How to Make and Use a Daylight Sensor in Minecraft

By Jacob Cordeiro

In Minecraft, a sensor is a simple example of redstone tinkering — it detects changes in the world and responds in kind, turning on a light, activating a machine, or doing whatever else is required. Sensors can be useful in making the player’s daily routine more efficient, or in neatly automating the tasks of other redstone circuits. The most common application of sensors in Minecraft is the use of the daylight sensor.

What is a Daylight Sensor and What Does It Do?

A Minecraft daylight sensor can detect the time of day and then take a certain action based on the sensor. It is a block that players can craft that achieves the following effect: It outputs different levels of power based on the time of day (zero during the night; maximum during midday), so it can tell you exactly how light it is outdoors when hooked up to an output.

There are many uses for the daylight sensor and players apply this item in different scenarios. One of the most common applications is for players to use a daylight sensor to sense when it is night time and have it automatically close and lock your doors to avoid nighttime mobs (like zombies) from getting in. This way if you are in your secret alchemy lab, you can focus on your work without forgetting to manually prepare for a siege.

Additional use cases for daylight sensors including creating a basic alarm block, making a time bomb (with TNT), and setting up automatic lighting for your house. After you learn how to make a daylight sensor, you can experiment with different outputs to leverage this handy item.

How to Make a Minecraft Daylight Sensor

To make a daylight sensor in Minecraft, you need the following ingredients: 3 glass, 3 nether quartz, and 3 wooden slabs. Open your crafting table and place the 3 pieces of glass in the top row, the nether quarts across the middle row, and the wood slabs across the bottom row. Any type of wood can be used to create your daylight sensor including oak, spruce, birch, jungle, acacia, and dark oak but be sure that you use the same type of wood slabs when crafting the sensor.

Daylight Sensor & Redstone Lamp Example

If a daylight sensor is attached to a redstone lamp by a redstone wire 12 blocks long, it activates the lamp in the late morning and deactivates it in the early afternoon. This block is the only one that’s built specifically to be a sensor, but the redstone comparator can achieve similar effects by measuring the fullness of containers.

Here are a couple other examples of sensors:

  • On the left: This dispenser powers the lamp above it after it runs out of items, indicating that it needs to be reloaded.

  • On the right: This chain of hoppers (imagine a pipe that items automatically fall through) powers the column of lamps as items are sent down, displaying the progression of items from the top to the bottom.

    minecraft sensors with redstone