5th Edition Spells – Dancing Lights

Dancing Lights

Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Evocation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 120 ft
Components: Verbal, Somatic, and Material
Duration: 1 Minute
Attack/Save: None
Reference: PHB 230

You create up to four torch-sized lights within range, making them appear as torches, lanterns, or glowing orbs that hover in the air for the duration. You can also combine the four lights into one glowing vaguely humanoid form of Medium size. Whichever form you choose, each light sheds dim light in a 10- foot radius.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the lights up to 60 feet to a new spot within range. A light must be within 20 feet of another light created by this spell, and a light winks out if it exceeds the spell’s range.

Material Component: a bit of phosphorus or wychwood, or a glowworm

My Comments: This is classic Dungeons and Dragons going back to 1st Edition. I remember waaay back when having an Illusionist and being told it was a bad idea because they suck compared to magic users, but I wanted to give it a shot. I was basically the comic relief for the party, but I did learn to love Dancing Lights.

The cleric might buff a fighter, but with dancing lights, you can buff a rogue. 🙂 The most obvious use is distractions, decoys and red herrings.

The most obvious use is distractions, decoys and red herrings. However, if you are entertainment-minded you can enhance your juggling act with dancing lights. Or, confuse the giant moth that is coming after you! Entertain your cat familiar for hours! Or… well, for 1 minutes anyway…

In a swamp? Yell, “Look! Will o’ Wisps!” and point at your Dancing Lights.

Even better, yell, “FIREBALL!” and throw a single larger Dancing Light and then get away when everyone ducks for cover.

I know there are other uses. If you have a favorite, let me know!
DnD 5E Dancing Lights

[P.S. Check out the Wacky Dungeon game just above the footer!]

Dave Goff

Writing and creating in my spare time to avoid going crazy in this mad, mad, world. Check out some of my materials on DMsGuild and let me know what you think! subscribe to keep up with new posts and leave comments to keep the conversation going.


  1. Oland on May 19, 2017 at 12:16 am

    I just want to know how you can “You can also combine the four lights into one glowing vaguely humanoid form of Medium size”. Try making a humanoid form out of four glowing orbs, hah!

    • DaveGoff on May 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

      It requires a bit of artistry, I’m sure. Haha, come to think of it, that would require concentration!
      I’m sure a bunch of people insisted it could be done and finally they decided to give in and go with it.
      “Yes, fine! You can make one vague humanoid-like figure out of those glowing balls!”

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