Stumbling around in the dark is never a good idea.
But, for seniors, it can be dangerous.
A well-lit home is something that we often take for granted. But, as we grow older, it becomes a necessity. Proper lighting contributes greatly to the mobility, safety, and quality of life for seniors.
The right lighting allows seniors to lead independent yet safe lives. This is never more true than at night.
So, here is my guide to choosing the best nightlights for seniors.
I’ll also include some tips on where to place them to improve nighttime safety!
Scott’s Summary (TL;DR)
Nightlights offer tremendous safety benefits for seniors. There are lots of options to choose from too: motion-activated, touch-activated, dusk to dawn, self-stick, plug-in, and more. Even flashlights and salt lamps can be used as nightlights.
Where you put your nightlight will help you choose the best style for you. For example, you don’t want a light on all the time while you are sleeping. But, you don’t want to fool with switches while you are walking either.
So that you know, I do earn a small advertising fee (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase anything by using these links. If you choose not to use them, I hope this information helps!
Here’s the Best:
More of My Favorites to Consider:
Aren’t Night Lights for Kids? How Night Lights Benefit Seniors
Night lights can benefit seniors in two major ways:
They Enhance the Other Safety Measures You Have In Place
Safety is always the top reason to think about lighting for seniors. And, it comes in various forms.
Inside your house, adequate lighting is required to reduce the chance of slips, trips, and dangerous falls. It also helps you perform important tasks such as taking the right medication. The bathroom safety products you use are easier to use if you can see them properly, right?
Outside your house, night time security lights help keep your home safe from intruders. And, lighting on the driveway, sidewalk and doorstep reduces the chance of falling if you have to leave your home when it’s dark.
Proper lighting also contributes to improved eyesight in seniors which leads to more productive and safer daily lives.
Eyesight typically worsens as we age which is why seniors need good lighting. It lets you accommodate changes in eyesight, eye disorders, and much more. Glaucoma, cataracts, floaters, and yellowing or hardening of the lens are just some of the common eyesight problems in seniors.
Generally, seniors require more lighting in their homes than other people due to these issues.
Different Types of Night Lights
It’s important to have the right type of light source located in the right place. Otherwise, you are just wasting money.
Why put a lamp that has to be manually switched on at the far end of a bedroom?Then you will need to cross the room in total darkness and try to find the switch.
Different situations need different lighting options. So, when it comes to night lights for seniors, here are some options for you to consider:
Motion-Activated Night Lights
Motion-activated night lights are always the top of the list for the elderly.
These lights automatically light up when you get near them. So, they spare you from having to search for the switch.
The hands-free nature of motion-activated lights, however, can be a downside too. Sometimes, people get startled when the lights pop on suddenly.
Touch Activated Night Lights
The touch-activated night lights usually have a round, flat base with a large touch surface.
So, wherever you touch the lamp, it switches on. You can thank the multiple sensors built into the device for that.
Touch activated lights are highly recommended for people with Alzheimer’s because they are easy to use. They are also very helpful to seniors whose fingers are not as nimble as they once were.
Timed Night Lights
Lights designed to turn on or off automatically at a set period of time is a wise option. That way, the lights come on set to a schedule. No need for you to remember that it time to turn on the light.
So, if you fall asleep on the couch and it gets dark, the lights will automatically turn on for you. Or, you could set a light to come on in the bathroom every evening before bed time.
You can combine some of these options too. For example, many motion-activated night lights also have timers.
Plug-in Night Lights
When you think of a night light, it is likely that is what comes to mind.
Plug-in night lights have been a favorite for kids and seniors alike for a long time now.
But, today’s plug-in night lights have features the old ones didn’t. For example, built-in light sensors. The light sensors switch the night light on once it detects the room’s ambient light has gotten darker. So, once it gets dark, the light will come on by itself.
Self-Stick Night Lights
I’ll bet you’ve seen this style on TV commercials. They look like large flat white discs and you press them to turn them on.
I use these myself at my home in closets that do not have light sources in them.
These are convenient to keep by the bedside because they are easy to find in the dark. They are even easier to turn on too.
Flashlights as Night Lights?
While not the best option for most seniors, it is worth considering.
Carrying a flashlight gives you the freedom to light up any area you like. And, you can take a flashlight anywhere in the house. No need to worry about electricity or plugs.
The important thing is to make sure you have plenty of spare batteries lying around. Or, else you might end up fumbling about in the dark.
Small Lamps/ Tabletop Night Lights
Small lamps can serve as tabletop night lights because you can easily place them beside the bed or in the hall.
While some of them are standalone lights, others look like regular tabletop lamps, complete with a pullcord, stand, and lampshade.
Salt lamps can easily be used as a nightlight. They are very decorative too.
Salt lamps light up your room with a beautiful golden light. It is even reported that salt lamps can purify the air and relieve allergy symptoms which means it might do more than just provide light
Salt lamps emit a soft amber glow which I personally find very relaxing.
Here is one from Amazon if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about:
Where Should You Put Your Night Light? A Few Different Places!
In addition to thinking about the best type of nightlight, also consider where to put them. Proper placement of night lights might just require some strategic thinking.
The most important area is the bedroom. But, you probably don’t want a light that stays on all the time here. Dark rooms are important for quality sleep.
The best night light for a senior’s bedroom is a touch-sensitive light, a self stick light, or a flashlight on the night stand. It should be placed within easy reach. Bedside lights should provide enough light for you to find your favorite slippers and reach the door.
Another important place for a night light is the hallway.
The hallway is often the path between the bedroom and bathroom. It is also where trip hazards seem to pile up. If you home is like mine at least.
For the hallway, I recommend motion-activated night lights or ones that come on automatically at dark. It’s unsafe for you to fumble around in a darkened hallway.
And, you shouldn’t have to search for a light here either.
Stairways are especially dangerous in the dark.
Here you want a night light that comes on automatically like one with a motion or low light sensor. It is also important to make sure the entire stairway is covered in light.
It is recommended to always use the main lighting once in the bathroom for optimal safety.
But, a nightlight can help you find the light switch easier in the dark. Use a nightlight that comes on automatically at dark or on a timed schedule. A cheap plug in nightlight that is on all the time would be ok too.
I have the same advice for the kitchen. Always use the bright overhead lights in the kitchen.
But, you can supplement it with a night light so you don’t have to feel around in the dark for a light switch.
So, What’s the Best Nightlight Setup for Seniors?
Here’s My Recommended Setup for Seniors:
So, here is the ultimate setup for nighttime safety for seniors:
1. Keep the bedroom dark but have a plug-in touch light lamp at the bedside. Also, keep a flashlight or battery powered light near the bed for power outages.
2. Have motion-activated nightlights on the way to the bathroom or down the hall.
3. Have dusk to dawn nightlights in the bathroom and kitchen to help you see the switches for over head lights.
4. Always use the overhead main lights while in the bathroom or kitchen.
Recommendations: Best Night Lights for Seniors
Here are some of the best night time lighting solutions for a senior’s home beyond the typical lamp or overhead setup.
Use the buttons below to sort my recommendations by features or recommended rooms locations.
AMIR Motion Sensor Lights
This is the ideal night light for seniors since it easily sticks to any surface or wall, and has cool-toned LED bulbs, which are easier on older eye. These lights come in a set of 3 giving you lots of placement options So, all your nighttime stroll paths should be covered.
To make them even better, they have motion sense technology. Because of this, they turn on automatically when there is movement within a 10-foot radius. They also turn off after 15 seconds of inactivity. This helps save energy and power but still keeps you safe at night.
AUKEY Bedside Lamp Touch-Sensitive Table Lamp
$34.99 in stock
You should should see where you are going before your feet ever hits the ground. This bedside lamp is easily turned on by a simple tap on the metal base which is very useful if you need light fast.
This light has 3 settings to choose from. First, is a low setting that it acts like a night light. Next is a moderate option which is ideal for evening use. Finally the brightest setting is good for walking or reading at night.
If you frequently have power outages in your areas, it also comes in a version with a rechargeable battery!
Toilet Night Light by Ailun
A night light for the toilet is a great safety tool for seniors.
It helps prevent imbalance or embarrassing falls. This one will even illuminates the rest of the bathroom too to allow the you to see what they are doing.
The light also has motion sensing technology and is fully adjustable to fit any toilet.
Mpow Solar Lights Outdoor
These solar powered, wireless, waterproof outdoor motion-activated security lights are ideal for seniors concerned about the safety of their home and outdoor lighting conditions.
Each of the lights is equipped with 8 powerful LED lights that can fully illuminate any area. They have 3 light settings too! These settings include a strong light mode that provides instant bright light.
There is also a sensor light mode that gets very bright at the sense of motion but stays dark the rest of the time.
Mr Beams LED Stick-Anywhere Nightlight
$18.99 in stock
3 used from $ 18.61
These night lights stick any where so they are a great choice for seniors.
They are motion activated from 15 feet away and shut off after there is no activity for 30 seconds. The built-in light sensor keeps them from triggering during the daytime too.
They are battery powered (AA size) so they should be checked frequently. It’s also a good idea to keep extra batteries on hand so you don’t have to go a night or two without them!
You can get these in 2, 3, 4, or 6 packs.
Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light
1 used from $ 14.59
Looking for simple to install nightlights? These are literally plug and play!
These bright LED nightlights plug into your existing outlets for instant nighttime light. the offset design allows you to still use the other outlet too. They also have a dusk to dawn sensor so they only turn on when it is dark in the room.
These light do stay lit when dark so you might want to avoid them in the bedroom for optimal sleep.
SOAIY Touch Light Night Light
These touch lights are quick and easy to install about anywhere. They even come with magnets for use on metal objects!
These lights are bright and easy to use. Just touch them to activate. A short touch turns them on and off. But a long press makes them brighter or dimmer.
They do require 3 AAA batteries so make sure you keep some on hand. But, because they are LED technology, the batteries should last a long time.
GE 12498 Ultrabrite LED Bar Night Light
$8.97 in stock
5 used from $ 8.34
This is another easy to install and maintain nightlight for seniors. Just plug it in, set you r mode and you are ready to go.
There are three (two, really) modes to choose from. The first two are always on and always off. The third mode is the dusk to dawn setting which I recommend. This setting turns it on automatically when it gets dark and off during the day.
There are no batteries to maintain either. Just plug it, set it, and forget it.
Plug-in Night Light by POWRUI
A common complaint about plug-in nightlights is that they block the outlets.
But, you won’t have that complaint with this one. You can have your nightlight for safety and still have two outlets to use.
This one plugs in for power and has a dusk to dawn setting so that it turns on and off automatically. It also has a touch setting so that you can adjust the brightness from 3 different levels.
Sensky Motion Sensor Night Light
I like this light for its looks and also because of its unique options.
It has two modes so that there is always light for you at night. The first smaller light on the front turns on and stays on when it gets dark.
But, there is a second brighter light behind it that turns on when it senses motion. The brighter light also turns off automatically after 60 seconds of inactivity.
That makes this nightlight ideal for hallways, stairs, and other areas where having light is critical for safety.
Conclusion and Final Recommendations
Night time lighting solutions like these can allow seniors to live safe, comfortable, and independent lives. With the right setup, you can perform all your daily tasks without having to worry about limited eyesight.
Consider the areas you need the most protection. Then, decide what type of night light you like best. Think about what is most likely to work for your unique lifestyle.
Finally, choose from the list of the best nightlights for seniors above. Then sleep better knowing that if you have to get up in the night, your path is lit!
You can check out more lighting recommendations for seniors in this guide.