The Best Night Lights
The Hatch Rest is sleek and minimal in appearance, yet high-tech. As a 3-in-1 product: night light, sound machine, and time-to-rise tool for toddlers and children, the Hatch is a top-performing device that will reduce the number of products taking up space in your child's room. 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 app onto a smartphone, tablet, or android, and through Bluetooth, it will connect to your device. This operation means you can access and adjust the Hatch from the comfort of your bed without entering your child's room. Other control methods include the touch-sensitive silver ring or the button interface underneath. However, the app provides a broader range of options than other control methods. On 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 a curious toddler touching the device cannot disable a program that is running. Thanks to its range of functions, there is no doubt that the Hatch will grow with your little one and provide years of service.
The Hatch does have a few downsides to consider. It only operates when plugged-in to an outlet, so it is not portable. The button interface is underneath the device and requires two-hands to pick-up and tip to access it, which is slightly inconvenient with 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, the Hatch has many praise-worthy features. If you fancy the modern design, value the multiple functions rolled up into one device, plus app-control, yet don't mind the lack of portability, then the Hatch Rest is a product we recommend for you and your family.
The VAVA VA-CL006 quickly became a tester favorite thanks to its simplicity in both design and operation. This lightweight product has a plastic exterior and is waterproof. It offers two light colors (cool and warm white), adjustable brightness, and a one-hour sleep timer. We appreciate the touch-sensitive controls that you can perform with one hand - a convenient perk for when you are 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. Also, the VAVA includes a carabiner to hang the device, along with 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 or cover the sensor above the logo; but, often avoidable if you grab the lower-half. So, if you are seeking simplicity, portability, product longevity, and a little fun (thanks to the carabiner and face stickers), then this is a product for you.
The Eufy Lumi Plug-In embraces the set it and forget it mentality. Simply place these compact lights in outlets around your home to illuminate dark spaces, such as hallways, staircases, bathrooms, and bedrooms. As a room darkens from the setting sun, the Eufy senses the change and will automatically increase its soft glow till decreasing as the room brightens with the morning sun. 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.
Although the Eufy offers a dim glow, the brightness is not adjustable. When plugging Eufy into an outlet, avoid turning it upside down. Also, it will most likely go into the top socket, which reduces one socket available for other devices needing electricity in that location. Despite these minor drawbacks, if you prefer having multiple lights to illuminate several spaces, plus want the best bang for your buck, then the Eufy will meet your needs.
Eye-catching for its bear-shape cuteness, the LumiPets Bear is hands down a perfect buddy for any child. The soft, squishy, non-toxic silicone material (free of BPA, latex, lead, and phthalate, too) makes it 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, plus adjust the brightness and set 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 remote control offers more features than tapping. So, if the remote is accidentally lost, adjusting brightness or setting a sleep timer will no longer be possible. 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 purpose of the remote, especially if you need to walk across the room to press the button. Lastly, the battery life of 12-20 hours is not ideal. If you leave the LumiPets on through the night, it will need to charge the following day for nighttime use. Although this is not a deal-breaker, it is something to consider when purchasing. Despite these flaws, the LumiPets is a kid magnet. 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 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 turn on and off. Press and hold to adjust the brightness. It includes a charging cable but no plug but offers a decent battery life, which is ideal for parents who don't want to charge a device every day.
This device does have some downsides. It does not include a plug, and the charging cable is not as standard as a USB cord; therefore, if you lose it, you'll have to purchase one. Users report that the eyes easily remove, and since they are small in size, this is not safe or suitable for small children. After investigating this issue, we can confirm that the eyes do easily pop off and agree this raises safety concerns. Sadly, this is an unfortunate issue as the chick functions well. We only recommend this product for older children who can reliably use the smart chick and not consume its small parts.
The Cloud B Twilight Turtle is a dreamy soother for a little one as they drift off to sleep. This soft, plush toy with 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 provide years of enjoyment and will be a family favorite.
Unfortunately, this product does not include batteries, and although not a big deal, it is something to note. Also, there is no way to adjust brightness or change the sleep timer timeframe. This product would not be your main and primary night light. Instead, it is perfect for projection, entertainment, or as a soothing tool for your child. If this fits your needs, we recommend the Cloud B Twilight Turtle.
The Skip Hop Soother Owl projects a moon and stars on the ceiling or wall with an adjustable pivot lens, plus a glowing belly with dimmer control. It also functions as a sound machine, playing four melodies and four sounds. 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. The product is made of plastic and is durable.
Unfortunately, this product does not have a battery back-up and requires plug-in power to function, making it not portable. Also, the projection is narrow and does not compare to the other projection product in our review. Considering the Skip Hop Soother Owl's performance and price-tag, we recommend looking elsewhere and adjusting your budget. If you like the idea of having a night light and sound machine rolled into one device, the Hatch Rest is worth the splurge for higher satisfaction 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 worry about the plastic's durability, specifically cracks or chips resulting from falls onto hard surfaces or down flights of stairs. There is no option to change brightness. Also, some users report that the power button is small and challenging for half-asleep toddlers to locate in the dark. After examining this issue ourselves, we agree and wish a more prominent button was in its place, preferably not on the bottom. However, with a low price-tag, this product could be a back-up or secondary light for your little one to carry around the home.
Why You Should Trust Us
Leading this review is Molly Bradac, part of the BabyGearLab Review Team. With over 14 years of experience as a Nanny and Newborn Care Specialist, Molly has worked with dozens of families. Her experience includes helping children establish sleeping routines, creating calming environments for sleep, and overnight care for newborns, managing feeds and diaper changes by the glow of a night light. Molly's experiences and knowledge render expert recommendations for you and your family. Also contributing to our review are Max and Eliza, two little hands-on testers, ages 18-months, and four years of age, respectively. These little testers have an essential role in our testing, which is to merely play, allowing our experts further to assess durability, plus usability from a child perspective.
Analysis and Test Results
Each product underwent a side-by-side comparison and hands-on testing. We enlisted the help of our two little testers to help test our metrics, specifically ease of use and durability.
Ease of Use
As busy parents and caregivers, we already have enough to focus on, why add to it? So purchasing an easy to use device is essential. Among the competition, the Hatch ranks high in this metric 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 is a runner up thanks to its simplicity and the fact it does not require adjusting once set-up. On the other hand, 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 that it disrupts the 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 the baby's eyes by placing in low, near the floor. Many of the products in our review provide adjustable brightness with the Hatch Rest offering the most extensive range. The Cloud B Twilight Turtle, Eufy Lumi Plug-In, and Munchkin Light My Wayare not adjustable.
Children are not always gentle nor careful creatures, and we anticipate a product to drop, fall, or crash at some point. Therefore, durability is essential, especially if your little one will be handling it. Each product was examined and assessed for material, sturdiness, and areas that may raise concerns. The top-ranking products in this metric include the Eufy Lumi Plug-In, Cloud B Twilight Turtle, and LumiPets Bear. A few low-ranking products include the Tecboss Smart Chick as the eyes remove, which is unsuitable for younger children. Also, the Muchkin Light My Way has plastic material that feels less robust, and we worry about cracks and chips from falls.
For little ones, fearing the dark is typical, and night lights provide reassurance. From midnight feedings and changes to a quick peek on your sleeping child, you will also be glad to have a night light illuminating the room. Let the information in our review help you make an informed decision. We are confident there is a product here that will meet your baby's needs and your goals.
— Molly Bradac