When it comes to the night lights, the days when they were just simple lighting fixtures used to illuminate the dark spaces of a house, gardens or to remove a child's fear of the dark are long gone.
Nowadays, night lights have both a functional and an aesthetic role. Whether they are used in the baby's room, to ease the moments when you have to go to change the little one's diapers, in the child's room to ward off the fear of the dark, or in an adult's bedroom, the best night lights have several functions.
The best night lights are the small ones, which do not disturb sleep, connect to the socket, or are based on batteries. Depending on the destination, they can also function as watches or have built-in sound features and various other facilities.
Does the night light affect your sleep?
The human body works according to the laws of nature, our internal clock being set according to the sunrise and sunset. This behavior is known as the circadian rhythm and is the internal natural process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Until the invention of the light bulb, the human race had no problems with establishing the sleep schedule. Waking up even before sunrise, being a natural process. Since then, however, the possibility of prolonging the "daylight" meant the end of natural and relaxing sleep.
As it gets dark outside, the human body produces melatonin and begins to calm down, easily entering a state of drowsiness. But being surrounded by so many light sources, from the light in the house to the light emitted by mobile devices, it is increasingly difficult for the human body to determine when it really is bedtime.
However, the use of night lights has several advantages.
What are the benefits of the night lights?
- If you are the parent of a newborn, night lights help you see when you check your baby's diapers without having to turn on another bright light source.
- Also, night lights are ideal for children who are afraid of the dark. There are many projectors or night lamps on the market with which you can create a relaxing and themed environment in the child's room.
- Night lights are also a great fall prevention tool for all people with poor night vision.
- They are excellent for getting light in the spaces of your home that are away from the natural light and keeping bathrooms and hallways illuminated during the night.
- They are ideal for illuminating (even during the day) spaces in your home where is not enough natural light, such as hallways
What types of nightlights can you find on the market?
Even if at first glance you can think of night light as a simple light bulb with low power placed in a plastic case, it is much more than that. The offer is extremely diverse, so it’s quite difficult to choose between so many options and variants.
Plug-in lights are what most people think of when they hear the term "night light." They are usually powered by a 120-volt electrical outlet and usually have a flat or low-profile design so that they do not protrude far from the wall.
Plug-in lights are available in various shapes, sizes and patterns, producing a soft light that illuminates around the bulbs and sometimes over a distance of a few meters away. Usually, these types of night lights are the least expensive.
The night light projectors are used to display images on a room's walls or ceilings. Even if they can be around the whole house and fulfill many needs, night light projectors are usually placed in bedrooms to create calming and restful visual ambiance that help people relax and fall asleep.
Depending on their sizes and characteristics, light projectors could be placed on a nightstand, a desk, or even on the floor to project the patterned lights overhead. Some projectors also play music, have built-in speakers, come with remote control or have their own app for an easy setting and pairing with smartphones, tablets or other devices.
The night lights on the table are placed on flat surfaces, usually on bedside tables situated on both sides of the bed. They may look like independent lights or table lamps, but often have additional functions, including clocks, especially music players, and white noise functions.
Table lamps have a wide range of styles and options. They can be framed in vintage, classic, minimalist or modern style and can be plugged in at 120-volt electrical sockets or battery operated. You can also control them with smartphones, using the built-in applications they come with.
What features should you look for in a night light
Night lights are totally different from their humble beginnings, when they were simple accessories connected to the wall, having only a functional role.
Regardless of the space in which you want to install them when you want to buy a night light, you must choose the one that best suits your needs. Consider both the efficiency, the aesthetics, but also the budget you are willing to spend.
Here are a few features you should consider when looking for a night light:
1. Light bulbs
Night lights come in a wide range of different bulbs, from incandescent to halogen, electroluminescent to LED. But whatever the option you choose, you should know that the best night light should be energy-efficient, should have a gentle glow that doesn't disturb the eye, and doesn't radiate too much heat.
The main types of bulbs fall into one of these categories:
Nowadays, many modern styles of night light no longer use light bulbs. Instead, use electroluminescent technology so you don't have to replace incandescent bulbs. They also have a long life of at least 4,000 hours and are energy efficient, consuming only 0.5 watts.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, electroluminescent technology does not produce heat at all. If you add the great variety of colors that characterizes this technology, it makes the night lights that use it perfect for bedrooms.
By far, LED bulbs are the go-to choice for nightlights because they are the most efficient and long-lasting style of night bulbs, with a life of at least 25,000 hours and also stay cool to the touch. They come in a range of colors that can produce a calm and relaxing environment, helping to improve sleep.
LEDs are energy efficient, consuming about 0.5 watts. Although they produce a slight amount of heat, most bulbs are equipped with a radiator that draws heat from the bulbs, making them safe to use in all the rooms of your house.
2. Low Lumens
Basically, lumens measure the light emission you are getting from a bulb. More lumens have as result a brighter light, while less lumens mean you get a dimmer light. Ideally, when you look for a night light, you should consider one that has enough lumens to let you walk safely through the room or the house, but few enough so as not to disturb your sleep.
For the inside space of your home look for night lights under 50 lumens. But for low light places like basements, alleys, gardens or garages you might need more powerful bulbs capable of illuminating these larger areas.
3. The Right Color
The color of the night light you opt for is closely related to where you place it. It’s recommended that the night lights for bedrooms to be orange or red to minimize any interruption to the sleep cycle. In the same way, the lights used in bathrooms and hallways should have a warm yellow color for better lighting.
Even if it might look appealing, you should avoid blue or white cold light, as they make it difficult getting back to sleep due to the activation of the daylight receptors in your eyes.
4. Discreet Profile
Even if you want to improve your safety when walking around the house during the dark hours, night lights should not be too intrusive and invade your space. Therefore, it is advisable to choose lighting fixtures with a low or flat profile, which should be flush with the wall they are mounted on or are close to the socket if they use a plug-in.
5. Design / Style
There are so many styles of night lights, patterns and combinations of materials to choose from, including modern, contemporary, traditional, artistic and whimsical, that the options are almost limitless.
Primarily, you should select a style that perfectly suits your lighting needs. Plus, there are other elements that you should consider, such as your personality, the decoration style of the space where they are to be placed.
Anyway, there are various factors you should consider before buying a night light fixture, such as the destination they are used for. For high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways, a night light is both utilitarian and aesthetic.
Therefore, the night light lamps intended for these places should have a flat profile and blend in with the wall.
On the other side, when you buy night lights for kids, you may want to consider the themed ones. Such as galaxy lamps, or those with unusual styles, such as ducks, robots, or other whimsical shapes.
The fixtures you choose for your own bedroom or for any adult’s bedroom could include, for example, various color and luminosity settings and pattern projections, an alarm clock, a music player, or at least the possibility of pairing one. Choose what fits the best to your needs, personal style, preferences and budget.
6. Motion Sensor
Basically, motion-activated night lights start when someone enters their field of action, so you don't have to turn them on or off every time you enter the room. This saves energy and the impact on the utility bill is minimal. If possible and depending on the location, choose night lights with high sensitivity and a wide detection radius between 8-20 feet.
The lights in the basement, garage and hallway must be also highly sensitive while having the widest radius to prevent having accidents in the dark.
On the opposite, for the bedroom, you should choose the motion sensor that has the lowest sensitivity to prevent sleep disturbance.
7. Child & Pet-Friendliness
If you live with babies, small children, or old people or have a pet, LED-based light fixtures are by far the best choice, as they emit a lot of light without overheating.
You will also want to make sure that the lighting objects do not include small parts that can be easily swallowed by a baby, toddler, or pet and do not break easily to avoid unwanted accidents.
8. Smart features
Last, but not least, if you are a smart tech fan, then the smart built-in features for sure are on your table. And the offer is more than generous.
There are plenty of smart night light devices that can be controlled with smartphones. Most of them come with their own app, while some of them have motion sensors and a few of them can also integrate with Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant, responding to voice commands.
All of them allow you to choose from various options of colors and set different brightness, alarms, or pair with your favorite music and sounds.
Our Top Choices
When it comes to choosing the lights to set the ambient for a relaxing sleep, we made our list based on overall use, smart features, design and safety needs.
The Galaxy Projector
Created by Galaxy Lamps’ space enthusiasts, Galaxy Projector is a futuristic night sky light projector that displays stunning spotlights in your bedroom and brings a whole world of amazing stars and constellations, beautiful nebulae and mesmerizing ocean waves inside of your room, creating a dreamy and soothing atmosphere.
It has an integrated 360° rotating dynamic projection, a vast range of color options, and multiple lighting modes, so you can create the perfect relaxing ambient by setting them as you like. But what really makes the difference is the smart app integration it comes with.
Available for both Android and iOS, the Galaxy Lamps app allows you to take full control of your special lighting moments and elevates your Galaxy Projector experience. After downloading and installing it on your phone, you can connect with Alexa and Google Assistant and control your mini galaxy projector with your voice.
This way, you can sit comfortably in your favorite spot and customize it as you wish, by setting and adjusting each function, such as the rotation speed, the intensity of the main scene and of the stars, lighting schedules and timers, and much more.
As the app comes with a hue-blended color wheel, you can change the color of your ethereal projection in minor adjustments to achieve the exact color of your desire. Besides, add the preferred brightness intensity and level of contrast and you find the perfect balance of light and color for your space.
And not only that. Combined with other lighting systems, they will help your bedroom look wonderful and comfortable at any time of the day and night.
In addition, they will provide you with the right sky night light at the right time, leading you to a world of relaxation and dreaming. And finally, the lighting control options and programmable features make it easier to set the time of starting and the limit in the night, plus the mood in between.
The Levitating Moon Lamp
If you want to create a calming and relaxing ambient by using lights, then lamps with different lighting modes and adjustable brightness are the top choice. And the Levitating Moon Lamp doesn’t make an exception, as it lets you customize your lighting to your liking. Even when turned off, the lamp itself is an art object.
Manufactured from eco-friendly and non-toxic material, the lamp is a realistic replica of the real Moon. And also like the real Moon, the invisible forces (small magnets incorporated in the base) push your Levitating Moon Lamp into the air, where it will rotate a few centimeters high from the base.
But when turned on, the magic happens, and it becomes one of the most beautiful night lights due to its many features. The Levitating Moon Lamp diffuses a soft wight light that creates a soothing relaxing atmosphere and you can always adjust its brightness with just a touch of your finger.
So, if you want to have the moon closer to you or are a deep space enthusiast using the Levitating Moon Lamp as a night light in your bedroom should be your choice.
The Galaxy Lamp
Perfect for everyone fascinated by the complexities and mysteries of outer space, a Galaxy Lamp is a perfect choice to create a relaxing atmosphere that makes you easily immerse yourself in a deep sleep.
Made of ecologic materials and inspired by the authentic and high-quality NASA images, this lamp allows you to choose one of its 16 available colors, 3 lighting modes and adjustable brightness.
Combine all these features with a rugged surface, reminding of a star in the night sky – and you’ll get the best way to experience a genuine relaxation under a soft sky night light.
AUKEY Bedside Lamp Touch Sensor
The Aukey provides more light than a standard night light but isn’t as intense as a table lamp. Depending on your preferences and intention, you can use it with natural white light or warm white light or choose your favorite light color from the RGB color spectrum. Even if it usually works connected to a 12-volt socket, the lamp comes with a rechargeable battery, so you can use it standalone on any surface you want.
The metallic base of the lamp features a glossy semi transparent dome that diffuses the light produced by the inside LEDs (15 for white light and 9 for RGB light). The touch-sensitive base allows you to easily adjust the intensity of the light, but also to turn on / off the lamp, enter the RGB mode, and pick your favorite color of light.
The Aukey lamp provides a Comfortable and warm light on every setting, letting you enjoy both bright and colorful light, and also soft and relaxing light. All the options are eye-safe and energy-efficient.
Hatch Rest Night Light
The Hatch Rest Night Light is a multi-functional handy device, being at the same time a portable night light, sound machine, and alarm clock. Even if the company markets this night light fixture to parents with small kids, in fact, it fits everyone, regardless of age.
On one side, it is a night light with a rainbow of colors you can choose from, accompanied by a soothing glow that changes them. On the other side, it is a two-way audio device, perfectly suitable for those who live with other people. For example, you can talk to your children without leaving your cozy spots.
As it also features a white noise setting and a library of snooze-inducing sounds, besides a programmable digital clock, this lamp is perfect in anyone’s bedroom, whether it's a child, teenager, or adult.
Sycees plug-in LED Night Light
The Sycees plug-in LED night light incorporates a smart sensor that automatically lights up when it senses that an area is dark enough and turns off when the area is lit. Therefore, the light it provides is bright enough so that you can see where you are going, but not so bright as to disturb your eyes or wake others.
The lights come in packs of six, so you can distribute them throughout the house and use them in whatever rooms you want. Sycees night lights use LED technology, and therefore their usage is safe for everyone, starting with children and pets, children and continuing with all persons who might touch them.
Sycees plug-ins are perfect for any bedrooms and any other rooms of your home, RVs, anywhere else you need a sensor night light. Being also very small (just 2.17 x 2.17 x 1.61 inches) you can take them with you while you travel.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Night Light
Do you turn all night long and can't sleep? If you could use an extra helper to take you into the world of dreams every night, this Himalayan Salt Night Lamp is definitely worth a try.
Salt is known to be a purifying element in many cultures. Besides, it is said that Himalayan salt has some very special healing properties. Therefore, the Himalayan Salt Lamp Night Light is an additional help in cleaning and deodorizing the air, but also in expelling the negative ions from the room where it is placed.
All these actions inevitably result in a higher level of energy, but also in a change of mood. In addition, the warm amber light provided by this lamp helps to create a relaxed and peaceful environment, excellent for immersing into a deep sleep.
Although for some people, all this may sound a little strange and woo-woo, the reviewers of the Himalayan Salt Night Lamp appreciate exactly these cleanings and purifying effects with proven results. Although air purification is a bonus for most, the Himalayan Salt Lamp impresses with the aesthetics of light, many reviewers seeing it as a "great option" that brightens their space at night.
LittleHippo MellaSource: Amazon
This is one of the innovative night lights for kids, aiming to teach your child to follow a sleep program. As the studies show that kids don’t understand the concept of time until they are around 8 years old, Mela uses colors, facial expressions and an alarm to signal to your child when it's time to get out of bed or to go to sleep.
Basically, MELLA is an alarm clock, a sleep trainer and a sleep sound machine, a night light and a sleep timer, all combined in one adorable device.
A final word
In conclusion, regardless of age, the night lights are a great option for every home. Especially when you want to create your own paradise of peace, calm and relaxation, in which to take refuge after a long, busy and hard day.
Usually, they are used to help you immerse in a deep relaxing sleep, comfort the kids and eliminate the possible accidents that could happen during the night. Plus they are also a great way to add ambient light to your home décor and a touch of light to the dark spaces.