What is a projector night light?
A projection night light is typically a soft, colored light that projects onto the wall or ceiling. The lights typically change colors and some project moving images like stars or other shapes. The idea of using these lights at night is to take your child's fear away from the dark and replace it with something positive (i.e., adorable dancing teddy bears).
Projector night lights can be used as an alternative to traditional night lights for kids who are afraid of the dark. They often feature cute characters that children find comforting, such as ladybugs, bunnies, owls, and dinosaurs. They also come in many different colors, so you can find one that will coordinate with your child's room.
Types of night light
Night lights come in two different types:
- standalone night lights that sit on a tabletop or mount to the wall or ceiling
This is a traditional night light that will give off a soft glow when you flip the switch. Wall-mounted lights typically screw into an existing electrical socket and plugin with a long cord to keep it plugged in, while tabletop night lights typically use AA or AAA batteries to power them.
- projection night lights
Projection night lights work by bouncing a colored LED light off of one mirror and onto another mirror, which reflects the image through the lens and projects it on the wall or ceiling. Since they don't emit much light themselves, they must bounce light from another source (i.e., your child's room light) onto whatever surface you'd like to project onto; however, most kids find watching moving images projected on the wall more calming than staring at a dark, stationary image.
There is also a type of projection night light that will play lullabies to help your child fall asleep. Not all projection night lights have this feature, however. The ones with lullabies typically come with an AC adapter and use an LED bulb to project stars onto the wall or ceiling.
Standalone vs Projection night lights
Standalone night lights are either electric or battery-operated, so there is no need to plug them into another source. They typically sit on a tabletop or mount to the wall, and some can even be affixed to the ceiling. In most cases, they use LEDs for illumination.
Projection night lights have two components: bulb and projector. Bulbs have either an AC adapter attached to them or run on batteries, which power the LED light inside of them that projects images onto a surface such as a wall or ceiling. Projectors bounce the LED light from the bulb off of one mirror and then onto another mirror until it reaches its destination. It requires an external light source in order for this process to work--for example, your child's room light, a nightlight, or even the moon outside.
Projector night lights for babies and toddlers
There are also projection night lights designed specifically for babies and toddlers. These types of lamps typically have a more basic design with few buttons, if any at all. They typically run on batteries and use LEDs for illumination.
Their main purpose is to project a soft glow onto walls or ceilings so that your child can see their surroundings in the dark without turning on an overhead light (which could be disruptive). Unlike other projection night lights, these types of lamps do not rotate or change color; they simply project one colored image onto the wall until you turn them off again.
Consider the safety
Make sure you do not aim projector into crib area. According to safety experts, it is never safe for projecting any images into the sleeping area of a baby/toddler because their eyes are still developing and could cause damage/blindness.
It is strictly advised by every parenting organization to keep babies in a black-out environment during night time because it's developmentally important for them to sleep well through the entire night so they can remain healthy and develop well.
How to know your child needs a night light?
Children often fear the dark. They are not aware that it's just an absence of light, so they may think that if the room is too dark then something might happen to them. If your child is afraid of the dark at bedtime, projecting images onto their wall or ceiling could be a good way to help soothe them to sleep with scenes of bunnies hopping through a meadow or stars twinkling against a vast night sky.
So, if your toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, or if you find them scared of the dark, a projector night light could be a good solution. Just make sure to choose one that is age-appropriate and features designs or characters that your child will enjoy. There are many different types of night light projectors on the market, so it shouldn't be too hard to find one that your child will love.
How do you choose the best projector night light for your child?
What to look for when buying a night light
When shopping around for the best night light for your child, here are some features you need to consider:
- Size and space - how big is the unit? Is it too big to fit on their dresser or nightstand? Will it block their path if they need to get up in the middle of the night? Also, keep in mind where you'll be putting it (wall mounted vs tabletop). Some units come with clamps so that you can hang them easily on a doorknob or bedpost. Others will stand up next to furniture so that they don't impede movement, while others attach directly to the wall. If you're looking at projecting an image onto the floor, then you'll need a projector that sits low enough to not block your child's view.
- Features - does it change color? Does it have a timer or shut off automatically after a certain time? Is there an option for continuous play or is the unit only meant to project one image before shutting down? What age group is this suitable for? Look at what type of images are projected and make sure they're appropriate for your child's age group. Also, keep size in mind if you're projecting onto the wall and want to create patterns and shapes, as larger units might get in the way of this.
- Durability - how long will it last before breaking down Will it survive repeated wear and tear? How sturdy is the build?
- Price - night lights can vary in price, so before you buy, consider how much you're willing to spend on one. You don't have to break the bank, though, as there are many affordable options available.
When choosing a projector night light, consider the following factors
- Age of your child – Some night lights are more appropriate for younger children, while others are designed for older children. Be sure to choose one that is age-appropriate.
- Type of projector – There are two types of projector night lights: standalone models and projector lamps. Consider which type would be most suitable for your child's room.
- Projector features – Many projectors have a rotating function, allowing your child to choose the images they would like to see projected on their wall or ceiling. Others have adjustable focus so you can vary the size of the projected image. Some also have soothing sound effects and built-in nature sounds that can be heard as part of the projection show.
- Brightness – Night lights come in a range of brightness settings, from low light all the way up to very bright light, so you can pick one that is just right for your child's bedroom.
- Power source – A portion of night lights plug directly into an electrical socket; others use batteries, which gives greater portability and ease of use.
- Safety – Make sure to choose a night light that is made from non-toxic materials and is certified as safe for children by a reputable organization.
A projector night light is a wonderful way to calm your child at bedtime. Just be sure to choose one that is age-appropriate, safe for your child, and will fit into the décor of their room.
Thank you for reading this article! Best wishes!