Lightening is a crucial part of interior decoration, also in your child’s bedroom. Good lighting should not only be fun to look at but also be aid your child’s development.
What to look for when shopping for kids night lights?
Firstly, be mindful of the light’s color. Manufacturers often used bright and vivid colors to stimulate and engage the child. When we choose things for our children, be it toys or something as simple as a night light, we tend to pick colorful designs that seem the most fun. And while your child might love that bright blue dolphin that illuminates their room, you should know that it can have damaging effects on the child’s sleep quality.
People have recently started becoming more aware of the fact that white and blue lights are disturbing our natural sleep patterns. We have started wearing blue light blocking glasses and smartphones now often come with sight protection filters you can turn on at night to avoid putting additional strain on your eyes when you browse Facebook before bedtime. Still, most kids night lights makers insist on creating ‘entertaining’ and ‘lively’ designs while overlooking the negative effects they can have on a child.
Why is blue light so bad for humans? It is not, as long as it’s coming from natural sources. Like most things, it has its advantages and disadvantages. We need blue light to boost our brain’s cognitive functions and to regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm. The main source of blue light is sunlight. That’s why we usually feel more alert and focused during the daytime rather than at night (with some night-owls as exceptions). Other sources include fluorescent lights, led lights, and any kind of electronic screens. Being exposed to sources of blue light after sunset decreases the release of a hormone called melatonin that causes us to feel drowsy and helps fall asleep. Blue light tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime, messing up our circadian rhythm. That’s why we shouldn’t expose our children to blue light before bedtime. Let’s leave the bright colors to toys.
What colors should we choose then?
Kids night lights should provide gentle light that isn’t hard on the eyes. Choose a color from the opposite side of the light wavelength spectrum from blue – i.e. red. Red and orange shine with a warm and gentle light. Dim lighting should be enough for any child’s bedroom if you want to make sure that they sleep well and are properly rested tomorrow. There are still plenty of fun designs to choose from that don’t use damaging blue light. Let’s pick those to show night light makers that we don’t want products that are detrimental to our children’s health.
Another option is to ditch a night light altogether but that may be a bit extreme, especially if your child is prone to having nightmares or is afraid of the dark. By choosing a gentle orange lamp you can be sure that it won’t disturb the child’s sleep even if left on all night.