The Best Night Lights to Help You Feel Safe at Night

Find the best device to illuminate your space

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To have a full night’s sleep is a luxury not all of us are afforded. Many evenings include late-night trips to the kitchen or bathroom, and checkups on the kids, pets, and so on. Having reliable night lights to guide your way can save you from furniture collisions, ominous shadows, and anything else you want to avoid before heading back to bed. The market for night lights is vast and varied—with everything from motion-sensor technology to special lighting for gentle wake-ups. To save you time, we’ve researched the best on the market.

Read on for our top picks.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Casper Glow

4.6
Casper Glow Light

 Courtesy of Casper

What We Like
  • Diffused light isn't disruptive

  • Motion sensor adds brightness when needed

  • Simple, effective design

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t connect to an app or speaker


  • Design might prevent usage of adjacent outlet for larger plugs

Casper is known for helping people sleep with its large collection of bedding, pillows, mattresses, and now, night lights. Ideal for adults, children, or anyone in need of a good night’s sleep, this option diffuses a faint glow of cascading light that won’t be too harsh on your eyes. Its sleek circular shape and neutral coloring will blend seamlessly into most spaces, adding a touch of minimalist design to your bedroom, bathroom, or even hallway.

We love that there are two settings: “Sleep Mode” with a steady glow of faint light, and “Night Owl Mode” which activates the motion sensor for brighter light when you’re up and moving. So if you’re a midnight snacker or prone to making trips to the restroom, this light will help guide your way. And don’t worry about wasting energy—as soon as the sun rises, this little light goes to sleep.

Best for Babies: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

hatch-white-noise

Courtesy of Target 

What We Like
  • Programmable from outside baby's room

  • Sleek design isn't "kiddie"

  • Ok-to-wake light keeps toddlers in bed

What We Don't Like
  • No battery backup

  • Some say sound cuts in and out

This streamlined, Bluetooth-compatible device is both a sound machine and a night light, and you control it using a smartphone app. Parents of babies love that you can program it remotely, without needing to cause a disruption by entering the room. You can adjust the color (there are several hues), brightness, and sound (choices include rainfall, wind, different melodies, and more).

For those early-rising toddlers, you can use the "ok to wake" setting, and explain to them that they can't come out until the machine turns a certain color—of course, depending on your kid's personality, your mileage may vary on that feature. The company also sells fun, whimsical-looking coverlets that wrap around the device, in kid-friendly patterns like cars, unicorns, and alpacas.

Best with Motion Sensor: Vont Lyra LED Night Light (6 Pack)

Von Lyra LED Night Light

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Plug it in and forget it

  • Elegant design

What We Don't Like
  • Might be too dim for kids' rooms

Available in a choice of either warm or cool white, these handy little outlet lights will turn on based on the room's ambient lighting. The small, square silhouette won't dominate the entire outlet, so you can still have another device plugged in at the same time. The estimated lifespan is 10,000 hours, which makes them a good value considering the low price. 

If you're concerned about energy efficiency, you'll be happy to know that each light is only 0.5 watts and costs less than 60 cents to run annually. They also stay cool to the touch, making them a good option for families with young children or curious pets.

Best for Adults: Levoit Aria Himalayan Salt Lamp

Levoit Himalayan Salt lamp

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Soft, incandescent glow

  • Compact size

  • Convenient dimmer

What We Don't Like
  • Natural rocks may "sweat" 

Unfortunately there are many lamps sold online that claim to contain Himalayan salt, but are actually counterfeit. This one from Levoit contains salt that has been sourced from Pakistan, and the amber is beautifully showcased off thanks to the clear container and 15-watt incandescent bulb. The lamp will certainly set a relaxing, spalike mood in your bedroom or bathroom.

The lamp has a dimmer switch that's easy to use, even in the dark, as you simply tap once it to turn on, and then again to boost or reduce the brightness. On the highest setting, it works well for reading in bed, or you can leave it dimmed all night in a bathroom. It comes in a pretty box that makes a nice presentation if you're giving it as a gift.

Best for Toddlers: Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites Winnie-the-Pooh Plush Night Light

Winnie-the-Pooh Plush Night Light

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Like
  • Kids can manage it solo

  • Fun, friendly vibe

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to wash

  • Can't set for more than 20 minutes

Part stuffed animal and part night light projector, this adorable Pooh bear shines stars on your little one's ceiling. There are three different color options and the lights can be set to change slowly or quickly, so you can give your toddler a feeling of independence by allowing them to choose their favorite hue each evening. The light turns off after 20 minutes, but if your child wakes up during the night feeling fearful, they can easily give it a tap to turn it back on. 

Along with Pooh, there are nearly 20 different Pillow Pets night lights to choose from, including a unicorn, dinosaur, and popular characters like Mickey Mouse, Elmo, and the Paw Patrol pups. It can't be machine-washed, but you can give it a surface wipedown with warm water and gentle detergent.

Best Projector: BlissLights Sky Lite

BlissLights Sky Lite

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages a quiet bedtime routine

  • Customizable options

What We Don't Like
  • No remote control

  • Auto-shut off happens after 6 hours

It can be fun to use lighting to transform a space, especially if you've been spending lots of time at home. The Sky Lite uses a diode laser to project a nebula and stars on your ceiling, and it's a fun choice to help kids relax at bedtime, too. The button controls let you cycle through different effects, adjust the brightness, and start or stop the rotation. 

This version shines green stars on a blue cloud, but the company also makes a blue-on-blue option. Just don't plan to leave it on all night—it's designed to shut off automatically after six hours. The cord is 5 feet long, and you can position the projector either closer to the ceiling, for a focused effect, or further away to cover more wall space. BlissLights is based in San Diego and got their start designing lighting for amusement park rides.

Best for Reading: CeSunlight Reading Light

 CeSunlight Reading Light

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Won't disrupt bedroom decor

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Can be too bright for some people

Clamp-on reading lamps are certainly useful, but they aren't always attractive. This handy little light weighs only three ounces and can be bent into different shapes—some late-night readers like to wear it around their necks so they can sit up in bed and still see their pages, others twist it so it can stand up on their nightstand. When you're finished reading, it's small enough to slip into a drawer; the compact size also makes it perfect for travel.

Each side of the light can be controlled individually and there are three settings: Spotlight, wide-angle, and a combination of the two. Since the light comes with a rechargeable lithium battery that can be juiced up with a simple USB cord, you won't have to worry about finding replacements. It takes three hours to fully charge, and the battery can last between 6 and 10 hours, depending on the brightness level.

Best for Bathroom: Illumibowl Motion-Activated Toilet LED Night Light

Motion-Activated Toilet LED Night Light

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Fun design

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Could be brighter

  • Some say it wobbles around

This space agey option, which was featured on Shark Tank, is waterproof, motion-activated, and will cast light into your toilet bowl—there are eight funky hues to choose from, or you can opt to have it cycle through all of them. It's especially great for younger kids who might be nervous about visiting the bathroom at night (although really anyone can benefit from some extra bathroom illumination!) and the company stands behind their lifetime guarantee. 

If you're skeptical about having a light on your toilet, know that the sturdy arm is designed to stay put, and will fit with any type of bowl. It will also work whether you leave the seat up or down. If the battery power is low or the unit has gotten wet, it will helpfully flash red to let you know. There are also three different brightness settings, which you can adjust using a button on the side.

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is the Casper Glow Night Light (view at Casper), which offers a customizable amount of light that won't be too harsh on your eyes. If you're shopping for your child's bedroom, the Hatch Baby Rest Night Light and Time-to-Rise (view at Amazon) is a good pick that will last through their toddler years.

What to Look for in a Night Light

Childproofing

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.


Power supply

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).


Extra features

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.

FAQ
  • When 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 nightlight is one of the most energy efficient on our list. In general, LED nightlights typically use less than a single watt, in comparison to typical lights which use anywhere between 1-8 watts.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Lexi Dwyer has written about kids' electronics, nightstands, and toddler alarm clocks for The Spruce. She has Vont Lyra lights scattered throughout her apartment and credits them for likely protecting her and her family members from many middle-of-the-night wipeouts. Additional reporting was done by Marisa Donnelly, a writer and editor with over 12 years of experience. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Bustle, BossBabe, Thought Catalog, and more.

Updated by
Marisa Donnelly
Marisa Donnelly 2

Marisa Donnelly is a lifestyle expert and writer with over a decade of experience sharing her knowledge about what home decor reveals about personalities. She also writes about small business, parenting, and education and her bylines have appeared on HuffPost, Bustle, and BossBabe. Marisa is the founder of an online homeschool program and a support site for blended families.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process