Tired Of Fumbling Around In The Dark? Let These Motion-Sensor Night Lights Guide You

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Sometimes the smallest and most utilitarian thing can make the biggest difference in your home. With a proper night light, for example, there are a lot fewer accidents caused by trying to navigate in the dark. However, the best motion sensor night lights can take you a step further. Not only are they more energy-efficient, but they are also easy to install, and they can give you the comfort and security you need for your space — even when there’s no outlet available. Besides brightness, you’ll also want to keep in mind that the range of motion detection can vary between 5 to 25 feet.

When selecting one of these motion-activated night lights, think about its intended spot and what (if any) power source is nearby. A traditional night light that you plug into an electrical outlet is the most low-maintenance and low-cost option, but it’s also the most limiting. If you have a dark space — like a closet, or garage — that could use the glow of a motion-sensor light, you’ll get much more flexibility with a model that’s battery operated and comes with the right accessories for secure installation (usually an adhesive tape). For even more convenience, look for options with a rechargeable battery.

Next, consider how bright of a light you need, which is a figure measured by lumens — the more lumens a light has, the brighter it will be. As a rule of thumb, a typical night light has around 10 lumens, but, you’ll find a vast range (even some with multiple settings), and it will ultimately come down to personal preference. If you want your light to trigger in a bathroom or near a bed in the middle of the night, a colorful one may be a welcome option. Studies have shown that red light, for example, can help signal to your body that its time for sleep.

Now that you’re illuminated on how to choose one of the best motion sensor night lights, you’ll find six options to choose from below. I’ve even included a few unconventional picks like one for the toilet and one that doubles as a flashlight.

1. This Plug-In Night Light

  • Power source: Electrical outlet
  • Brightness: 20 lumens

If you need a low-cost motion-activated night light, you can’t go wrong with this one from GE. When motion is detected within 25 feet It emits bright, white LED light and then turns off automatically after 90 seconds. Plus, it can be plugged into any standard outlet, and the prongs in the back are offset so that it won’t cover two outlets at one time. More than 1,500 Amazon fans have given this device an average of 4.6 stars, and one reviewer noted that it can light up a large room without being overpowering to the eyes in the middle of the night. For just a few dollars more you can also pick up the brighter and slightly larger 40 lumens version.

Helpful review: “This is the perfect automatic night light for a bathroom or hallway. The motion-detector works every time, and the light is just bright enough, but not too bright. I find that this softer not-too-bright light makes it easier to get back to sleep after getting up in the night to go to the bathroom.”

2. These Battery-Operated Ones That You Can Place Anywhere

  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Brightness: not provided

This affordable bundle of eufy by Anker lights is a great deal for the price. They can be attached to a wall or surface with the included adhesive tape or, for more permanent placement, with the included screws. These night lights detect motion within 10 feet and turn off automatically after 15 seconds. Although the lumens aren’t provided, reviewers described them as emitting a soft, warm white light.

Helpful review: “Placed at the side of both my staircases, they quickly detect my presence before I get to the stairs, throw plenty of light on the treads, and stay on for about 15 seconds after no more motion is detected.”

3. This Clever Night Light And Flashlight In One

  • Power source: Electrical outlet (nightlight); rechargeable lithium battery (included for the flashlight)
  • Brightness: 25 lumens (night light); 30 lumens (flashlight)

Not only can this Sensky motion sensor night light be used in a room or a hallway, but its unique design also allows you to detach the light from the base (which doubles as a charger) and use it as a flashlight, too — a highly useful feature to have, especially in the event of a power outage. When in night light mode, its passive infrared (PIR) motion detection is activated whenever there’s a person moving within 10 feet of it. Afterward, the light automatically shuts off within 25 seconds of inactivity.

Helpful review: "I use this in my laundry room, through which we enter from the garage. It goes on immediately when we enter with an armload of stuff, and it is bright enough to see without turning on a light switch. I also love that it is an easy-to-access flashlight in case of a power failure. It slides easily in and out of it’s holder, which stays plugged into the wall. I have recommended this light to others in my family."

4. These Colorful Magnetic Night Lights

  • Power source: Rechargeable lithium battery (Battery and USB charging cord included)
  • Brightness: 60 lumens

These round motion sensor LED night lights cast a colorful glow (in fact, these are the brightest option on this list) and are simple to use. The back is magnetized which makes it easy to stick them to any metal surfaces (like a refrigerator or cabinet). Or, if a metal surface isn’t readily available, you can opt instead to hang it using one of the included magnetic stickers. Their passive infrared (PIR) motion detection turns the lights on when a human body is detected within 16 to 22 feet and turns off automatically after 15 seconds. Best of all, there are eight different color options to choose from

Helpful review: “I love these lights. The battery lasts forever, the motion detection is impressive and the fact that you can change the color is so fun. I use these lights to light the hall between my room and bathroom as well as in the bathroom so late at night I don’t have to blind myself with high powered LEDs. Would recommend to anyone.”

5. This LED Night Light For Under The Bed

  • Power source: Electrical outlet
  • Brightness: not provided

With this 5-foot long motion activated bed light, you can add an indirect white LED light to the underside of a bed, baby crib, kitchen or bathroom cabinets, or really anywhere you need it! Each strip comes with 3M sticky adhesive backing to secure it in place, plus an additional 3.5-foot power cord so that you can plug it into an electrical outlet. Unlike some other picks on this list that turn on with any motion, this version is designed with passive infrared (PIR) motion detection so it will only turn on when a human body is detected. It also has a wide field of detection (11.8 feet) and an adjustable shut-off time (from 30 seconds to 10 minutes). Although the lumens figure is not provided, Amazon reviewers report that it is plenty bright.

Helpful review: “Waited over 8 months to write this review, and glad to say the LED strips were easy to install (used it for a large pantry/storage closet that has an electrical outlet), motion detection has been consistent, and brightness excellent.”

6. This Clever Night Light For Toilet Bowls

  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Brightness: 20 lumens

For an interesting spin on late-night illumination, look no further than this fan-favorite toilet night light, which has earned a 4.5-star rating after more than 4,700 reviews. With 16 neon color options and five brightness levels to choose from, it makes it easy for you to locate your porcelain throne in the dark. There are no tools required to install, either, just use the hook to hang it under the seat. The lights will turn on once motion is detected within 5 feet and then will automatically shut off after a minute has passed (or no further motion is detected). Bonus: they come with a 1-year warranty.

Helpful review: “These lights are AWESOME! Easy to install, as the light and battery pack are separated by a bendable area (which can accommodate different widths of toilet), and the bendy part is nice and flat so it does not interfere with the seat stability if you need to sit instead of stand. The motion detection is fantastic, works every time.”

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