LED Night Lights or Bright Night Lights?

The right LED night lights, types, bulb and brightness and other important things to help you have a handle on emerging health risks and have a piece of mind.

Some LED night lights come with bells and whistles you don't really need. With LED Make sure your night light is not too bright to affect your child's health and distract from a healthy sleep. Here's the important things I found out about LED night lights.

The other day I was shopping for new night light ...

WHAT else you find here:

Heat and the lifetime of your LED night lights.

White LEDs should stay white.

Do you really need the bells and whistles?

Color changing may distract your child from sleeping.

Too bright may have long term harmful effects.

Have a night light without buying a new one.

... Then it struck me ... and I went for LED. Why led? Because I was fed up with not finding the right low voltage bulb for the fancy one we had. And a really reliable LED light wouldn't need replacement until my little one becomes a teenager. Hopefully by then she won't need a pilot light all night. - You can only wish...Anyway...

As I was researching and browsing, came accross some interesting facts that I had to combine with my experiences about night light brightness. Then I uncovered some more important points.

Our old night light had a fancy lamp shade which my little one fell in love with instantly. It had some familiar cartoon figures on the shade. Only the merchant didn't sell a 7Watt replacement bulb matching the socket and it was impossible to find one. Finally, after a lot of searching I found one. Not the same, but similar enough. (Or so I thought.) At 10Watt, it was only just 3Watts more. In it went, in the socket. Then, I plugged it in and switched it on. Baaang. The whole socket went grey from billowing smoke. On the top of that, the resulting short circuit meant no light or power in that part of the house the whole night. (Actually, I only figured this out the next day, when I could check more sockets. That night, I just thought, what the heck, the bulb in my own night light must have lost umph the same time...the kind of coincidence you'd expect to happen when things go wrong.) But I digress.

What I didn’t know of course, is that for a low voltage bulb the only 3Watt difference was actually huge. Still, it doesn't change the fact that to this day I didn't find a replacement bulb. But I am not looking any more. At least not for one with an old incandescent type of light.

What I am looking for is L E D night light. And on the way I learned some important facts about how to choose one. That is what I'd like to share with you. Perhaps I spare you some disappointment.


Night lights and the health of your child's sight

Recent studies make some correlation between the increased number of teenage myopia and the brightness of light a young child is exposed to while sleeping.

Interview Dr. Richard Stone,
Department of Opthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute

This and other things I read up on since made me thinking. Just How to look for a proper LED night light ....

A Caveat to keep in mind

As manufacturing quality increases with quantity, these problems will diminish, but depending where you buy - you might experience one or all.

Heat and the length of your LED's life

The product that is marketed with lifelong operation burns out from excess heat. This shouldn't happen at all. Given that night lights are very low voltage, you should not feel noticeable heat. If you do, chances are your LED night light has some manufacturing fault and will not last long. Before making the purchase, make sure that the manufacturer has years of solid reputation.


White LED bulbs should stay white.

You buy a night light with a white LED unit. A white LED is basically a blue one doped in white phosphor. So if you notice that your night light becomes noticeably bluer, the phosphor mast be of a lower quality. It might be about to fade quite soon and so turn your white LED into a blue one.

Do you really need the bells and whistles?
You were tempted and bought a night light with the bells and whistles. It is very tempting to buy a laser pod that comes with a spectacular light show and lots of accessories to make the effect even more unforgettable. While these are often marketed as night lights, their usage may be more appropriate as LED night lights for party lights, not sleep lights. With a night light you might want to have for your child something that does not distract them from sleep. (It's enough to fight for an hour to get them into bed, you really don't need more distraction.)


Color changing may distract your child from sleeping.

The other variety is the color changing LED night light. Since it is not difficult for a LED light to be color changing (it is just the matter of the program packed with your LED's chip) most manufacturers offer this as an advantage. Some even pack in a strobe light function. These two are absolute no-nos on my list. Maybe, once your child gets used to it. But they are surely more useful as party lights or mood lights. The color changing light washing your face could even be part of a color therapy. However, under no circumstances would I accept a strobing function packed with my child's LED night light.

Update on this ...

I am not ashamed of correcting myself when correction is due. Well..., yes, ended up getting a color changing nightlight, BUT one in which WE can stop at just one color.
Tip: With one click of a button you can make it a party light. The proverbial: two for the price of one...


Too bright may have long term harmful effects.

And last but not least let's have some words about the brightness of the night light. A LED night light's light output (a scientific measure of brightness) is somewhat more than electroluminescent (EL) light or some neon guide light. But if you buy one which is 4-7W, you'll notice that it's output will be much less than it's 4-7W incandescent equivalent. A key with brightness that if your night light it is too bright, your child may not complain. However, there are studies that show, just how much your child may be affected nevertheless. I go with my gut feeling on this. I think 4-7W is safe. With a LED night light you also use much less power.

Have a night light without buying a new one.

Finally, there is a chance to solve your problem without buying a new fixture. There is such a thing that you can buy to turn your existing lamp into a night light. It is called a night light control converter. It really is a thing that senses the level of light. You can fix this light sensor in between the bulb and the socket and it will turn your light on at dusk and turn it off at night automatically.

More on solving sleep problem with LED light

LED Light Therapy - Healthy Light and Your Sleep pattern

Wake up to an artificial dawn - Read about Dawn Simulators


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