The Best Night Lights for Kids

Keep monsters at bay and ensure little ones have a good night’s sleep with one of these kid-friendly night lights.

By Savannah Sher | Updated Oct 31, 2022 2:00 PM

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The Best Night Light for Kids Option

Photo: amazon.com

A night light helps a child feel safe and secure at bedtime, allowing them to sleep more soundly. Night lights aren’t just great for kids who are afraid of the dark; they’re also handy for parents coming in for late-night feedings and diaper changes.

Modern night lights do more than illuminate a child’s room. Many are multipurpose, equipped with projectors that display images on the walls and ceiling, and may also feature white noise or music settings. Others have alarms and timers built in to help with sleep training for newborns and toddlers. Here are our top night light picks.

  1. BEST OVERALL: LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GE Color-Changing LED Night Light
  3. BEST SMART: Amazon Echo Glow Multicolor Smart Lamp for Kids
  4. BEST PORTABLE: LumiPets Nursery Bear Night Light
  5. BEST WITH PROJECTIONS: Jasco Projectables Six Image LED Plug-In Night Light
  6. BEST WITH MUSIC: Skip Hop Baby Sound Machine
  7. BEST APP-CONTROLLED: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
The Best Night Light for Kids Option

Photo: amazon.com

Before You Choose a Night Light for Kids

A night light is more than just a low-wattage plug-in bulb inside a plastic casing. Nowadays, there are three types:

  • Plug-In: These inexpensive night lights are usually powered by a 120-volt electrical outlet and produce soft light that emanates around the outlet and sometimes a few feet away. They typically feature a flat or low-profile design so they don’t protrude far from the wall.
  • Projector: Typically dome shaped, this night-light type is usually placed on a nightstand or desk in a child’s bedroom. When turned on, it projects light patterns on the room’s walls and ceiling, creating a soothing environment that lulls kids to sleep. Some models also play music at timed intervals.
  • Tabletop: Whether they’re battery operated or powered by a 120-volt electrical outlet, these nights rest on flat surfaces and often include a clock, music player, and a white-noise setting. Some models can be controlled with a smartphone.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Night Light for Kids 

Night lights have come a long way since their humble plug-in-the-wall beginnings. Shoppers looking to find the best night light for their child’s room should consider efficiency as well as aesthetics. Ultimately, the top choice should be the one that best matches a child’s needs. Here are a few considerations shoppers should keep in mind.

Design

While standard night lights often have simple designs, those created for children are available in countless shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. Many are crafted to look like cute animals or favorite fictional characters, making them even more appealing to children who are afraid of the dark. Some night lights are designed to appeal to infants and toddlers, while others are more appropriate for older children who might like to pick out the one they like best.

Along with aesthetics, a night light’s design is also a practical consideration. Shoppers should look for a model that’s an appropriate size for the space and has additional features that make it more functional.

Brightness Level and Adjustability 

Night lights use all sorts of bulbs nowadays, from LED and incandescent to halogen and compact fluorescent lamp. LED bulbs are often the go-to choice for night lights because they’re energy efficient and remain cool to the touch—an important consideration for a night light meant to illuminate a child’s bedroom. While these bulbs are generally more expensive than other types, they use considerably less energy and last 40 times longer than the average incandescent bulb. Both LED and incandescent night lights can provide varying brightness levels and are often designed to be adjustable to provide different levels of light for different needs.

Smart Features 

Shoppers who are tech fans will find plenty of night lights for kids with smart features and settings programmed in. Unlike their traditional counterparts, smart night lights can be controlled with an app on a smartphone or mobile device, allowing parents to choose the brightness level, colors, alarms, and sounds. Some smart night lights even have motion sensors, while others are enabled to respond to voice commands.

Smart night lights typically feature advanced functions, all of which can be controlled remotely, too. This lets parents adjust the night light’s brightness as needed, for example, without entering their child’s room and disturbing their sleep.

Our Top Picks

Our picks for best night light take into account important features to look for, including portability, brightness, and additional settings. No matter a shopper’s needs and budget, any one of these night lights is sure to be a top choice.

Best Overall

Best Night Light for Kids Options: LittleHippo Mella Ready
Photo: amazon.com

Much more than just a night light, the LittleHippo Mella is also designed to aid in sleep training and works as both a sound machine and an alarm clock. The colored lights and facial expressions on its display let a child know when it’s time to rise. It glows yellow when it’s almost time to start the day and green when it’s time to get up. The night light can glow in five different colors at four varying brightness levels. There is also an optional setting to put the night light on a nap timer.

The sound machine has three settings—white noise, ocean, and lullaby—and can be played at four volume levels. Powered using a USB adapter, its child lock ensures that settings can’t be changed accidentally (or intentionally). It measures 4.25 inches long by 4.25 inches wide by 4.5 inches deep and weighs 8 ounces, making it small and unobtrusive.

Product Specs

  • Alarm clock: Yes
  • Sound machine: Yes
  • Cordless: Yes, once charged

Pros

  • Designed to be used as a sleep-training aid
  • Includes 3 sound machine settings
  • Offers a nap timer with countdowns
  • Glows in 5 colors

Cons

  • High price

Get the LittleHippo night light for kids at Amazon, Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Best Bang For the Buck

The Best Night Light for Kids Option: GE Color-Changing LED Night Light
Photo: amazon.com

Anyone looking for a basic, no-frills night light should consider this one by GE. This classic night light simply plugs into an electrical outlet and sits nearly flush against the wall, making it great for small spaces. The versatile night light is perfectly kid-friendly and can also be used in a hallway or bathroom to provide additional nighttime illumination.

There are three color modes: color changing, solid color, and soft white. The solid-color option allows the user to choose from nine vibrant hues. GE’s LED night lights are designed for energy conservation, turning on automatically at dusk and off at dawn by detecting the amount of available light in a space. Each night light measures 4 inches high by 2.5 inches wide by 1 inch deep and uses one outlet, leaving room to plug another device into the second one.

Product Specs 

  • Alarm clock: No
  • Sound machine: No
  • Cordless: Yes, but requires a wall socket

Pros

  • Turns on and off automatically to conserve energy
  • 9 color options available
  • Affordable price
  • Portable; can be plugged into any wall socket as needed

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a long lifespan
  • Light-changing feature may stop working

Get the GE night light for kids at Amazon, The Home Depot (one-pack), or Target (one-pack).

Best Smart

Best Night Light for Kids Options: Echo Glow - Multicolor smart lamp for kids
Photo: amazon.com

The Amazon Echo Glow is a voice-activated smart lamp that’s specifically designed with kids in mind. Both brightness and colors can be voice controlled when the lamp is paired with another Alexa-compatible device.

It can be used by either parents or children to set timers and countdowns using color-coordinated lights. Kids can ask Alexa to start a dance party or use dynamic modes like color flow, campfire, siren, fire truck, and underwater. There are even holiday modes for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Valentine’s Day.

It measures 3.9 inches long by 3.9 inches wide by 3.2 inches deep and weighs 8.6 ounces. It’s recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Product Specs 

  • Alarm clock: Yes
  • Sound machine: No
  • Cordless: No

Pros

  • Features voice activation
  • Designed to be controlled by kids
  • Features a variety of lighting effects

Cons

  • Although portable, it requires a power adapter and must be paired with an Alexa-compatible device
  • Not touch sensitive

Get the Amazon night light for kids on Amazon or at Best Buy.

Best Portable

Best Night Light for Kids Options: LED Nursery Bear Night Light for Kids
Photo: amazon.com

Any shopper in the market for a night light that can be easily moved around their child’s bedroom may want to consider getting the LumiPets Nursery Bear Night Light. It can be charged with a micro USB cord and has a 12-hour battery life when fully charged. This means a child can take it with them on a nighttime trip to the bathroom. It’s soft and squishy and never heats up, making it safe for children to operate on their own and use near their beds.

It’s controlled by a remote and glows in nine colors with varying brightness settings. It can also be operated by tapping it, making it easy to use for children. It’s made from BPA-free silicone and measures 6 inches long by 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep, weighing 8.5 ounces.

Product Specs 

  • Alarm clock: No
  • Sound machine: No
  • Cordless: Yes

Pros

  • Variety of cute animal designs available
  • Portable design offers ultimate convenience
  • Includes various lighting settings

Cons

  • Doesn’t function as alarm clock

Get the LumiPets night light for kids on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best With Projections

Best Night Light for Kids Options: Projectables 13347 Six Image LED Plug-In
Photo: amazon.com

This Jasco night light basks a child’s room in a green glow as it projects exciting images onto the ceiling, wall, or floor. It features six projections (the Solar System, Planet Earth, Moon, Safari, Aquarium, and Coral Reef) and turns on and off automatically depending on the level of light in the room.

This product only requires one outlet, leaving the second free for other uses. It measures 7.09 inches high by 5.4 inches wide by 2.88 inches deep and weighs 1.59 ounces. It uses long-lasting LEDs and won’t get hot, so it’s OK to leave it unattended in a child’s room.

Product Specs 

  • Alarm clock: No
  • Sound machine: No
  • Cordless: No

Pros

  • Features 6 outdoor images
  • Turns on and off automatically to conserve energy
  • Doesn’t get hot due to LED bulbs
  • Portable; can be plugged into any wall socket as needed

Cons

  • Doesn’t function as an alarm clock

Get the Jasco night light for kids on Amazon or at Best Buy.

Best With Music

Best Night Light for Kids Options: Skip Hop Baby Sound Machine
Photo: amazon.com

The Skip Hop Baby Sound Machine plays both lullabies and nature sounds and works as a night light with the owl’s belly aglow. It can also project a night-sky design onto the wall or ceiling and comes equipped with four melodies (“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, “Brahms’ Lullaby,” and “Rock-a-Bye Baby”) and four ambient nature-sound selections (rainforest, jungle crickets, waves, and heartbeat) to help lull a child to sleep.

There’s also an auto-off timer that allows a parent to set it for 15, 30, or 60 minutes so the sound doesn’t play continuously. The cute owl shape makes it look more like a toy than a night light. It measures 6 inches high by 4.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches deep.

Product Specs 

  • Alarm clock: No
  • Sound machine: Yes
  • Cordless: No

Pros

  • Plays both melodies and nature sounds
  • Cute owl design
  • Features an auto-off timer

Cons

  • Doesn’t function as an alarm clock

Get the Skip Hop night light for kids on Amazon or at Target.

Best App-Controlled

The Best Night Light for Kids Option: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
Photo: amazon.com

This multifunctional product is programmable, allowing parents to customize the settings for the night light, sound machine, and time-to-rise alerts. What sets this device apart is that it’s app controlled, so the settings can be changed remotely without disturbing a sleeping child.

To foster an ideal environment for sleep, this night light is equipped with a selection of presets that combine light and sound as recommended by sleep experts.

It has a lock feature to prevent a child from changing the settings and stays cool to the touch for optimal safety. It measures 4 inches high by 4 inches in diameter.

Product Specs 

  • Alarm clock: Yes
  • Sound machine: Yes
  • Cordless: No

Pros

  • Can be controlled via smartphone app
  • Features a multifunctional design
  • Includes light and sound presets

Cons

  • High price

Get the Hatch night light for kids on Amazon.

Our Verdict

We recommend the LittleHippo night light for kids as our top pick for its wide variety of easy-to-use functions. For those on a budget, the GE night light for kids offers excellent performance at a value price point.

How We Chose the Best Night Lights for Kids 

Years of experience covering home goods as well as extensive product research went into creating this guide. We explored more than 25 kids’ night-light options and weighed several practical considerations before making our recommendations.

  • Type: To provide options to suit the widest variety of users, we included night lights of various types in our recommendations, including products that double as sleep-training aids, alarm clocks, and sound machines.
  • Reviews: We value what real-life users have to say about the products they rely on, so we included only well reviewed night lights in our lineup.
  • Value: Since there are so many types of night lights available, prices can vary widely. We aimed to include only products that offered excellent value based on their functionality.

FAQs

With a wide variety of night lights available, shoppers typically wonder which might be the best choice for their children. Some might have questions about timers or other basic features, while others may be interested in learning more about smart options. Here are answers to some of the most common questions involving night lights for kids.

Q. What color night light is the best for kids?

Red- and amber-hued lights do not affect a child’s circadian rhythm, making them the best colors to use in areas where kids sleep.

Q. Is it safe to leave a night light on all night?

Yes, as long as the manufacturer’s instructions are followed and a few sensible safety precautions are taken.

Q. Can night lights cause fires?

Generally no, but defective night lights can cause fires, burns, and electrocutions.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.