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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[2][3] or a first-level spell.[4][5][9] In some spellcasting traditions this spell was reversible[note 2] and called darkness when reversed.[10][11][12]


The area illuminated by all versions of this spell was roughly 20[3][4][5][9] to 25 ft[2] (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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4][5][9]

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.[4][5][9]

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.[10][11][12]

Light spells could be used to counter or dispel darkness of equal or lesser power, and vice versa.[3][4][5][9]

Sinhala stones were also known to prevent magical darkness.[13] Hambergyle gems could be used to turn a light spell into continual light.[14]


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.[3] The first-level spell required only verbal and somatic components.[4][5][9] The at-will version could be cast with a wave of the hand.[2]


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. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 61,207–210,255. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 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.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 136, 201. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 176, 255. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  6. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 154. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  7. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 186, 187, 188. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  8. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 44, 67, 95. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  10. 10.0 10.1 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 201. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 255. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 44. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  14. 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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