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In addition to comforting little ones while they sleep, night lights can prevent you from knocking into furniture on your way to the bathroom when you want to save your eyes from the glare of overhead lighting. "When choosing night lights, we always suggest listing the activities that will be carried out in the space at night, and what effects and sensations you want to achieve," says Lina M. Gómez of the Decorist design duo Nemai Studio.
We researched and tested a dozen of today's top options, assessing each product based on design, effectiveness, features, durability, and overall value. Our number one pick is the Westinghouse 4-in-1 LED Night Light, a versatile illuminator with a rechargeable battery that lasts six hours.
Scroll down for the best night lights for every lifestyle and budget.
Best Overall: Westinghouse 4-in-1 Rechargeable LED Night Light (3 Pack)
Covers both outlets
What do buyers say? 90% of 400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
After trying out a dozen options, the Westinghouse 4-in-1 Night Light was a clear winner. With a modern design that will work well throughout your home, our home tester gave it perfect scores for effectiveness, features, and durability. It comes with plenty of thoughtful features—including integrated light- and motion-sensing technology, which turns the unit on at dusk and off at dawn—that made it stand out from the rest.
In addition to acting as a standard plug-in night light, this multipurpose unit also works as a security light in the event of a power outage. It charges on the wall and offers six hours of illumination when it's not plugged in. When you remove it from the wall, you can fold in the plug so it's flush with the rest of the light. This allows you to use it as a pocket flashlight, or place it on a flat surface when you need illumination. And unlike many other night lights, there's a power button right on the side.
Though this night light isn't the most affordable option we tried, we appreciate that it comes in packs of three. Note that our tester wasn't a huge fan of the cool-white illumination, as it can be stimulating if left on while sleeping. However, this is often the case with LEDs. All in all, this light is an excellent option for use all around the home.
Best Budget: Westek Manual Switch LED Night Light with Clear Lens
On a budget? The Westek Manual Switch Light will only run you a few bucks. Though it wasn't the sturdiest option we tried, this product earned high marks for design and durability on account of the basic, pared-down appearance and LED bulb that promises 10,000 hours of illumination.
While this night light doesn't have a motion sensor or any other fancy bells and whistles, our tester still appreciated features like the handy power switch, which can be more convenient than a finicky motion sensor. While we wish the illumination were a bit warmer, it performed well for the price and would work particularly well for bathrooms or living spaces where the cool-white light might be less of a bother.
Best Set: Vont Lyra LED Night Light (6-Pack)
Slightly cheap feel
If you're looking for a multipack to use around your home, Vont's Lyra LED Night Lights might be your best bet. Available in sets of six, our tester gave the Lyra a perfect score for design, noting the sleek, modern appearance and compact size. Though these lights feel lightweight and sort of cheap, they're actually made of sturdy, fire-resistant thermoplastic and have an LED bulb with a 10,000-hour life span.
This night light earned high marks for effectiveness and features: It's relatively basic, but has a dusk-til-dawn darkness sensor and gets the job done. And if you're not keen on cool-white illumination, there's a warm option, too.
Best for Nurseries: Pottery Barn Kids Ceramic Moon Light
For lighting solutions in nurseries, we recommend the Ceramic Moon Light from Pottery Barn Kids. With a hand-painted ceramic face, it has a charming, somewhat old-fashioned look that will delight kiddos and parents alike. During testing, we found that it did its job well, emitting warm illumination that wasn't too stimulating for sleeping babies.
Apart from its design, this light is fairly basic. Unlike some other options we tried, it doesn't have an auto turn-off, but a simple on/off switch will still get the job done. We deducted a point for durability because it's well-made yet somewhat fragile, which could pose an issue once a child starts crawling and walking.
Best for Toddlers: Hatch Rest Night Light and Smart Sound Machine
10 soft colors
11 soothing sounds
Mobile app controls
If you have a toddler at home, the Hatch Rest is definitely worth considering. This night light comes with a handful of smart features that will make mornings and evenings all the easier. Our tester liked the simple, modern appearance, mobile app controls, various light modes, tap-to-change colors, and multiple sleep programs.
The time-to-rise feature illuminates different colors to indicate when your child should stay in bed versus when they can get up in the morning—a potential life-saver for parents. We deducted half a point for effectiveness, as it functions great as a night light but won't keep every mischievous toddler in bed when they're supposed to be. Though the Rest is somewhat pricey for a night light, we'd say it's worth the money overall.
Best for Kids: Globe Electric Multicolor Silicone Night Light Lamp
Short battery life
Shopping for a kid's bedroom? You can't go wrong with Globe Electric's Multicolor Silicone Night Lamp. Available in a variety of fun characters—including Rylie the Unicorn, Wally the Whale, and Tommy the Dinosaur—these whimsical night lights will add a dose of fun to your kiddo's sleep routine. Each BPA-free light has a soft, squishy feel that our tester loved. With just a tap on its head, you can cycle through a variety of colors that emit a soft, warm glow.
Another perk of this night light is its rechargeable battery: You'll get up to four hours of fun off a single charge, making it perfect for travel or on the go. If it's all-night illumination you're after, you'll have to plug it in.
Best for Teens: Allsop Home and Garden Glow Harvest Moon Light
Long power cord
Soft ambient glow
Requires flat surface
For teens and tweens, we suggest the Glow Harvest Moon Light from Allsop Home and Garden. Our tester gave this globe-shaped light a 4.5 for design, knocking off just a half point because it's pretty big (12 inches in diameter) and requires a somewhat large, flat surface.
Offering five brightness levels, 16 color options, a rechargeable battery with eight hours of cord-free illumination, and easy controls with included remote, the Glow earned high marks for effectiveness and features. Since it's designed for outdoor use, it's also waterproof, making it a highly durable option.
Best for Adults: Casper Glow Night Light
Soft, warm glow
Long-lasting LED bulb
Colorful night lights aren't just for kids! If you're looking for something a bit more sophisticated than everyday, child-friendly options, we highly recommend the Casper Glow. Our tester gave it perfect scores for design and durability, noting the compact, modern appearance and long-lasting LED bulb.
Designed to go in bedrooms without disrupting your shut-eye, this light has two modes—sleep and night owl— which you control from the switch on the back. The sleep mode function goes on automatically when the room gets dark and offers a continuous, gentle ambient light. Since you can't adjust the brightness or color, we deducted a point for features. But all things considered, the Glow Light is a versatile option for grown-ups and kids alike.
Best for Bathrooms: SerieCozy Night Light (2 Pack)
Six colors available
No on/off switch
No motion sensor
If you want to avoid bumping into your door or counter on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night but prefer not to flip on the overheads, SerieCozy is an excellent choice. Available in six colors and boasting a long-lasting LED bulb, this night light has a durable design that is versatile enough to use throughout your home.
Though it doesn't have a motion sensor, an on/off switch, or smart capabilities, it does have a darkness sensor and relatively straightforward functionality that gets the job done. Sold in packs of two, it's an affordable option that doesn't sacrifice quality.
Our number one pick is the modern and versatile Westinghouse 4-in-1 LED Night Light, which has a multiuse design and can be used as a flashlight, security light, or portable table light. If you're shopping for a child or toddler, your best bet is the Globe Electric LED Night Light. Available in three different characters, the soft and squishy night light boasts tap-to-change colors and a rechargeable battery.
How We Tested
The Spruce editors took their time researching today's best night lights, selecting a dozen for our home tester to try out in a real-life setting. First, she carefully inspected the appearance, material, power source, battery life, bulb type, and light warmth of each product. Next, she placed the lights all throughout her house, including in her bedroom, her 3-year-old son's room, her guest room, the bathroom, and the hallway.
After putting them to the test overnight, the lights were evaluated based on design, effectiveness, features, durability, and overall value, then awarded a score from 1 to 5 (5 being the best; 1 being the worst) in each category. The products with the highest scores in all categories were ultimately chosen for this roundup.
What to Look for in a Night Light
If you're planning to keep the light in a baby or toddler's room, you may want to skip corded options (or make sure to keep it far from their reach). Battery compartments should have screws to protect them from kids' curious fingers. Some smartphone-compatible alarms, like the Hatch Rest, also have a "Toddler Lock" setting so little ones can't override your preferences.
Some lights plug into the wall while others use only batteries. A USB charger can be a handy feature, as can battery backup on wall-powered devices (if the power goes out, your settings will be preserved).
Bluetooth compatibility can be handy, but if your home has dead zones for mobile reception, it might not be ideal. Some night lights also have added features such as motion detection, an alarm clock, or a white noise machine.
"When selecting a lighting style for your home, the most important consideration is the style of the home itself," says Fendy Castillo, Gómez's partner at Nemai Studio. "After you decide what style works best with your home, you must determine whether you will use it as general ambient lighting, task lighting, or accent lighting." Night lights are primarily functional, but with the right design and a warm glow, they can enhance the ambiance of a space.
At what age do kids use night lights?
Night lights can be added to a child's room as early as infancy, not only to create a sense of ambiance in the room, but to help parents and caregivers navigate the space. Typically, kids use night lights between toddler age to late elementary school, but some children may like having the additional light for comfort or mobility in even later years.
What socket type do North American night lights use?
In North America, most night lights use an ES (Edison screw), or a standard lightbulb socket. Most plug-in night lights will easily run from a 120-volt electrical outlet.
What night lights use the least energy?
The Vont Lyra LED night light is one of the most energy-efficient on our list. In general, LED night lights typically use less than a single watt, in comparison to typical lights which use anywhere between 1-8 watts.
Can night lights be left on all night?
Some night lights are designed to be left on all night whereas others have timers. LED lights are the safest because they use such low wattage and remain cool to the touch. This eliminates any fire hazard as they will not overheat.
Are night lights harmful?
Exposure to light can disrupt healthy sleep. Light before bed has been shown to suppress melatonin production in children. Melatonin is the hormone that helps the body fall asleep. Researchers suggest reducing light intensity in the hour before bed to help children get ready to sleep.
Which color night light is best for sleeping?
There is some limited research suggesting that warm colors like red and orange can help you fall asleep. On the other hand, what is well-documented is that the blue light emitted by our electronic devices has a negative impact on sleep quality. These cool colors, white, yellow, and to some extent green, disrupt our circadian rhythm by telling our brains it's daytime. Warm colors can have the opposite effect.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This story was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance commerce writer specializing in lifestyle, sleep products, and kids' gear. Our editors researched today's standout night lights and sent her home with a dozen to try out in a real-life setting. She carefully inspected, tested, and evaluated each product before landing on the final picks. As a toddler mom, Theresa is familiar with various types of night lights and time-to-rise gadgets and keeps a Hatch Rest+ in her child's bedroom.
Theresa has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she covers home goods, lighting, and interior decor. You can read more of her bylines on MyDomaine and Verywell Family.