Updated April 14, 2021 by Sheila O'Neill

The 10 Best Adult Nightlights

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in April of 2016. People generally associate nightlights with childhood, but they can be useful for adults too. Keeping hallways dimly lit during sleeping hours can make it less jarring to get up to use the bathroom or get a glass of water, especially for houseguests or those with visual impairments who have trouble seeing in the dark. Our selections cover a wide range of aesthetics, price points, and features. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. GE Vintage

2. Sycees Plug-In

3. DoresShop Antique

Editor's Notes

April 13, 2021:

In this update, we removed the Mineralamp Himalayan Salt due to availability concerns and the GE Silver because its motion sensor doesn't seem to be built to last. In picking new selections, we made a point to provide a variety of aesthetics and features.

New to the list, the DoresShop Antique is a great choice for a rustic cabin, with a brushed-metal look and a warm glow that can be set to a custom level of brightness via the dimmer switch on the front.

On the other hand, the GE LED has a more minimalist contemporary design, with a white plastic base and a large light. Press the button and you can choose what color you want the light to be: either soft white or one of eight vibrant hues.

While the Rienar Mushroom wouldn't exactly be out of place in a kid's room, its simple botanical design isn't so childish that it can't be appreciated by adults. It has a light sensor at the bottom that makes the colorful LEDs get brighter as the room around it gets darker.

March 07, 2020:

Adult nightlights differ from nightlights for kids in a few ways. The most obvious distinction is style: the options in this list were chosen because of their "grown-up" appearances (in addition to functionality). We wanted to make sure that the mini fixtures we chose were not only good-looking at night, but in broad daylight too. Some of these have motion sensors that you might prefer if you don't need a light on throughout the night, but simply a guiding glow when you need to get out of bed in the dark to use the restroom. There are also highly decorative models in this list such as the Mineralamp Himalayan Salt and CPLA Printing Moon (which, by the way, are surpisingly affordable considering their stylish designs). If you're on the hunt for a bedside touch lamp, there are plenty of options in that category as well that lean more toward the sophisticated.

New additions to the list include the Paragon Clock, GE Vintage, GE Silver, and Loftek Sphere. Furthermore, the Soaiy Soother has been replaced with the updated Soaiy Aurora. The Geree Clock, GE Motion-Activated, Mipow Playbulb Sphere, and Authentic Street Signs NCAA have all been removed due to availability issues.

Special Honors

Ivy and Wilde Retro Ever wish your nightlight didn't need to be plugged into the wall? If so, this may be the item for you. It's a battery-powered, old school bulb that has a simple switch at its base. You can carry it with you from your bedstand to the bathroom if need be. artleylona.com

4. GE LED

5. CPLA 3D Printing Moon

6. Mr. Go Four-Inch

7. Soaiy Adjustable

8. Vintar 5-Stage

9. Rienar Mushroom

10. Loftek Sphere

How Do I Choose an Appropriate Nightlight For Me?

Motion-detecting nightlights can help you save on costs by remaining turned off until somebody moves within a pre-specified range.

The first question to ask whenever you're in the market for a nightlight is, "Where do I plan on installing this nightlight, and why?" Choosing a basic nightlight to put in the outlet next to your bed, for example, should be relatively straightforward, given that you may only need to consider whether that light's casing should match any of the surrounding decor.

If, on the other hand, the only available outlet in your room sits several feet away, you may want to pursue a nightlight that can be turned on and off by way of a timer, or a remote control. Thanks to technological advances, you can also purchase a digital nightlight that can be synced up to a smartphone. Digital nightlights offer a complete range of settings. These lights can be programmed to increase their brightness hour by hour, responding incrementally as the night begins to fall.

In the event you plan on using a nightlight on your porch or in a garage, it would make sense to seek out a model that works by way of a motion detector. Motion-detecting nightlights can help you save on costs by remaining turned off until somebody moves within a pre-specified range. Placing one of these lights in an outdoor setting might also be an effective deterrent to theft.

If you plan on putting a nightlight inside your toddler's room, it might be worth looking into an ambient model that can illuminate the walls in different shapes, or colors. In addition, you may want to confirm that the bulbs in a child's nightlight will not heat up, as this could result in the child's fingers getting burned.

Assuming you plan on using a nightlight when you're traveling, it's best to choose a model that can operate by way of battery power. This way you're not at the mercy of an outlet every time you hit the road.

Several Little-Known Benefits of Owning a Nightlight

The most common places to install a nightlight are in the bedroom and in the bathroom. But nightlights can serve as a utility throughout an entire house, as well. A common example might be placing a nightlight in any area where there is a single step, or a lowered clearance. Installing a light in these areas can prevent guests or other family members from tripping, bumping their heads, or stubbing their toes. A nightlight can serve a similar function inside a garage or a tool shed, where nails and scraps of wood tend to fall onto the ground.

But nightlights can serve as a utility throughout an entire house, as well.

Nightlights can provide a sense of security for your pets. This is particularly helpful if you're training a puppy to sleep in a crate, or to avoid feeling anxious whenever you're not at home. Nightlights are safer than burning candles in the bedroom. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than a third of all home candle fires begin in the bedroom - a percentage which is based upon an average of 25 home candle fires a day in the United States alone.

Nightlights are beneficial for any adolescents who are traveling off to dorm rooms or summer camp - any type of setting where a young person might prefer to stay up and read while nearby roommates are trying to sleep. Nightlights are also beneficial for bringing along to any vacation house, or on any business trip, given that the accommodations might seem unfamiliar, or even disorienting, in the dark.

Nightlights can provide the proper ambiance on a fishing boat or in an RV. Nightlights are also apt accompaniment for any outdoor patio or screened-in porch. These minor lights can help you to save on energy costs (by way of wattage), and they can also minimize the amount of money that you'll need to spend on replacing household bulbs.

A Brief History of The Nightlight

In the beginning, there was fire. And ancient cave drawings suggest that early man used that fire to cook, keep warm, stave off darkness, and scare off animals. Over time, man learned how to harness fire, and this eventually led to the birth of candles.

The first electric lamps ushered in a new era for bedside lighting.

The candle evolved over several centuries, with the biggest leap occurring by way of the kerosene lamp during the early 1800s. Despite fumes and a combustible reservoir, kerosene lamps were considered safer than candles for the simple reason that they housed a flame inside of glass. Kerosene lamps were also refillable, and they provided the convenience of increasing a flame's brightness, or making it dim.

The first electric lamps ushered in a new era for bedside lighting. For a time, electric lamps were small, and they needed to be powered by attaching a pair of wires to a battery. This changed during the 1880s, however, after Thomas Edison invented a light bulb that could pass an electric current through a filament to produce heat and light.

Up until 1986, outlet-powered nightlights had been largely designed for children who were afraid of the dark. The industry shifted after "clapper" nightlights (i.e., nightlights that could be activated or deactivated by the sound of human clapping) proved to be a hit among adults. Ever since, the nightlight trade has focused its efforts upon promoting household ambiance and safety. Today, it's not uncommon to find a nightlight in almost every room of an upscale house. Certain nightlights even offer a full range of settings, any of which can be adjusted by way of a remote control, or a digital app.


Sheila O'Neill
Last updated on April 14, 2021 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer and editor living in sunny Southern California. She studied writing and film at State University of New York at Purchase, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree. After graduating, she worked as an assistant video editor at a small film company, then spent a few years doing freelance work, both as a writer and a video editor. During that time, she wrote screenplays and articles, and edited everything from short films to infomercials. An ardent lover of the English language, she can often be found listening to podcasts about etymology and correcting her friends’ grammar.


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