?
    • The brighter of the two items will have effect.
  6. Can I include this in my mod pack?
    • Of course!
  7. Do blocks from mods emit light?
    • Mods that have blocks that always give off light should work (e.g. Bone Torches).
    • Mods that have blocks that need to be lit or activated will be in default state.
    • Mods that have blocks with many variants that have different light levels will be supported where I have worked compatibility. (Feel free to make requests in the comments.)
    • Items that don't have associated blocks (e.g. a flaming sword) won't give off light.
    • I can try to support specific items and blocks -- feel free to submit requests in the comments.
  8. Can this run client-only, or with a vanilla server?
    • No, it must also be installed on the server.
  9. Is this a "core mod"?
    • No, this uses vanilla lighting system.
  10. I have an issue / bug / crash / report / request, where can I send it?

Known Issues

  • When loading a saved game, sometimes the light emission doesn't immediately refresh (like if you're already holding a light source). It will fix itself simply by moving around, swapping items, etc. but I'll try to fix this soon.
  • Not really a bug, but some people might remark on it: Depending on how a flaming arrow embeds itself in a block, or if it is in something like tall grass, it may not emit light (this is due to fact that if there are blocks already where the entity is or immediately above it) there is no space to emit light from. This makes logical sense but can sometimes look a little weird.

Planned Features

  • Support for mods that have blocks with variants of different light levels.
  • Support for mod items that don't have blocks associated but would still be cool to emit light (e.g. a flaming sword).
  • Enchanted items to optionally give off low level light.
  • Spectral arrows and glowing entities to optionally give off low level light.
  • Create a "flashlight" item that can create a light effect at a distance.
  • Create a "miner's helmet" item that is crafted with a flashlight and iron helmet.
  • Create a "spotlight/searchlight" block that is crafted with a flashlight (above item).
  • Create a "molotov cocktail" item that creates fire splash effect.
  • Port to other versions. (Depending on demand). Probably will do at least 1.7.10 and 1.8 if I have time.