Best Nightlight for Kids
The right type of light at night for your kids is more important than you realize.
Kids are far more affected by the wrong type of light at night than adults.
While it’s true that most kids are more resilient than adults, when it comes to light this isn’t the case.
Using the wrong light at night for your kids can lead to sleep issues and degenerative eye problems.
Children may be terrified of the dark, but we have fund this is largely because adults light up their rooms at night starting from the time they are babies. Personally, our kids have slept in dark since they were less than a year old and they need to light to go to sleep.
If you aren’t this lucky and your kids need light to sleep, or you want to light up their hallway or bathroom to ensure safe passage at night, then having the right type of light is critical.
What’s Wrong with Light?
At night, lights harm our melatonin and circadian rhythm. This means kids don’t sleep as well at night if they experience light after sunset.
In addition to sleep disturbances, light at night has been shown to negatively affect mood the next day.
Humans have receptors in their eyes for blue frequencies of light. Since most all lightbulbs, phones, TVs, and computers, and night lights contain blue light, we stimulate the receptors in our eyes each night. When this happens, our bodies think it’s daytime. Cortisol, the stress hormone is increased while melatonin, the hormone of darkness, is suppressed. This is a bad combination at night. In adults this light at night is associated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
Simply put, seeing light at night, and especially sleeping with lights on in our rooms leads to negative health consequences.
Considerations when choosing night lights
So, you have decided that your kids can’t sleep without some kind of light, or perhaps you just want a light in the bathroom.
You want to avoid lights that give off blue light. That doesn’t mean you can just buy any bulb that doesn’t look blue.
Every light you can buy at your local hardware store has blue light in it. LED and CFL lights have more blue than incandescent lights, even if the light coming out of them looks warm or more yellow.
We took spectrometer readings of many lights and have not found a conventional light that is free of blue anywhere.
Remember, the blue in light bulbs, including dim light can lead to circadian rhythm disruptions and possible health concerns.
You want to find a night light that provides just enough light but not too much. In addition, it needs to be free of blue, and preferably green light. These are the two wavelengths studied and shown to impact circadian rhythm.
Believe it or not there are pure red lights you can buy.
These red lights have no blue or green and are just pure red light that has been proven not to destroy melatonin at night.
If you want a light at night that can be moved from place to place or even one used to read books at night, look no further than those from Gembared.com (Discount code SLEEP for 10% off).
Gembared makes reading lights and portable red light therapy lights. While I wouldn’t use one of their lights as a “nightlight” because they are too bright and used for red light therapy, I would use that same therapy light as my lighting at night and I actually do. A nightlight is something I would use in a hallway for dim light at night, or you could use in your child’s bedroom. While a light is something to light up a room like your living room, kitchen, or dining room. So while we don’t use nightlights here, we do use Gembared lights to light up our hone after dark in our bedroom and living room.
For reading at night, they make two portable reading lights that are pure red lights. We use these at night to read and bring then with us when we travel. Our kids use these to read books at night and to navigate their bedrooms.
In addition, Amazon stocks a pure red plug in night light here that we used to use in our hallway. Now we just use the Gembared Rave light strip (discount code sleep) for our hallway lighting. You can see that in the newspaper article we were featured in here, just look for the photos.
If you want something with more ambience and slightly less red, you can put a Himalayan salt rock lamp in your child’s room. While this is not as ideal as pure red, since it will still give off some, but not much, blue light, it’s far superior to conventional lights.
Night lights we recommend
The best of the best
Gembared Crane and Calm (discount code SLEEP)