In last night's snapshot, Jens included another special block - a beacon block. While still largely under development, this block has to be placed on pyramids of diamonds and can grant players special powers, like Speed, Haste, Resistance, Jump Boost, and Strength and a secondary power like Regeneration.
Beacon Block - Minecraft Wiki
The light from the beacon shines directly up to the top of the world.
The amount of powers and the range over which they remain active before decaying over time depends on the height of the pyramid.
Jen said in Twitter: (https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/233839410536382464
Salman A. Khan @FusionX9000: Can we get a cheaper block similar to the WIP block which can be used as a beacon?
No, the beacon is intended as a bragging / endgame block
To avoid the beacon pyramid crash in the snapshot, always make sure you choose a secondary power when it's available. Sorry about that
njits23 @njits23: will the pyramids always be that expensive? =P Because then I'll have to start gathering resources for it