Thursday, April 1, 2010
Product Reviews: Portable Night Lights
After my 2-year old's numerous attempts to unplug and play with his night light, I became concerned about him getting zapped by the outlet as well as playing with the delicate bulb. So, I purchased Mobi's Tyke Light. (above) It's designed so that your child can carry it down the hallway when he or she needs to make a run to the bathroom, get a drink of water, or sneak Oreos out of the junk food cabinet.
The friendly little bulbous guy sits on the charger, and glows when removed, when the power goes out, or when the little button on the bottom is pushed. Push the button repeatedly to select blue, green, red, or continuously changing light colors. I love this product...it does not get hot so it's safe to lie in my son's bed with him and safe for him to play with. Plus, it resembles a little martian to me, sitting on his flying saucer-like charger, which goes well with his outer space themed bedroom! ;-)
($20.13 on Amazon, or $9.88 for the "junior" version)
The new GuideLight by Philips works in a similar way in that it can function as a night light and be taken down the hall as a flashlight. I haven't seen it in person myself, but it does look pretty cool online. This one also has a motion sensor, so it will turn itself on when it senses movement. It also turns on when removed from it's charging base, or when the power goes out. ($22 on Amazon, via LifeHacker) Many thanks to my brother for sending me the link on this, which prompted me to write about night lights! ;-)
KinderGlo also puts out a selection of portable night lights, clearly a knockoff of the Mobi. But, they come in some animal shapes and also have some good reviews online.
I received a Twilight Turtle light from a friend at one of my baby showers. It's cute, cuddly, and projects constellations on the ceiling of baby's room. You can also select one of three colors for the light, and it turns itself off after so many minutes. The shell is hard and the body is soft, with a velcro flap on the bottom that covers the on/off switch and battery door. I used this every night when my first baby was little, until it just stopped working (even with new batteries). The only thing I didn't like was that to really get the stars to display over baby's head, you'd have to set the thing right next to baby's head. They recommend you set it in the center of the room, like 5' off the floor...I doubt most people have a 5' tall piece of furniture in the middle of their room. Nevertheless, they are cute and work well as a night light too. They now have a sea turtle and a ladybug. His nursery was bug themed, so if they had that one back then, I would have gotten it! (around $25-$32 on Amazon)
For my 2nd baby, I purchased the Homedics SoundSpa projector and sound machine. I guess I wouldn't classify it as a night light but it does work like one when the projector is on. I really like this product...it packs a lot into a little space for under 20 bucks. (Plus I got it at Bed, Bath & Beyond with my 15% off coupon!) It comes with three different projector discs, neatly stored inside the unit, so you can choose what colorful scenery your little one can watch rotating around on the ceiling: moon/stars, fish, or jungle animals. Then there are 3 sounds that you can choose to accompany the projection (heartbeat, rain, ocean waves) and 3 lullabies (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Rock-a-bye Baby, and Brahms Lullaby). The light blue section you see above where the projection comes out actually pivots, so you can set it on the side of the crib and aim the image above baby's head. It took me a few weeks to stumble upon that feature! There is also a timer so you can set it to go off after 15, 30, or 45 minutes. With a volume knob on one side for the audio and a dimmer on the other for the projector, you can set it just right for your baby's room. There's also the option to turn on only the audio, only the projection, or both. I like that this is small enough to toss in a suitcase if we leave town, making it easy to bring baby's bedtime comfort with. However, this one does plug into the wall.
My only suggestions for improvements to this as a designer would be to make the buttons easier to differentiate when it's too dark to read what's on them, whether it be a tactile signal or by making them back-lit. I still use trial and error to pick the audio vs projection in the middle of the night.
Do you use a different night light for your little one? Let us know what you think of yours!