After several weeks of use, a battery of tests, and some research analysis we’ve determined that the best night light title falls to the Maxxima LED Multi-Color. It’s best in class, but keep on reading because we’ve found some great night lights for everyone.
This LED night light also allows you to pick colors and is a long-lasting, durable light that’s sure to please in addition to being better for your sleep. Read on and we’ll show you why the color-changing nature of the light made it our absolute favorite.Buy Now
Table of Contents
How We Selected the Products
With the recent appearance of blue lighting having been found to have a negative effect on sleep, we made it a priority to find bulbs which are useful in the bedroom since that’s where most people keep their night light.
We also excluded all options which weren’t LED-based. LED-based lighting lasts longer, produces less heat, and are all-around superior to most older light-bulb types. They’re also much more energy efficient than any other type of lighting, it’s really on the “strange” color spectrum which has kept them from being everyone’s favorite type of lighting.
With that in mind, we also looked for attractive products with higher build-quality. Anyone can pick up a dollar store, incandescent night light but we were looking for the best. Automatic on/off sensors for “adult” night lights and features a child might find appealing were also looked for.
We settled on twelve different models of LED night light by the end of our selection process.
Our big selecting factors as we looked over the reviews were those considered “too bright” and repeated reports of early failure. Even the best light with the best customer service doesn’t do you any good if you’re forced to spend your valuable time returning it until quality control gets it together.
We also focused on ensuring we had a wide variety of night lights designed for children, since that’s what most people end up using them for. Don’t worry though, if you just need a plain white light for the bathroom or hallway we’ve still got you covered.
How We Tested the Products
Our initial testing in this case was pretty easy: we made sure that the lights hooked up and all of the functions worked then sent them out for a real world test.
Since we were working with long-lasting LED light-bulbs we reasoned that a constant three weeks of being “on” was a good way to ensure that the lights didn’t overheat or fail too prematurely. While the lifespans of LED bulbs are theoretically measured in 100,000+ hours of run time, the truth is that many cheaper products will fail before then. It can be a case of bad quality control on the internal circuits or simply a matter of the bulb overheating.
For once, everything we ordered for the tests worked just fine right out of the box and we didn’t see any quality control problems arise.
Afterwards, we sent a questionnaire to our reviewers, asking them about their experience with the lights. The following questions needed answering:
- Did all functions work correctly for the duration of the test?
- Was there any sign of failure?
- Was the brightness of the light too much to sleep with?
And, of course, for their overall view of the bulbs.
It’s not life-changing stuff, but it’s really all about trading a few bucks for convenience in the end.
Our top picks were the following:
- The Maxxima LED Multi-Color was standout, serving as the best of the lot. Since it could switch spectrums, came in at a decent price, and was made well… this is our top pick for the majority of homes.
- The Maxxima MLN-10 was a great light for areas where you’re not necessarily sleeping but may need light in during the night. Quite bright, positionable, and probably not a great bedroom light.
- Lofter Plug-in Night Light for Kids was our favorite of the children’s options available. The big thing? It’s multi-color so you can set it to red and make sure your kids sleep well.
- The SOAIY Sleep Soother Aurora was our other favorite of the children’s lights. It might be a bit extra to some people, but we absolutely love the projection LED and found it to have minimal effect when it came to sleeping.
- Lastly, the Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light was simply a basic night light with an LED and auto on/off capabilities. High quality, comes in packs of 6, and is generally a good way to get some night time illumination.
So, let’s get a bit more in-depth and see just how they compare.
Top 5 Night Lights
|1||Maxxima LED Multi-Color||Red/White/Blue||Check Price|
|2||Maxxima MLN-10||White||Check Price|
|3||Lofter Plug-in Night Light for Kids||Multiple||Check Price|
|4||SOAIY Sleep Soother Aurora||Multicolored Projection||Check Price|
|5||Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light||White||Check Price|
1. Our Top Pick
Maxxima LED Multi-Color
I think we knew coming into this that the Maxxima LED Multi-Color was going to top our list. It’s hard for it not to, it has an auto on/off switch, it allows you to switch the color to suit you, and it’s overall a solid product.
We’re still not too sure why they included the blue light, considering its effect on sleep, but more options never hurts.
For the most part, this is a relatively standard modern night light. It turns on when the light levels get too low in the room, it’s got a long-lasting LED bulb, and it takes into account the effect of blue light.
They’re also cheap, which is a nice bonus considering it’s our favorite. We purchased a pack of two for what felt like a nominal amount compared to how great they were. The switch is solid, the casing is surprisingly well-built, it just feels like it was made well once it’s in your hand.
They’re not perfect. One of our reviewers found the white light too bright to use and you’ll need to be careful about positioning to avoid blocking outlets since the base is pretty large.
On the other hand, when it came down to both our tests and the criteria we initially laid out… there’s really no comparison around for a bedroom night light that’s nearly as handy. We think most people will be well pleased with the purchase.
- Color changing LED
- Great build-quality
- Automatic day/night sensor
- A bit big on the plug
- White light is a bit bright for some people
2. Brightest Night Light
If the Maxxima LED Multi-color is the perfect bedroom light, we think the MLM-10 is the best choice for hallways and bathrooms. Like it’s multi-colored cousin it’s a well-built item, but it has the additional advantage of being small on the plug and able to be swiveled.
And, you’ll need it. Of all the lights we tested, the Maxxima MLM-10 was the brightest by a good margin. It’s not instant daylight, but you’ll definitely know it’s there. For that reason, we recommend not keeping them in your bedroom for the most part.
The swivel was surprisingly handy. We were able to aim the light towards the floor in hallways and the sinks in bathrooms to make it more of a minor utility light rather than a simple night light.
Apart from the brightness issues, we really didn’t find anything wrong with this one until we looked at the specifications. These lights run in the “cool white” spectrum, which means there’s a ton of blue light scattered in the nominally “white” light.
For bathrooms and hallways, where bright light is desirable the Maxxima MLN-10 is an excellent option. The ability to aim the light, overall build-quality, and small profile on the socket make it a winner in our book.
- Small profile on the plug
- Automatic day/night sensor
- Great overall build-quality
- Too bright for sleeping
- Light is fairly “cold” and contains a lot of blue
3. Best Child’s Night Light
Lofter Plug-in Night Light for Kids
When we were looking at night lights for children, this was the first one which caught our eye. It’s easy to see why: despite the generic branding it actually has a color changing LED installed. Set it to red, and you’re good to go when it comes to the spectrum.
Or set it to your child’s favorite color if it isn’t blue. It has an RGB color setting, rather than just a switch as well. We felt it was a nice touch.
The light is fairly soft, though it was the brighter of the two children’s lights we looked at. This is a rechargeable light, allowing you to remove it from the socket to place it wherever you might need as well. It’s a rechargeable light as well, but they come in multiples so it’s not too hard to make sure one is charged at all times.
We were a bit worried when we first picked these up. Build quality is sometimes lacking when you start purchasing slightly off-brand items from online retailers but this was a solid item. Our biggest complaint is the price, but even then it’s surprising how much tech you get for your dollar these days.
For children’s sleep quality, this is undoubtedly the best light around. If you’re looking for something a bit more special check out our next option, but this is a solid choice and the ability to change colors gave it a leg up in our testing.
- RGB color changing
- Good build-quality
- 80 hours of battery life
- Light is a bit dim for some
- Color rotation sometimes sticks
4. Coolest Child’s Night Light
SOAIY Sleep Soother Aurora
Many of the children’s night lights we looked at weren’t anything special. Just an LED stuck in a giraffe or whatever, which is cute but doesn’t really put them at the top of our list. We ordered this projecting LED night light mainly out of curiosity and… well, it’s still in the office.
The night light functions easily, it’s contained within the base but the bulb creates soft, colored patterns on the ceilings and walls around it. Trippy would be the best way to describe it, if you remember those old visualizers for music programs you’re on the right track.
You can also plug a phone into it to play music, although that’s not exactly a bedtime recommendation in most cases. The patterns are interesting and varied, and the reviewer who tested it in their children’s room found them sleeping easily after a bit.
There is one problem: it has an automatic shut off that comes on one hour into operation. That means it’s not going to be great for the middle of the night and if your child is still awake you might hear about it.
If that doesn’t deter you, however, this was undoubtedly the coolest night light we’d ever seen. It’s the most expensive on our list as well but still reasonable. Just be aware of the limitations if this is the route you go.
- Projection LED
- Can be plugged in to play music
- Just the right amount of light
- Probably the coolest thing ever
- Automatic shut off
- A bit expensive
5. The Simple Option
Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light
Alright, some of you have been waiting for this. These are just simple LED night lights which happen to be well-built, cheap, and come in bulk.
There’s not a lot to write about them. They have an automatic day/night sensor, provide a dim but usable white light, and they work.
They are great for tight outlets, having a smaller profile than most light nights out there without you needing to rotate them to make sure the other utility plug is accessible. They all made it through our testing unscathed and those who’ve been using them for a long time don’t seem to have complaints about durability.
And, at a couple of bucks per light, you can fill even a large house with them cheaply to make sure you have adequate lighting at night.
Sometimes simple is the way to go, and if you’re looking for a no-hassle LED night light this is the one you’ve been looking for. Pick up a pack and enjoy the savings.
- Super cheap
- Provide a relatively “warm” white LED light
- Come in bulk
- Low profile on outlet
- No colors available
- Might be too dim for some people
Why Your Light Matters
As we noted above, there are some serious reasons to make sure you get the right night light.
Light is divided into the colors you see in the visual spectrum. While all light will affect your circadian rhythm to some extent, the different wavelengths have different effects.
So, what does the science actually say?
Your body’s sleep system is regulated by a hormone called melatonin. The same stuff you’ll find over-the-counter sleep aids. It’s what makes you tired.
However, melatonin’s cycle within your body is regulated by light exposure. Not all light is equal, instead the differing wavelengths of light can have different effects on your melatonin system.
In this case, blue light is often the culprit. During studies it was found that the effect was pretty drastic too: blue light suppresses melatonin for twice as long as green light.
Here’s the messed up thing: our new energy efficient bulbs are awesome, but they also contain a much higher portion of the blue spectrum than good old fashioned incandescents. LEDs are in our phones, lights, and just about everywhere these days. Most peak in the blue range although they appear white to the human eye.
However, LEDs in the red range exist, and have much less harmful effects since blue light can be lowered or completely eliminated.
The end result: red night lights have less effect on your sleep.
Since blue light impedes melatonin levels, minimizing exposure before bed time is a serious concern for many people. While not everyone can kick the “phone in bed” habit, having an LED with minimal effects on your sleep instead of just a dim light can make a big difference in how fast you fall asleep.
The Right Stuff in a Night Light
Well, now that we’ve had the educational segment… let’s hop right into the stuff that we found differentiated night lights apart from the wave length.
One of our favorite little bits of technology to differentiate modern night lights is the on/off photosensor. These allow the light to turn off and on automatically depending on the amount of light which is contained within the room.
For children’s lights we looked for aesthetic qualities in addition to the light itself. There’s simply a ton of different designs available and you really can’t go wrong as long as you have an LED bulb in there.
And, the truth is that there’s really very little difference as long as the light bulb is solid. Most of the differences that matter we pre-selected for before even bringing in the night lights which we decided to test.
Still, there is some debate about regular night lights. While they probably shouldn’t be used in the room, they’re great for those who are visually impaired as light in the normal spectrum can avoid nightly mishaps. Red light just tends to look dimmer than any other color.
There’s one other big thing to pay attention to: how far the light from your night light reaches. We suggest keeping most of them at least three feet from your bed, preferably further. While some of our lights were quite bright up close, they faded rapidly with a little bit of distance.
Minimizing the Impact of Blue Light
If you just can’t get over red light, there are a variety of ways to counteract blue light exposure during the day.
The most commonly recommended course of action is just to make sure that you get enough bright light during the day. So, it looks like for once blue collar workers actually have an advantage when it comes to tech, since the soft fluorescents of most workplaces aren’t enough to mitigate blue light.
There are also a variety of blue light filtering glasses and goggles out there which can help to minimize the effect on your sleep cycle by simply limiting your exposure. These are an expensive option, however, often running up to $80 for a pair.
Keep in mind that blue light isn’t necessarily a bad thing. During the day it boosts alertness, helps to regulate the sleep cycle, and it’s necessary for the proper development of children. It’s the fact that modern life exposes us to it at night that messes with our circadian rhythm.
Some ways to limit the effect are the following:
- Limit Screen Time- LED monitors, smart phones, tablets, even our TVs emit a lot of blue light. Keeping your usage to a minimum, and especially avoiding them for an hour or more before you go to bed, is the best way to avoid the effects. The hours before bed are especially critical for melatonin production.
- 20-20-20 Rule- If you work in front of a screen… well, it’s hard to get away. You can help reduce the effects by focusing on a point twenty feet away for twenty seconds every twenty minutes. This is also good for general eyestrain.
- Daylight Exposure- Making sure that you have exposure to a few hours of daylight from the late morning through the early afternoon, when the sun is at its peak hours. This can help to regulate your circadian rhythms.
- Apps or Night Mode- Most phones and tablets have a “night mode” which shifts the spectrum of the screen away from blue. If it’s not native to your device’s OS then you may need to find an app to handle it for you.
For most people this is going to increasingly become an issue as time wears on, it’s hard to get away from standard LED lighting in modern life for any considerable length of time.
Should You Get a New Night Light?
It’s a personal choice, of course, many people are just fine with dollar store models which use an incandescent light. And after all we’ve told you about blue light, you might be a bit hesitant about switching to LEDs.
The truth is this: using your phone in bed is a bigger deal than a night light placed across the room when it comes to blue light exposure. The effects on the circadian rhythm can’t be ignored, however, and going with a red light is probably the way to go for most people.
We asked our reviewers if they’d be getting new night lights after testing was done and many of them answered yes. The biggest reason cited? Automatic on/off lights which turn on when the lights go down. Many people either forget to turn on their night lights or
For most people, their children’s night light is the biggest concern. If that’s the case for you, then we recommend looking into the child options we picked up above, for older children, however, the same red light that we recommend for adults should work just fine.
Really, if you’re happy with what you have then there’s no sense in running through the house replacing all of your lights. If you’re on the fence, try ordering one of the type you prefer before replacing all of them.
And really, in a perfect world we’d have found a one-size-fits all solution for you, but here we didn’t. There are too many variables in how people use their lights, all we can do is give you the information to make sure you’re happy with the one that ends up in your home.
Night Light FAQ
Q: Does my baby need a night light?
A: Probably not, depending on their age. It appears that fear of the dark develops a bit later, in most children appearing at 2 to 3 years old although it’s been reported as early as seven years old. It’s not a big concern while they’re very young but as they grow up it’s a good idea.
Q: Why the move to LEDs if blue light is bad for sleep?
A: LEDs are changing light technology rapidly. Whether it’s the simple bulbs in your home, complicated worklights, or even a humble nightlight they’re bound to show up. The effects of blue light on sleep were poorly understood until recently, but there’s been a shift towards more “friendly” LED patterns in the spectrum.
Q: Are there any other advantages to a red night light?
A: There’s one enormous advantage offered by red lights instead of the usual white or “warm” colors which show up in lighting. Red light doesn’t cause you to lose your night vision as rapidly. In practice, that actually means they make it safer to navigate once you leave the lit area as your eyes won’t have to fully re-adjust to the dark which can take up to ten minutes.
Q: Do regular night lights affect sleep?
A: Even if we’re talking about incandescents… the truth is that any light at all will affect the melatonin cycle in your body. Red light is the least harmful, being on the opposite end of the color spectrum from blue, but the absolute best sleep will happen in the absence of light.
Q: Where can I learn more about light and the circadian rhythm?
A: For those who are curious about how the different parts of the light spectrum can affect their sleeping patterns, we’ve found a good layman’s guide for you to peruse. It’s fascinating stuff and especially important to understand for those with insomnia.
Q: When should I limit screen time before bed?
A: According to studies, you’ll want to back off the phones, tablets, and computers for at least half an hour before bed. An hour is better, and two is the best practice if you can manage it. The important thing is to minimize exposure as you’re getting ready for bed.
Q: Is red light necessary in bathrooms and hallways?
A: It’s probably a good idea to make all of the night light bulbs in your home red, but the problem with having them in the bedroom is that you’re exposed all night which causes your melatonin levels to fluctuate. It’s perfectly fine to use white lights outside of the bathroom, although we don’t exactly purposefully picking blue ones.
Q: What about Himalayan salt night lights?
A: There’s been a recent surge of interest in Himalayan salt lights. The idea is that the photons passing through the salt produces negative ions due the hygroscopic nature of the crystalline material. The jury is out, but some people swear by them. We didn’t test any, but we came across this highly rated lamp during our research if you’re interested in exploring the effects.
We weren’t expecting to have to research color spectrums to bring you the best night light, but here we are. A good night light is a welcome companion through the darkness, but they’re definitely not all made equal. Instead some though should go into making sure you have the best night light for your home.
We’re still really fond of the Maxxima LED Multi-Color. While we’re not too sure why it has a blue option, both of the other options are great for those who need a bit of illumination in their room and the ability to go full red is an excellent way to get a good night’s sleep without having to keep your room pitch black.
There’s something out there for everyone, so dig down deep and get the light that you need for your home.