With so many different night lights available how do you choose the best one for your baby? Join us as we explore everything you need to know about night lights. Use the list below to navigate to your preferred section or start reading from top to bottom, it’s all great information!
What is a night light?
A night light , as the name suggests, is a light you leave on at night. A night light is deigned to illuminate a room with a soft glow that is not so bright that it prevents sleep.
What are the benefits of night lights?
Night lights have many practical uses including:
- Comfort kids who are afraid of the dark.
- It helps parents see at night when checking in on their baby.
- Allow your little one to easily locate his teddy bear (or comforter of choice) in the dark.
- Illuminate the changing table for midnight diaper changes.
Good for kids, great for parents
While night lights are very much marketed for kids, I personally believe it is the parents who get the most benefit out of installing a night light in the kids’ room.
Easily fall back to sleep
It is a given that you will face broken sleep with a new baby in the house. While the midnight trips to the baby crib may be unavoidable, a night light can make it easier for you to return to sleep.
Turning on bright lights when you check on your baby actually causes your brain to become alert and active. Guess what? If your brain is active then so are you. This means that you will have difficulty returning to sleep.
A dim night light in your baby’s nursery will provide enough illumination to check up on your baby without jarring you awake. This means that you will return to sleep much quicker when your head hits your pillow.
Being able to see at night
The glow of a night light is just bright enough to help you avoid any toys that need to be navigated around in the darkness when checking up on your baby.
This was actually the defining reason for me getting my little one a night light. Once when I was checking up on my son, I stepped on a piece of Lego on the way to his bed. Not only did the howl I let out wake up my son, but my neighbors as well.
Cheaper to run than ceiling lights.
Some parents choose to leave the lights on the outside of their child’s room with the door slightly ajar. While this method can be effective at providing a light source through the night, it may be difficult to control the intensity of the light emitted, plus it uses much more electricity than your standard night light.
Since night lights use less electricity then ceiling lights, they save you money when the power bill rolls around.
Different types of night lights
Variety is the spice of life. Here are the most commonly used types of night light available.
LOFTER Plug-in Night Light
When you think of a night light chances are that the plug in variety will spring to mind. Plugin in night lights have been a tried and tested favorite for many years.
Many modern plug in night lights come with built in sensors. Daylight sensors switch the night light on as soon as the ambient light in the room goes dark, while motion sensors will turn the night light on when you walk past.
LOFTER Portable Night Light
Portable night lights do not need to be plugged into a power outlet and can sit anywhere in the room. Most portable night lights run off batteries. Some portable night lights are rechargeable through the use of a USB cable.
Considerations for night light shoppers
With so many different night lights available it can be difficult to determine which is perfect for your child. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a suitable night light.
Location of your power outlet
Before choosing a night light for your baby, take a look at the layout of your baby’s room. Pay attention to the location of the electrical sockets in relation to your baby’s crib or bed.
If the power outlet is too far away or too close from the crib then you may the light may be either too dim or too bright for your baby. If this is the case then you may want to consider a portable night which will allow you to place the night light at a more comfortable distance to your baby’s bed.
What color night light is best for sleeping?
Surprisingly, the color of light given off by a night light can also have an effect on how well your baby sleeps through the night.
Logically, you would think that a calming blue color would help put your baby to sleep. Research actually suggests the opposite. Blue light is a stimulant that actually boosts attention and reaction times. These are not benefits that you want as you are falling asleep. White night lights also fall under the blue light category.
The best color for night lights is red or orange. Do those colors sound familiar? They should. They are the same colors that feature prominently in the twilight of sunset, nature’s very own way of telling you to get ready for bed.
An added bonus is that baby’s find red light soothing as it is a familiar color which can mean better sleep. Experts believe that this is because the only colored light your baby would have seen in the womb would have been a red color. Red lights seem to be the best night lights for sleeping.
Does the night light have a timer?
A timer is a handy feature that can be found on certain night lights. Simply put, instead of manually switching the night light on and off, when you turn on your night light a timer ticks down for a predetermined amount of time before automatically switching the night light off once your baby has had time to fall asleep.
Many parents like the idea of a night light timer as it means once the baby falls asleep you don’t have to leave the night light on all through the light. It can shut off when the baby is sleeping, which saves electricity and, by association, money.
The type of night light globe
It is worth taking into consideration what type of bulb your night light contains. Some night lights will contain light bulbs that can be replaced. Other light bulbs are fused to the night light, requiring you to replace the whole night light when the bulb dies.
The type of light bulb also determines how hot the surface of the night light will get. LED light bulbs give off very little heat while incandescent lamps and halogen bulbs can get very hot.
The brightness of the night light
Remember, the idea of a night light is for it to function in night mode, gently illuminating the room with soft, ambient light, not light it up with the brightness of a thousand suns. Brightness should always be a factor in determining the best night light for nursery use.
A night light that is too bright can result in restless, broken sleep. There is nothing worse than facing a grumpy child who has not had enough sleep.
You can determine whether a night light is too bright or not by using this simple method:
- Wait until night time and turn on the night light.
- Place your head roughly where your child’s head would be when sleeping and close your eyes.
- Turn your head towards the light source (night light).
- If you can still vividly see the night light through your eyelids then the night light is bright enough that it may interfere with your child’s sleep.
On the flip side, the night light should still be bright enough for times when parents need to safely tend to their baby in the middle of the night.
While the main role of a night light is to illuminate the nursery with a soft glow, you can purchase night lights with extra features. These include:
- Thermometers to tell you the room temperature
- Music boxes and white noise machines to soothe your baby to sleep with sound.
- Light bulbs that change color.
- Sensors that only turn the night light on when you walk in the room.
- Handles so that your child can easily carry the night light around
While these extra features can prove to be handy, don’t be suckered into buying a night light with features that you will not use. With each added feature, the price of a night light will generally increase.