Torches act as a full block, for the purpose of placing other objects or torches in the same area. Being treated as a block by sand and gravel this prevents them from falling down past a block with a torch on it. Sand or gravel break when they fall on a torch. If they are placed directly above a torch they act as if they were on any other solid material, allowing them to be used as environmental triggers, such as airlocks. Players can pass through torches, and therefore a torch can be placed directly under the player without the player needing to move or jump. Torches also melt nearby snow and ice, making them useful to keep skylights from being snowed over and lakes from freezing in snow biomes. The torches will however only melt snow and ice from a radius of 2 blocks from the torch. Since monsters spawn in darkness, it is common to use torches as light sources. However, some people use alternatives, such as fire and lava lighting. The smoke from a torch extends up 2Â½ blocks. So if you are building a secret room with torches, be sure to put them down at least 3 blocks from the roof. Torches require 1 Coal and 1 Stick to make 4 torches. Also, if you like mining a lot, they are very useful for nightmining and can light the way.