The auto dusk-to-dawn sensor in the Maz-Tek LED Night Sensor is one of its most highly rated features. The light turns on at night, or when ambient lighting decreases, so you needn’t remember to turn on the light before bedtime. They’re also great for safety when you’re away from home. Each light in the pack of two weighs only 3.88 ounces and measures just 2.76 inches by 0.7 inches by 2.79 inches. That’s about the width of an average wall outlet and only half as high, so it won’t get in your way when you plug it in. The LED bulb with a 50,000-hour lifespan stays cool to the touch so it won’t burn your pets, family, or friends if they touch it.
The Best Night Lights for the Home
You can find a night light that illuminates a dark pathway, adds to your decor, and even plays music.
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- BEST OVERALLMAZ-TEK Plug-in LED Night SensorCheck Latest Price
- BEST SMART NIGHT LIGHTHatch Rest+ Baby Sound Machine, Night LightCheck Latest Price
- BEST FOR KIDS' ROOMSVAVA Home Night Light For KidsCheck Latest Price
A night light is no longer just a simple plug-in used to soothe a child’s fear of the dark. The best night lights are small, low-power electric or battery-operated lights that illuminate dark areas of your home, RV, or vacation home; add to the decor; and work as clocks or sound machines.
There are many reasons to consider different night lights before you buy one. Too much light or the wrong kind of light can negatively affect your sleep. If you have a dog, small child, or an older adult in the home, it’s wise to choose an LED that won’t heat up and burn them. Take a look at some of the top-rated nightlights and select the ones that work for you.
- BEST OVERALL: Maz-Tek Plug-in LED Night Sensor
- BEST SMART NIGHTLIGHT: Hatch Rest+ Baby Sound Machine, Night Light
- BEST FOR KIDS’ ROOMS: VAVA Home VA-CL006 Night Lights For Kids
- BEST FOR BEDROOMS: AUKEY Table Lamp, Touch Sensor Bedside Lamp
- BEST FOR HALLWAYS: Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light
- BEST FOR BATHROOM: Toilet Night Light by Ailun
- BATTERY-POWERED PICK: Mr. Beams MB720A Sleep Friendly Battery Nightlight
Types of Night Lights
You may think of a night light as little more than a low-wattage, plug-in bulb in a plastic casing, but there are many different types available today. The best night lights fall into the four basic categories explained below.
Plug-in lights are what most people think of when they hear the term “night light.” They’re usually powered by a 120-volt electrical outlet and typically feature a flat or low-profile design, so they do not protrude far from the wall.
Plug-in lights come in various shapes, sizes, and patterns. They produce soft light that emanates around the outlet and sometimes a few feet beyond. They are typically the least expensive type of night lights.
A projector night light displays images on a room’s walls or ceilings. Night light projectors are usually placed in bedrooms to create soothing and calming visual environments to help people relax and lull them to sleep.
Project lights are typically dome-shaped. You would usually place one on a nightstand or desk to project the patterned lights overhead. Some projector nightlights also play music at timed intervals.
Tabletop nightlights rest on flat surfaces, typically near a bed. They may look like standalone lights or tabletop lamps but often have added functions, including clocks, music players, and white noise functions.
Tabletop lights run the gamut of style and options. They can be battery operated or powered by 120-volt electrical outlets. You can control some with smartphone applications.
What to Look For In the Best Night Light
Night lights have come a long way since their humble, plug-in-the-wall beginnings. When you select the best night light for your home, it’s important to consider efficiency and aesthetics. Choose one that matches your needs.
Night lights use a variety of bulb varieties, including LED, incandescent, halogen, and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). LED lights are the go-to choice for nightlights because they are energy efficient and remain cool to the touch. LED lights are generally more expensive than other bulbs, but they use considerably less energy and last 40 times longer than the average incandescent bulb.
There are many night light styles from which to choose, including modern, contemporary, traditional, artistic, and whimsical. You should select a style that works with your decor and lighting needs, but there are factors you should consider.
A flat-profile night light is a top choice for high traffic areas such as hallways and entryways. Hall night lights are meant to be utilitarian and should blend in with the wall.
If you are buying a night light for a child’s bedroom, consider ones with whimsical styles such as ducks or balloons. The night light you buy for your bedroom can include an alarm clock, music player, sound machine, or various light settings. Choose one that suits your needs.
Child- & Pet-Friendliness
You should choose an LED night light for a home with a pet, child, or older adult because it stays cool and emits plenty of light. You’ll want to make sure the night light is shatterproof and does not contain small parts that can be swallowed by a child or pet.
If you are a smart tech fan, there are plenty of night lights with smart feature options. Smart night lights can be controlled with a smartphone app, allowing you to choose various brightnesses, colors, alarms, and sounds. Some smart night lights have motion sensors, and others respond to voice commands.
Our Top Picks
Use the following list of highly-rated night lights to help guide your purchase. To make it easier, this guide has categorized the best night lights based on overall energy use, design, safety needs, and smart features.
The Hatch Rest Night Light is a portable night light, sound machine, and alarm clock in one handy device. The Hatch markets this light to parents with young children, but it’s suitable for everyone. It has a two-way audio monitor that allows you to listen and talk to your child from another room. It weighs just over one pound and measures 7.6 inches by 5.3 inches by 4.9 inches, so it won’t take up much space. The two-way audio is handy for everyone who lives with other people, and the night light emits a soothing glow that changes colors. It also features a library of snooze-inducing sounds, a white noise setting, and a programmable digital clock. This night light is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which is included.
The egg-shaped VAVA Home Night Light For Kids emits a soft, yellow-orange glow that helps babies and children sleep but produces enough light to comfort them if they wake up. As a child grows they can operate this stay-cool light that features kid-friendly controls. The light dims when you touch the top, changes color when you tap the light, and powers off with a double-tap. The light is LED-based and the rechargeable batteries provide up to 80 hours of illumination. It measures 3.62 inches by 3.62 inches by 4.96 inches and weighs just 6.7 ounces, so it fits in small spaces. It is made of shock-resistant plastic, so it can withstand some tough times. This light also comes with a package of “face” stickers to add a whimsical touch.
The Aukey provides more light than a standard night light but isn’t as intense as a table lamp. This lamp weighs just over 1.5 pounds and produces warm white light or a range of colors. It’s powered through a 120-volt outlet, but its small size—3.94 inches by 3.94 inches by 8.46 inches—won’t overwhelm the space. It includes a rechargeable battery, so it can be used as a standalone on a bookcase or other surface. This touch lamp features a glossy semi-transparent dome that diffuses the light produced by eight LEDs inside. The light is adjustable so you can make it brighter for bedside reading or dim when you are ready to relax. You operate it with a simple tap on the front side of the base. The Aukey provides a pleasantly warm glow for a bedroom, dorm room, or RV.
The Sycees plug-in LED Night Light has a built-in smart sensor that automatically lights up only when it senses an area is dark. The resulting light is bright enough to see where you’re going in the dark, but not so bright as to awaken others. These lights are sold in packs of six so you can use them throughout your home. These Sycees lights use LED bulbs, so they are safe for pets, kids, and anyone else who comes into contact with them. Each of these lights measures just 2.17 inches by 2.17 inches by 1.61 inches and weighs under one ounce, so they only cover one plug on a standard outlet plate. The Sycees plug-ins are a perfect fit for homes, RVs, dorm rooms, or anywhere else you may need a night light. They’re also small enough to take with you while traveling.
Rather than fumbling in a dark bathroom, clip the Toilet Night Light by Alium to the side of the toilet bowl. The soft neck conforms to the bowl for a secure hold. The light measures just 1.18 inches by 1.57 inches by 2.36 inches and weighs 2.12 ounces, so guests will likely not notice it except at night. The light works automatically: When it detects movement in the bathroom it turns on and stays on for two minutes. You can select the light to display one of eight colors—pink, dark blue, red, purple, magenta, orange, light blue, or green—or rotate through each of them. You need three AAA batteries to operate the light, and you can use almost any household cleaner to keep it sanitary.
Four AA batteries power the Mr. Beams nightlight, so it’s ideal for RVs, dorm rooms, cabins, and homes, especially those with a shortage of outlets. It’s designed to produce a year’s worth of amber light on one set of batteries. The amber color is conducive to sleep, so it won’t interrupt others’ rest, while being bright enough to allow safe navigation of dark areas. You can install it in about five minutes with the included screws and double-sided adhesive. The light is motion-activated from 15 feet away and powerful enough to illuminate 10 square feet. It automatically shuts off after 30 seconds of no motion. This light has LED bulbs so won’t burn kids, children, and others who might touch it.
The Advantages of Owning a Night Light
Night lights are used to comfort children, add color to space, and eliminate trips and falls. Night lights allow you to navigate in the dark without bright lights.
- Some have multiple functions, such as digital clocks, baby monitors, or sound machines
- They put anxious kids at ease in the dark
- Night lights can add to your decor with ambient light
FAQs About Your New Night Light
Here are some common questions and answers when it comes to using night lights in the home.
What color night light is the best?
Red- and amber-hued lights do not affect your circadian rhythm, making them the best colors to use in areas where people sleep.
Is it safe to leave a night light on all night?
Night lights are generally very safe to leave on all night as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take a few sensible precautions. LED lights are cool to the touch, so you needn’t worry about kids or pets burning themselves on them.
Can night lights cause fires?
Generally no, but defective nightlights can cause fires, burns, and electrocutions.