Best Night Lights for Kids
With all kinds of imaginary monsters lurking about, nighttime can get pretty scary for little ones. But there are fabulous night lights on the market that can ward off spooky shadows and light the way to the bathroom, too. My family tried out some of the most popular ones available. Find out which lights are official Alpha Mom Favorites!
Onaroo Night Owl Portable Night-Light with OK to Wake!
I am already a big fan of the Onaroo products, so I was interested to try out the Onaroo Night Owl. I had a real live (loud!) owl hanging out on my roof for about 4 days and I like this fake one better.
This $30 sweet owl glows in 3 soft colors: yellow, blue and pink. The cool led lighting generates no heat and turns on automatically in a power outage. It remains lit on an ac-powered base or runs on batteries if kids want to take it to the bathroom or in bed with them. When running on batteries, it will turn off after 30 minutes.
Speaking of the batteries, I kept thinking this clock (which takes 3 AA batteries) should just have a battery that can be recharged while it’s sitting on the base. But rechargeable batteries do eventually wear out, so maybe the replaceable batteries will give you a longer shelf life.
Another potentially cool feature of this night light is that you can set it to glow green in the morning – letting a child know that it’s ok to wake his or her parents. BUT this feature has some major problems.
This seems crazy but you actually have to wait until the time of day you want to set (like 7 am) and then hold the button down for 5 seconds. Let me repeat that. You can’t just set this wake up feature ahead of time. You have to run into your kids room like a crazed lunatic at exactly 7 am and press the button down.
If you have somehow accomplished that, the green light will go off at 7 am but will only stay on for 30 minutes. So if your kid (by the grace of God) sleeps until 7:31, the light won’t be green and your toddler will be seriously confused. Normally I’m on board with confusing toddlers (I swear that whole wheat vegan muffin is a “cupcake”) but this is not a good tactic when trying to get little ones to sleep longer.
Strengths: Good amount of light (not too bright, not too dim), sits on a powered base to save batteries, cute owl.
Weaknesses: Ok-to-Wake feature is sort of useless since it’s a major pain to set and it only lasts 30 minutes.
Final Word on the Onaroo Night Owl Night-Light: Although I still love Onaroo, skip this owl unless you just want to use it as a night light. If you need a way to keep your kids in bed in the morning, check out these clocks on the market.
Quarter Moon Kinderglo Portable Fun and Safe Rechargeable Night Light
I feel like these night lights are competing for longest name possible! The Quarter Moon Kinderglo Night Light (I shortened it) will run you about $25 (The quarter moon is currently out of stock. Here are similar ones.).
It’s an adorable night light that is very easy for little hands to hold. It’s perfect to bring to the bathroom or under the covers. It’s also rechargeable, plus BPA- and lead-free. There are other animals available like an elephant, bear and dinosaur but I really like the moon.
You can either choose changing colors or constant blue, red or green. It either automatically dims and shuts off after 30 minutes or you can set it to be on continuously.
My older daughters (ages 7 and 9) thought it was too bright and didn’t want it in their room. I feel like it’s a great light for a preschooler or for a baby’s room because it gives you enough light for nighttime changes or feeding.
Strengths: Easy to hold, not hot, soothing colors, BPA- and lead-free.
Weaknesses: Too bright for some kids.
Final Word on the Kinderglo Portable Night Light (The quarter moon is currently out of stock. Here are similar ones.): It’s hard to say whether the rechargeable batteries are a plus or a minus because you don’t have to deal with batteries but rechargeable batteries only last so long. But I really like the design of the moon and its features, especially for a baby’s room.
Hippo Belly Glo Rechargeable Nightlight
I love a hippo. I don’t know why mice get so much play in children’s books because as Sandra Boynton knows – hippos are the rock stars. This Hippo Belly Glo Night Light will cost you about $18.
It turns on automatically when it gets dark. You can choose white light or shifting colors in blue, red and green. The removable belly LED bulb plugs into the wall to recharge and then the light supposedly lasts about 8 hours per charge. This makes no sense because that wouldn’t even be a full night for the average toddler. But I have found it lasts much longer than 8 hours. In fact, I noticed that it stayed charged for many nights in a row.
This is a very cute simple night light. I only wish when you plugged it into the wall, you could keep the hippo around it since that would be a nice option. It would also be cute if this hippo was sold in different colors.
Strengths: Turns on automatically when it gets dark, Latex and BPA free, cute hippo.
Weaknesses: No plug in base so you do have to continually recharge, charge only lasts 8 hours (although in my experience it was much longer), when you plug the light in, you have to take hippo casing off.
Final Word on Hippo Belly Glo Rechargeable Nightlight: A cute twist on a traditional night light but be prepared to charge it more often then you feel like it.
The Bunny Woodland Mini Night Light
If you have ever lived in New York City or anywhere else where you developed a rodent phobia, this might not be the night light for you. These porcelain woodland creatures come in the shape of a bunny, bird, hedgehog and squirrel. Okay, maybe those aren’t official “rodents” but I’m not a big fan of little creatures in my house.
But if you don’t have NYC Rodent Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, you might love these little creatures!
These Woodland Mini Night Lights will cost you about $11. The battery operated LED light gives off a soft glow. My daughters (7 and 9) thought it was the perfect brightness. BUT it’s not recommended for all night use. In fact, according to the product description, it work better as a “charming decorative accent.” Huh. I really don’t know what that means.
The light uses three AG10 long lasting button batteries. Those are the watch batteries you never just have lying around. My bunny burned out pretty quickly because we never remembered to shut it off and then I didn’t have replacement batteries. So now it just sits and mocks me like only a porcelain bunny can.
Strengths: If your kids has been begging you for a pet but you hate shedding, this porcelain bunny might be the answer! Soft glow.
Weaknesses: Not intended for all night use, batteries died quickly.
Final Word on The Bunny Woodland Mini Night Light: Not an easy, kid friendly night light. Seems like it belongs in a porcelain animal collection (if you have one of those).
Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light
I can save you a whole lot of reading and just tell you to purchase this adorable turtle for about $33. I love love love this turtle. It’s soft and projects a soothing light in blue, green and amber.
But not just light – actual star constellations! It even comes with its own star guide (but don’t look for the location of George Clooney’s home – these are just constellations). Now I couldn’t really make out any specific constellations but once I’ve sang my twin 4-year-olds a few songs, I’m sort of booking it out of the room and not sticking around for star gazing.
This night light just projects a calming essence. And kids can snuggle in bed with it too. It also has 45 minute timer which ensures darkness during your child’s deep sleep.
Batteries (3 AAA) are included.
Strengths: Soft, adorable, calming night light. Easy for kids to push it back on if needed.
Weaknesses: I’m still trying to think of one.
Final Word on Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light: Why haven’t you bought it yet?!
Pillow Pets Dream Lites Butterfly Night Lite
This night light from the makers of the Pillow Pet craze is a very similar to the Cloud b concept (reviewed above). It’s kind of like a mini pillow pet that lights up. Your child just presses a button and it turns their bedroom ceiling into a starry night sky.
You can either set the light on amber, blue or green or have it cycle from color to color. You also can set the timer on the back so that it goes off after a certain amount of time to save batteries.
I don’t know how long it stays on because I’m already downstairs drinking some Sauvignon Blanc but probably long enough that your child drifts off to sleep before it shuts off. I keep it on the timer option (instead of all night) and don’t have to replace the batteries all that often.
In addition to the butterfly, there is a unicorn, bear, puppy, Hello Kitty and many others. The price seems to really range (anywhere from $13 to $30) so don’t buy it at the first place you find it.
Strengths: Cute, soft night light that will light up your child’s room.
Weaknesses: You’ll have yet another “pillow pet” in your home.
Final Word on Pillow Pets Dream Lites Butterfly Night Light: Not as plush as the Cloud b Twilight Turtle but still very cute.
So which night lights did I love most?
The Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light just won me over. It’s so plush and calming. I feel like any kid could just stare at those stars and drift off to the magical land of sleep. I also am a big fan of the Quarter Moon Kinderglo Night Light (The quarter moon is currently out of stock. Here are similar ones.) – especially for a baby nursery. It’s the perfect amount of light to change or feed a baby and it would transition so nicely into a toddler night light.
Alpha Mom paid for all the products in this review. None of these were provided as review samples.Published May 8, 2014. Last updated December 13, 2017.