On our 1.0 minecraft server, the spawn is in the center of a snow biome.
We started to create a nice little village near the spawn, building wooden houses and buildings to match with the snow theme.
However, we'd like to make the village safer, and thus need to put some more lighting on the surroundings.
Currently, if we put torches on the ground or near snow, the snow will melt and leave an empty ground. As we do like the snow theme for our village, how can we arrange the lighting to preserve the snow on a maximum of blocks and prevent mob spawning in the area ?
Is possible, we would like to avoid having glass on the ground, which is not really realistic.
Your best bet is to place torches or glowstone (or even fire or lava) a sufficient distance in the air (using lampposts) that the light level at the ground isn't sufficient to melt the snow, but is sufficient to stop mobs spawning. The answers in this question should help you with this calculation.
If using the standard Minecraft server isn't a requirement, I know there are a ton of Bukkit plugins that let you control the melt of snow and ice (and presumably Canary has similar, although I don't use it.)
You could use wool to fill the spots that the torches melt. Depending on your texture pack, you can make it so you can't tell wool from snow using this method.
yes, you just use glowstone, add 2 layers of glass and 1 layer of leaves at the top to stop the heat, but not the light and you cover it with snow, no melting at all, just since the glowstone is kinda in the ground, it lights up a bit less, but it is invisible, so you can use it as much as you want
you could use redstone lamps in the ground with levers underneath them, so that they are constantly on. I think that lamps don't melt snow, but I am not totally sure.