Best Night Light for Kids
Don't be fooled by the sleek and minimal appearance of the Hatch Baby Rest. It is high-tech, combining three products (night light, sound machine, and time-to-rise tool for toddlers and children) into one device. The exterior is plastic, and a charging cord with a plug comes with the device. Arguably one of the most innovative features of the Hatch is its app-control. Download the Hatch app onto a smartphone, tablet, or android, and through Bluetooth, it will connect to your device. This convenience means you can access and adjust the Hatch from the comfort of your bed without entering your child's room. Otherwise, control the device by its touch-sensitive silver ring on top or by a button interface underneath. But the app does provide a broader range of options than the other control methods. Through the app, create and save programs with your favorite color, sound, and brightness level, which will run automatically. The program settings include a "Toddler Lock" option, so if a curious toddler touches the device, it will not disable a running program. Considering its range of functions, the Hatch will grow with your little one and provide years of service.
The Hatch has a few downsides. It only operates when plugged-in to an outlet. This lack of portability means you cannot take it from one room to another. Using the button interface underneath the device requires two-hands (one to hold the device and the other to push buttons), which is slightly inconvenient if you have a baby in your arms. However, once you set-up a program on the app, it will run automatically, and if modification needs to occur, the app is the easiest method to use, not the button interface. All in all, despite its flaws, we think the Hatch has many praise-worthy features. If you fancy its minimal design, value its multiple functions, plus consider yourself tech-savvy and like the idea of using an app, we recommend the Hatch Rest.
The VAVA VA-CL006 quickly became a tester favorite thanks to its simplicity in design and operation. This lightweight product has a plastic, waterproof exterior. It offers two light colors (cool and warm white), adjustable brightness, and a one-hour sleep timer. The touch-sensitive controls provide the ability to operate the device with one hand - a convenient perk if you're holding or feeding your little one. The VAVA sits on a small, stable charging dock, and if you're half-asleep, placing the device on top of the charging dock is easier to do than locating a charging cable. At full charge, this light is portable and ready to travel with you around your home or nursery, plus its battery life is excellent. We appreciate that the VAVA can be at service well beyond the newborn late-nights and into childhood. The VAVA includes a carabiner to hang the device and face stickers to decorate the outer shell for some personality. Users report that the VAVA company has responsive customer service and offers an 18-month warranty, which we appreciate.
The VAVA includes a charging base and cable but not a plug for the outlet, and you will need to search your home for an extra or order one. Navigating the touch-sensitive controls is tricky until you read the directions and practice. Luckily, there is a helpful small sticker with instructions you can leave on the device, but the learning curve is short, and once you master it, it is easy to use. Users report that the touch-sensitive controls can be touchy, and while carrying or moving the device, the settings unintentionally change. From our testing, we agree that this can occur if you grab the top of the light or accidentally cover the sensor above the logo, and usually avoidable if you grab the lower half of the device. So, if you seek simplicity, portability, product longevity, and a little fun (thanks to the carabiner and face stickers), this is a product for you.
The Eufy Lumi Plug-In embraces the set it and forget it mentality, plus at a budget-friendly cost per light, this system may appeal to those on a budget. Simply place the compact lights in outlets around your home to illuminate dark spaces, such as hallways, staircases, bathrooms, and bedrooms. As a room darkens, the Eufy senses the change and automatically increases its soft glow until the room brightens. The Eufy is ideal for families with a trek to the nursery or to boost their toddler's confidence by illuminating the route to the bathroom, avoiding the use of eye-blinding overhead lights. Also, the Eufy can be at service long after late-night feeds and changes and into childhood.
Unfortunately, you cannot control the brightness of the Eufy, and we think the glow of the Eufy is slightly brighter than dim. When plugging Eufy into an outlet, avoid turning it upside down. A plug-in light will reduce one socket available for other devices needing electricity in that location. But, despite these minor drawbacks, if you prefer having multiple lights to illuminate several spaces, such as hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms, plus want the best bang for your buck, then the Eufy may meet your needs.
Eye-catching for its bear-shape cuteness, the LumiPets Bear is a perfect buddy for any child. The soft, squishy, non-toxic silicone material (free of BPA, latex, lead, and phthalate) makes a great cuddle companion. It is rechargeable, portable, and includes a micro USB cord. Operate the Lumi by either tapping it to select one of nine colors or flow through the color spectrum. Alternatively, use the remote control to choose the same color options, adjust the brightness, and set the sleep timer of 15, 30, and 60 minutes. The remote control is easy to use and is an exciting feature for children. Also, the LumiPets is dishwasher washable, a rare perk that we appreciate.
The LumiPet does not come with a wall plug, and the charge cord is short, limiting where you plug it if you're using it. The remote control offers more features than tapping, so if the remote is accidentally lost, the options of adjusting brightness or setting a sleep timer will no longer be available. Additionally, the remote control will only function with a press of the power button on the LumiPets first. We feel that this flaw defeats the remote's purpose, especially if you need to walk across the room to press the button. Users mention the battery life is not ideal, and if you leave the LumiPets on through the night, it will need to charge the following day for nighttime use. These factors aside, the LumiPets is a kid magnet. Seriously. If you think your child will enjoy this soft, cuddly light that shines multiple colors and has a remote control, then we are sure this LumiPets will bring bedtime happiness and keep the monsters under the bed at bay.
The Cloud B Twilight Turtle is a dreamy soother for a little one as they drift off to sleep. This soft, plush toy with a hard plastic shell widely projects eight major constellations onto the walls and ceiling in three color options: green, blue, and amber, or flow through all colors. This product is durable and will withstand the rage of toddlers. Plus, it is portable as a battery-operated light and will automatically shut-off after 45 minutes, preserving the battery. Use this light to entertain your baby during tummy time, or incorporate it into naptime and bedtime routines. Regardless, we are sure that this product will be a family favorite and provide years of enjoyment.
If you hope to use the turtle once it arrives, we advise having batteries on hand as the turtle does not include any. Also, there is no option to adjust brightness or to have it run constantly through the night. Therefore, we don't view this lovable turtle as a primary night light. Instead, we believe it is perfect for families who want a kid-friendly, adorable creature with an astral projection that will leave kids of all ages oohing and aahing, plus it may make the darkness seem less frightening.
If you're hitting the road and need a dual-purpose product (a night light and sounds machine), the VTech Myla The Monkey may meet your needs. This adorable monkey does it all, plus its travel-friendly size makes it a must-have for your child's routine away from home. The monkey's cheeks let out gentle light, providing a familiar light to help soothe your child's fears of the dark while falling asleep away from home. Plus, it can work in various locations, thanks to the monkey's stretchable tail that can hook around a stroller handle, doorknob, or baby's car seat. It is truly a cute pal you'd love to tag along. Customize the light's brightness with a button on the monkey's tummy, and it plays lullabies and white noise. Other features you can control include volume, as well as an auto-timer (60 minutes), or choose to have it play on until it drains the rechargeable battery. We do appreciate not having to worry about ordering and having on-hand alkaline batteries.
If you're charging the monkey while in use, keep in mind, the rechargeable cord is short, so this will limit where you can plug it in. Also, the Myla does not come with a wall plug. Therefore, you'll need to sacrifice a plug adapter or modern USB plug for the cord or purchase one dedicated to the monkey. Besides these drawbacks, the Myla works well as a dual-purpose, travel-friendly product.
Plug the Vont Lyra LED Night Light into a wall outlet, and it will automatically illuminate your little one's nursery or other spaces around your home with a cool white color. With multiple lights, this set is excellent for those who need to light-up several areas. The sensor will gradually turn the night light on and off as the environment dims or brightens. And, with a LED light source, the manufacturer states the lights should not heat.
Among the set, we experienced fluctuations in sensor performance during our hands-on testing, mainly in medium-bright locations. One light would illuminate, yet another would not. But, in a fully dark room, all the lights automatically lit up, which is the main objective. Also, the lights offer a set brightness, and there is no way to make adjustments. Despite these flaws, we think this product is good for families who need to illuminate multiple locations around their homes for late-night nappy changes and feeds.
The Tecboss Smart Chick is small, portable, and adorable. It has silicone on the top and plastic on the bottom. Press down on the chick's head to turn it on and off. Press and hold to adjust the brightness. It includes a charging cable but no plug but offers a decent battery life, ideal for parents who don't want to charge a device every day.
This device does not come with a wall plug, and the charging cable is not a standard USB cord, like other products in our review. Therefore, if you lose it, you'll likely need to purchase an extra. We also noticed that the chick's eyes can easily be removed, and since they are small in size, we are uncomfortable with its use by small children who might get ahold of and attempt to swallow the eyes. In our opinion, this is an unfortunate issue as the chick functions well. Therefore, we only recommend this product to older children.
The Skip Hop Soother Owl is a 2-in-1 product. It projects a moon and stars on the ceiling or wall with an adjustable pivot lens, and the owl's belly glows with dimmer control. As a sound machine, it plays lullabies and nature sounds, plus you can let the device play continuously or set a sleep timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. The button interface is user-friendly and offers the ability to adjust brightness and volume. Overall, the product is adorable and may work well for a woodland-themed nursery.
With no option to run on batteries, the owl requires plug-in power to function, making it not portable. The stars and moon projection is narrow and less grand than the other projection product in our review. We also noticed that the sound quality is not the best. If the owl compliments your baby's nursery and you are okay with average performance, we think you may be satisfied with this product. However, if you don't mind slightly adjusting your budget, we believe the Hatch Rest may worth the splurge for higher satisfaction, performance, and quality.
The Munchkin Light My Way is a good match for an owl-loving toddler who cannot reach light switches and wants a portable light to illuminate the way. One press of the button to power on and off this battery-operated product. Plus, it features a 20-minute sleep timer that will power off the light, which means no fretting over draining battery life. It is made of plastic and features a grabbable handle for easy carry.
There are a few downsides. The light does not include batteries, and although this is a simple fix, it is an added step before the product is functioning. We wonder about the plastic's long-term durability, specifically cracks or chips resulting from drops onto hard surfaces or down flights of stairs. There is no option to change brightness. Some users also report that the power button is small and challenging for half-asleep toddlers to locate in the dark. We agree and wish a more prominent button was in its place after examining the issue ourselves, preferably not on the bottom. But, consider usability and its low price-tag, we view this product as a potential back-up or secondary light for your little one to carry around the home.
Why You Should Trust Us
Led by a pediatrician and mother of two children, BabyGearLab has been testing baby-related products over the past decade, developing unique testing procedures and gaining expertise to rate and rank products. Directing our night light review is Molly Bradac, Senior Review Editor, as well as Nanny and Newborn Care Specialist with over 14 years of experience. Molly has worked with dozens of families, and her skills include sleep training, establishing sleep routines, and providing overnight care for newborns. Molly's experiences and knowledge render expert recommendations for you and your family. Also contributing to our review are little testers who play an essential role in our testing, allowing our experts further to assess usability and durability from a child's perspective.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased each product in our lineup and evaluated each product's performance. We completed hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons, paying close attention to ease of use and durability.
Ease of Use
As busy parents and caregivers, we already have enough to focus on, so why add to it? We highly suggest purchasing an easy-to-use device. Among the competition, we think the Hatch ranks high with its app-control that you can use remotely, plus it creates and automatically runs programs with your favorite settings. The Eufy Lumi Plug-In and Vont Lyra LED Night Light are runner-up contenders as plug-in styles, automatically turning on and off. However, we think the Munchkin Light My Way is the most challenging. The power button is tricky for toddlers to find in the dark, and with a sleep timer of only 20 minutes, both factors increase the likelihood of you getting out of bed to help your little one.
Range of Brightness
Ideally, a product should illuminate a space to provide adequate vision, yet it shouldn't be so bright as to disrupt your baby's sleep and melatonin secretion. A range of brightness can be an essential feature on a unit, and the products that offer this option rank higher than others. If a product does not provide brightness adjustment, avoid having it shine in your baby's eyes by placing it low near the floor. Almost all of the lights in our lineup provide adjustable brightness, with the Hatch Rest offering the most extensive range. However, the Cloud B Twilight Turtle, Eufy Lumi Plug-In, Vont Lyra LED Night Light, and Munchkin Light My Way do not offer brightness adjustability.
Children are not always gentle or careful creatures, and we anticipate a product to drop, fall, or crash at some point. Therefore, durability is vital, especially if your little one will be handling it. We assessed each product for material, sturdiness, and areas that may raise concerns. Regarding durability, we think some top-ranking, kid-friendly products include the Cloud B Twilight Turtle, LumiPets Bear, and VTech Myla The Monkey. However, a few low-ranking products include the Tecboss Smart Chick as the eyes can remove, which we believe is unsuitable for younger tots, and the Munchkin Light My Way has plastic material, which we feel is less robust.
A night light can provide a soft glow for midnight feedings and changes, a quick peek on your sleeping baby, or to reassure your little one that the darkness is not as spooky as it seems. Regardless of the scenario, we think you will be happy to have a light illuminating the dark. Let our expert recommendations help streamline your decision-making process, and we are confident there is a perfect night light here that will meet your needs and goals.
— Molly Bradac