Best Night-Lights

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
121 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best night-lights

Night-lights are as much for adults as they are for children. Whether you have to wake up in the middle of the night for a sleepy newborn, have a child who’s afraid of the dark, or need a low-wattage light to illuminate a hallway at night, night-lights have myriad uses. These lights cast a soft glow that is easy on the eyes and, for some people, aids sleep.

If you’re in the market for a night-light, the good news is that you have many to choose from. You should consider the type you’ll need — some night-lights project light, some are portable, and some require a socket to plug in. Also consider the bulb, including the type, wattage, and color.

Regardless of your needs, we at BestReviews are here to help. Take a glance at our product guide below, so you can pick the best night-light for you. Before long, with the help of a gentle light, you’ll be able to sleep soundly.

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For fussy kids (and adults), pair a night-light with a regular bedtime

Key considerations

Type

These days, night-lights come in all kinds of variations. Some of them include the following:

Plug-in: This type is probably what comes to mind when you think of a night-light. The light is attached to a simple two- or three-pronged plug. Access to a working electrical outlet is necessary for plug-in night-lights to work. It’s not uncommon to find a plug-in with a built-in sensor that automatically switches the light on when it’s dark and off once the sun rises.

Soft: Soft night-lights are essentially plush toys with a dim built-in light. This type is made for cuddling and is an excellent option for children who are scared of the dark. You can also put a soft light in a crib to comfort a baby to sleep.


Projection: These night-lights shine an image, like the moon and stars, on a bedroom ceiling or wall. These are popular with youth and children. Some kids’ lights project animals or cartoon characters. Additionally, there are projection night-lights for babies that emit soft music. The main drawback with a projection light is that the distance from the light to the ceiling or wall must be just right or the projected image will be distorted.

Portable: These night-lights run on batteries or are charged via USB, so they can operate anywhere. Portable night-lights are a great option for travel. They’re also pretty handy for camping, kids’ forts, or any other play activities that would benefit from soft light.

Night-light features

Brightness: As far as night-lights go, brightness is a deal breaker or maker. A night-light that’s too bright might disrupt sleep, defeating the whole purpose of buying one in the first place. At the same time, a light that’s too dim may not be bright enough for you to see by in the middle of the night. To test if the night-light is too bright, try it in the dark. Turn your head in the light’s direction and close your eyes. If you can still sense the light’s glow with your eyes closed, it’s too bright.

Light color: Blue and white light can actually disrupt your sleep pattern. This is because your body naturally associates those colors with daytime. The best color choice for a night-light is warm, such as orange, red, or yellow. Some people believe that red light most closely imitates the light a baby perceives in the womb. For infants, it’s especially important to find a soft red light.

Lampshade: Some night-lights come with a lampshade, which can be a nice decorative touch. A lampshade can also dim a light that’s otherwise too bright.

"When it comes to late-night bathroom trips, turning on the main bathroom light can make it harder to fall back asleep. A night-light in the bathroom is a great solution."
STAFF
BestReviews

Night-light prices

Night-lights are quite affordable, costing anywhere from $4 to $40, with most in the $4 to $25 range.

Inexpensive: The vast majority of nightlights that cost under $10 are simple plug-ins. The cheapest are LED and manual and have one light setting. You’ll find more white lights at this price, although there are a few models that change color. If you care about décor, you can easily find night-lights that come in cute shapes like stars or clouds.

Mid-range: Night-lights that cost between $10 and $25 have more options for the color of the light. There are many motion-activated night-lights in this range. You can also find some impressive projection lights at this price point.

Expensive: There’s really no need to spend more than $25 on a night-light, but if you’re itching to splurge, you can find some cute soft night-lights. There are also a few night-lights with elaborate lampshades at this price.

Tips

  • Look for a night-light that’s cool to the touch for a toddler’s room. If the light will go in a small child’s room, a night-light bulb that doesn’t get hot reduces the possibility of burned fingers. Otherwise, just remember to unplug the light in the morning.
  • Never use night-lights outdoors. They pose a hazard if they get wet. If you want to use a portable night-light for camping, be sure to keep it away from liquids.
  • Guard against fire. If you’re worried about flammability, opt for a cooler, low-wattage LED night-light.
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A few night-lights contain methylene chloride, which can be toxic if inhaled or if it comes in contact with the skin. Avoid night-lights with this substance, or if you have one that gets broken, immediately dispose of it safely.

FAQ

Q. Is there a difference between a night-light for a child and one for an adult?
A.
Differences between the two are mostly a matter of style. Night-lights marketed for adults are more sophisticated and simple in style. Children’s night-lights may have playful designs or come in the shape of a toy.

Q. Are night-lights bad for you?
A.
Opinions on this are divided, but those who claim night-lights are harmful blame a specific type of light bulb. Blue and white light inhibit the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. If this is a concern, try to find a night-light with a warm-hued bulb or one that comes with color options.

Q. Can I leave a night-light on all night?
A.
As long as your night-light isn’t near a curtain, bedding, or anything else that’s flammable, night-lights are fine to leave on during the night. Once it’s daylight, remember to unplug the light from its socket or turn it off. And always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

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