If you haven’t bought a night light in a while, you may be in for some surprises. No longer are you limited to small, bulb-style lights that hang off of your power outlet. Today, there are plenty of full-sized options as well, designed to sit on your nightstand. Why the sudden popularity of larger night lights? The simple answer is space. In the past, dimmable lights were expensive and awkward to use. This meant that if you wanted an ordinary light on your nightstand, a full-sized night light would be space-prohibitive. But nowadays, you can easily use the same light for both functions.
In the past, we’ve reviewed night light star projectors. These run the gamut from pure fun to educational, and are generally geared towards kids. The same is true for night lights in general. As a result, you can expect to see a lot of colors and color-changing features. That said, if you just want a soft white night light for your own needs, you’ll find that here as well. Thanks to LED technology, you can use the same light for white and colored light. At least, that’s the case with many night lights. To find out more details, read on and learn about each of our selections.
We’ll be starting out with the Gladle Magnetic Night Light. This light gets its name from its magnetic base, which is easy to mount on just about any surface. Next, we’ll look at the Urlitoy Night Light. This is a cylindrical light that’s reminiscent of a large wax candle. Finally, we’ll examine the VAVA Night Light. This is an egg-shaped light with a rotating, color-changing mode. But which one is the best choice for you? To find out, we’ll need to take a closer look at each of these night light options. We’ll look at their operation, their features, and their overall design. After that, we’ll render our verdict.
Important Night Light Features
Before we get too far into the weeds, let’s take a minute to discuss the features you should be looking for. What makes one night light better than another? The most important factor is the type of bulb used. We’re looking at LED night lights, because LED bulbs perform better than older incandescent and newer CFL bulbs. Instead of lasting for a few thousand hours, they can easily last for 50,000 hours or more. They also provide a steadier shine, without any flicker or variation. Because of these advantages, an LED night light is really the only way to go.
Another advantage of LEDs is that you can oftentimes adjust the color. We mentioned multicolored lights already, and these are certainly a part of the equation. But even with ordinary white light, there’s a lot of variation. Cooler, blue light, for instance, is often used in offices, because it has a stimulating effect. On the other hand, warmer, redder light is usually preferable for a night light. This color of light is less likely to keep you or your child awake at night. If you also want a bluish light for daytime, look for a night light that can change between different whites. Along the same lines, adjustable brightness is also a huge plus. You’re going to want much more light in the daytime than you will from a simple night light.
Another important consideration is the physical size of the light itself. For instance, suppose you’re dealing with a very small nightstand, or a nook in the wall. In that case, you might want to use a smaller light. Conversely, if you’re dealing with a larger nightstand, a larger light might be more worth considering. There are slightly different considerations for coverage. A light that sits higher up will spread light over a larger area. However, you may want a nightlight lower down, to illuminate a small area without lighting up the room. If the light is easy to reposition, you can usually get the best of both worlds.
Beyond this, see what other extra features you can get your hand on. For instance, many night lights have a sleep timer that automatically shuts them off after a few minutes. This can be a must-have feature if you like to read while you’re dozing off. Extra mounting options, music, and other bonus perks are usually not make-or-break considerations. But they’re still an important part of the overall picture.
Gladle Magnetic Night Light
The Gladle Magnetic Light has a shape that’s difficult to describe. It’s not rectangular, it’s not cylindrical, and it’s not a globe. It’s a weird combination of the three, but it has a contemporary vibe that looks very sharp. Unlighted, it’s fairly understated, with a white base and a white frosted upper housing. The base is made from ABS plastic, and the upper housing is made of BPA-free silicone. This means the entire light is safe for children and infants. They can gum or chew at it all day, and nothing bad will happen to them.
The bottom of the base is magnetic, and will stick to any ferrous metal surface. Admittedly, this seems silly at first. It’s not as if you’re going to stick a night light on the outside of your fridge. But the package includes a metal base that can adhere to your walls. This gives you a semi-permanent place to attach your night light any time you need it. So you can use it on your night stand, for example, and put it on your bathroom wall at night.
The base portion also houses the Gladle light’s battery, which holds enough juice for 100 hours of use. This assumes you’re using the dimmest setting. On the brighter, daytime setting, the life will be considerably shorter, at about six hours. Even so, that’s a long time for a rechargeable light to last. Charging the battery takes about three hours via the USB cord. You can also leave the light plugged in continuously for constant use. Keep in mind that if you’re going to do this, you’ll need it to be out of reach of children.
Lighting Modes and Features
The Gladle light is fairly simple to control, via a single button on the bottom of the base. When you hold this button down, the light turns on. Hold the button again for two seconds, and the light shuts off. Tapping the button cycles through the three different modes: warm light, cool light, and RGB. The warm light has a temperature of 2700K, and the cool is a much brighter 6500K. In RGB mode, the light will cycle between 256 colors, seamlessly transitioning its way around the color wheel.
Here’s where it gets interesting. When the Gladle light is upright, the top also functions as a button. In white light modes, you can hold it down to turn the brightness up and down. It has a reasonably wide range, with a very bright top setting and a bottom setting like a firefly. In RGB mode, the top button can be used to lock in a specific color. Just tap the light when you see a color you like, and it will be locked in. Tap again, and it will start cycling again. In all modes, you can double-tap the top to shut the light off altogether. There’s also a one-hour sleep timer to help you save power.
Urlitoy Night Light
The Urltoy Night Light is cylindrical in shape, and is easy to carry and move around. At 3 ½ inches in diameter and 4 ½ in height, there’s just not very much to it. As we’ll see, though, there are no issues with brightness. The bottom half inch of the housing is solid white plastic, with a Micro USB charging port in the back. The rest of the housing is translucent white, and allows it to match whatever color LED is shining.
The controls are located in the top of the housing. An inner button controls the white light function, while an outer ring controls the color functions. The whole control surface is about the size of a half-dollar, and operation is fairly straightforward. On the bottom of the housing, there’s a small metal ring that can be flipped open. With this ring, you can hang the Urlitoy light upside-down for use as a lantern or tent light.
The battery will last for anywhere from four to 30 hours, depending on the brightness setting. But even at the low end, you’ll have plenty of longevity for most applications. The battery charges in three hours. Like the Gladle light, it can also be charged while the light itself is in operation. All of this is backed by a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, Urlitoy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like the light for any reason, you can return it in this window with no questions asked.
Lighting Modes and Features
The Urlitoy’s white light mode is activated by pressing and holding the center of the control surface. This will activate the ordinary white mode. Tapping this area will cycle through three brightness levels. The dimmest is a true “nightlight” setting, suitable for your bathroom or hallway. The brightest is more than enough to read by. All three are a warm white, without a lot of blue light to keep you awake.
Activating a color is a bit more confusing. If you just tap the outside of the control surface, it won’t actually do something. To switch to a color, you need to touch the outer ring, then drag your finger to the desired color. This control scheme works just fine. But it’s a bit quirky, and it’s confusing the first time you encounter it.
VAVA Night Light
VAVA is an experienced electronics manufacturer, with offerings including USB docking stations. The VAVA Night Light is an egg-shaped light, with an anti-skid base and a frosted white housing. The controls are located on the base, and consist of a couple of simple switches. On the sides of the base, you’ll also see an LED light that blinks when the battery gets low. This can take as long as 100 hours on the dimmest brightness setting. On the brightest setting, you’ll still get about five hours of use. There’s a Micro USB cable in the kit, so you’re ready to charge right out of the box.
Lighting Modes and Features
The switch on the bottom is used to choose modes. The first setting is for white light only, while the second is for RGB mode. In this mode, the light will cycle through eight colors. A secondary switch activates a 1-hour sleep timer.
Like the Gladle light, the VAVA’s main housing also works as a button. You can press the top to adjust the brightness, or to activate the night light mode. You can also double tap the top to enter or exit standby mode. This makes the light easy to operate, even when you’re sleepy.
So, where does this leave us? In many respects, a lot depends on what you need to get out of your night light. We started out by reviewing the Gladle Magnetic Night Light. This was the most versatile option by far. It has two white settings, both of which come with adjustable brightness. Furthermore, it produces a whopping 256 RGB colors, and you can lock it into displaying any of them. The battery life also isn’t half bad. And the magnetic base makes it easy to mount wherever you want to.
The Urlitoy Night Light offers fewer color options and fewer whites as well. However, its three whites are a soft white, and the seven colors are bright and clear. Not only that, but the compact size and built-in hanging ring make it suitable for travel and camping.
The VAVA Night Light offers a handful more options than the Urlitoy. You get a sleep timer, a color cycling mode, and stepless brightness adjustment. And with its egg-like shape it’s fairly attractive to look at.