Shopping Guide

Shopping for Night Lights

Even if you’re not afraid of the dark, you may want one of these.

With the advent of LEDs, night lights have gotten a lot more interesting. (The Lexon Mina rechargeable, portable light is $30 at MoMA Design Store.)

  • Dec. 28, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET

If you’ve ever stubbed your toe while stumbling to the bathroom in the middle of the night, the value of a good night light is obvious — even if you’re no longer a child.

“The purpose is to bring comfort in the dark, which could be for a few reasons as you get older,” said Brigette Romanek, the founder of Romanek Design Studio in Los Angeles. “Maybe you still feel that fear of the dark, or you’re not seeing as well as you used to.”

Or maybe you just want to find the toilet.

With the advent of LEDs, night lights have gotten a lot more interesting, Ms. Romanek noted. There are portable lanterns and dimmable lamps. Some can be integrated into the floor or the wall, and others project light on the ceiling.

“I’ve slipped into my daughter’s room because she has one that replicates the night sky,” Ms. Romanek said. “It’s just so soothing.”


  • Where are night lights most useful? “It’s whatever works best for you,” Ms. Romanek said. “You can light a path” to the bathroom from the bedroom, she suggested, or gently illuminate kitchen counters.

  • What color temperature is best? A bluish-white light might be good in a bathroom or kitchen, Ms. Romanek said, “but if you just want a little light in the night to feel comforted, you might want more of an amber color.”

  • What if you don’t want the light on all the time? Some models have dusk-to-dawn sensors, motion sensors or timers for automatic control.


Plug-in light with ceramic diffuser

$35 at Pottery Barn Kids: 800-993-4923 or potterybarnkids.com


Rechargeable, portable book-shaped lamp

$150 at Lumio: hellolumio.com


Tiny rechargeable, portable lamp with warm and cool light settings and dimmer

$30 at MoMA Design Store: 800-851-4509 or store.moma.org


Motion-activated toilet night light with multiple colors

About $13 at Illumibowl: illumibowl.com


Cast-aluminum lamp inspired by vintage toys

$199 at RH Baby & Child: 800-762-1005 or rhbabyandchild.com


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