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Minecraft Redstone Lighthouse

Following on from K's original Minecraft Piston Lighthouse which was the first to use my tight redstone circuit, I had a look at replacing the piston/glowstone setup with Redstone Lamps instead, aiming to get a larger display without the infernal racket of the original.

Understanding the Circuit

Minecraft Lighthouse Circuit

The redstone circuit for the lighthouse is pretty simple - current moves round in a loop, activating elements of the light system as it goes. The basic layout is as shown right.

  1. Current enters the circuit from the start lever in the centre square and passes to the redstone on the same block and then on to the first three repeaters.
  2. The repeaters have different delay lengths set (delays 1-3) and so light their redstone lamps in sequence.
  3. At the same time, the current travels clockwise to a fourth repeater at maximum delay (delay 4).
  4. The fourth repeater passes the current clockwise into the next bank of repeaters and the process starts again.
  5. The current moves through all four banks, each lighting the next one in turn.

The switch in the centre supplies a constant redstone current until it is turned off, and so power from it must be cut before the current completes a full loop of the circuit, otherwise it will feed into itself and all lamps will be lit.

Why not use a button to start it?

You might think that a button would be a better option and it does indeed work, but the button supplies current for so long that the lighthouse effect is diminished by the amount of current in the redstone circuit - you end up with more lit blocks than unlit blocks.

For this reason, it's better to use a switch that you can quickly flick on and off to introduce the current - a split second of juice is all that is required. If you accidently lock the circuit with current you'll have to break one of the inner four redstones (the one connected to the switch is fine) and wait for the current to drain out.

Lamps not lighting? That's because...

All of the blocks in the circuit diagram are on one layer with the redstone and repeaters on top. If you only build this layer then none of your redstone lamps will light even if the circuit works. This is because the repeater won't light a lamp below its level, but it will light a lamp on the same level which will in turn light the ones above, below and to the side of it. Once you've completed this base layer, you'll need to add two more layers of redstone lamps (making them 3x3 panels) on top of the existing ones.

You might also want to block up the gaps between them with red wool as in the diagram. This gives the impression that a light source is moving behind the pillars and looks better.

Bonus diagram: 4x3 panels!

Minecraft Lighthouse Circuit

If your lighthouse is an even number of blocks in diameter (for example because you have double doors at the base) then you'll need a circuit that is also an even number of blocks. There are no major differences save that current is sent to a fourth column of redstone lamps and the start switch is no longer in a centre square since there isn't one.

The extra block is activated by the 4th repeater in each bank set at maximum delay (delay 4, or three clicks). The effect is more natural than the 3x3 panel circuit which was originally made just to be as tight as possible. Again, build up the red wool columns to conceal the circuit and improve the illusion of movement within the structure.

Enough talk, let's see it in action!

Super Bonus: 8x3 panels!

Minecraft Lighthouse Circuit

We can add an extra circuit section between the existing 4x4 panels to create four 8x3 panels. The wiring is almost the same except that the corner circuits now turn through ninety degrees and we've reduced the columns to one wool.

The illusion of movement within the construction is even better since our lit lamps now take up a smaller arc of the outer lamp circle. You can also wire the switch to opposite sides to create two moving points of light - click the image above.

Redstone Lighthouse Video

My first voiceover video so please be gentle with me. Yes I know I say "Okay!" a lot.

As ever, comments and wotnot appreciated.



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