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Light was a very common spell learned by most spellcasters. Depending on how the caster was trained, light was either a cantrip[1][2] or a first-level spell.[3][4][8] In some spellcasting traditions this spell was reversible[note 2] and called darkness when reversed.[9][10][11]


The area illuminated by all versions of this spell was roughly 20[2][3][4][8] to 25 ft[1] (6.1 to 7.6 m) in radius. The range and duration of this spell varied with the spellcasting tradition. Post-Spellplague, it could be cast at-will, creating a bright light on a nearby object or in a nearby unoccupied space, and lasted until dispelled or a new light was cast elsewhere.[1] Pre-Spellplague, the cantrip version required the caster to touch an object to make it glow like a torch, and the spell lasted for ten minutes to a few hours depending on the caster's prowess.[2] For those that learned light as a first-level spell, it could be thrown 120 yards (110 m) away and last one hour to many hours.[3][4][8]

The ranged version of this spell that could target an object allowed the caster a chance to blind a creature by successfully casting the spell centered on its visual organs.[3][4][8]

The reverse of this spell, darkness, caused total and impenetrable darkness in the area of effect, but the duration was only half that of light.[9][10][11]

Light spells could be used to counter or dispel darkness of equal or lesser power, and vice versa.[2][3][4][8]

Sinhala stones were also known to prevent magical darkness.[12] Hambergyle gems could be used to turn a light spell into continual light.[13]


The pre-Spellplague cantrip required a spoken command and a material component. For divine spell casters, their holy symbol or divine focus was sufficient. For everybody else, light required either a firefly or a bit of phosphorescent moss.[2] The first-level spell required only verbal and somatic components.[3][4][8] The at-will version could be cast with a wave of the hand.[1]


See AlsoEdit


  1. The Player's Handbook 4th edition calls this class feature a cantrip, but wizards gain it at first level.
  2. Only the divine version of this spell was reversible. Wizards and Illusionists had a slightly different spell called Darkness, 15' radius.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 248. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 136, 201. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 176, 255. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  5. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 154. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  6. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 186, 187, 188. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  7. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 44, 67, 95. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  9. 9.0 9.1 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 201. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 255. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 44. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 41. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.

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