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 night time safety!
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.
This futuristic-looking night light is two nightlights built into one. There is a smaller night light in the front that automatically turns on when it gets dark. Plus there is a bigger, brighter night light on the back that is motion-activated.
Overall this is my favorite night light for seniors because it is features both a motion-activated light and a dusk to dawn light as well. These two modes will ensure you always have the right amount of light when you need it. Plus, it’s not bad looking either!
First, there is a small light on the front of the unit that automatically senses the amount of light in the room and turns on as the room gets dark. That way, you will always have a small amount of light so that you aren’t completely in the dark. It’s a more dim, non-intrusive light for use in the bedroom.
Second, there is also a motion-activated component to this light. So, say you have the light in your bedroom. When the light senses your movement when you get out of bed, the motion-activated light on the back comes on. This light is bigger and brighter than the first light and helps light the way for you when you are up and moving. It turns off automatically after 60 seconds of no movement.
That makes this night light ideal for bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, stairs, and other areas where having light is critical for safety.
This combination product serves as a night light, an outlet extender and also a USB charger. Comes on automatically in dim light conditions and has 3 brightness settings. Simple plug-in installation.
A common complaint about plug-in nightlights is that they block the outlets and keep them from being used for other items. So, the night light gets removed to plug in the vacuum. But, will you remember to plug it back in afterwards?
You won’t have to worry about that scenario with this night light. You can have your night light for safety and still have two outlets to use as well. Heck, you can even charge two devices as well.
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.
I like this one for the bathroom (plugged into a GFCI outlet only) or bedroom because it provides the necessary light and doubles as a great place to charge your cell phones.
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 eyes. These lights come in a set of 3 giving you lots of placement options. So, all your night time stroll paths should be covered.
I also like that they use motion sense technology to they turn on automatically when there is movement within a 10-foot radius. They also turn themselves off after 15 seconds of inactivity. This helps save energy and power but still keeps you safe at night.
A potential concerns is that the AAA batteries will need to be replaced. But, because the lights are LED and only come on when there is motion, the batteries should last a year or more.
Another concern is that the self-stick lights could damage the wall surface if removed, so carefully consider where you place them.
This simple touch lamp can easily double as a night light because of the full length shade. This keeps the bulb from shining directly into aging eyes while napping or resting. It could be used in multiple rooms of the home due to it’s basic angular design.
For maximum night time safety, you should always 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 other settings to choose from. First, is a low setting that it acts like a night light by providing a soft warm glow to the room. Next is a moderate option which is ideal for evening use when you just need a little mood lighting. Finally the brightest setting is good for walking with minimal shadows or reading at night.
If you frequently have power outages in your areas, it also comes in a version with a rechargeable battery!
Yeah, I know. It might seem silly, but give me a second to explain.
Most falls happen in the bathroom while older adults are in “delicate” predicaments. Having a well-lit target can reduce the chance of a fall from the toilet or a “miss” when sitting down. It could just save some embarrassment. Or, at least might save a mess from other “misses”!
These bright LED lights turn on automatically as you approach the toilet and they stay lit for 2 minutes after they stop sensing movement. To install them, just add 3 AAA batteries and hang over the edge of the bowl. The flexible bracket installs on nearly any toilet too.
If you prefer a little fun when you gotta go in the middle of the night, the light can display in 8 different colors and even rotate colors every time it activates. Just to keep you guessing!
Super bright security lights with 28 LEDs light up even the darkest outdoor settings. Solar power charges the batteries at night and turn on automatically when they sense motion saving battery power for the times when you really need it.
When thinking about your night time safely, don’t forget about your outdoor lighting needs as well.
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.
When it comes to night light options, your choices are endless. There are thousands of designs, colors, and options to choose from. But, sometimes, you just want a simple, inexpensive light that gets the job done.
That’s why I recommend these automatic night lights for seniors and the elderly. They come on automatically when they sense low light conditions and turn themselves off too when the ambient light is at a safe level. So, no forgetting to flip a switch to turn them on. Saves a little bit of electricity too.
The light they put out is just enough to offer a safe path but not so bright as to disturb you. It uses LED bulbs which are very long lasting and use very little electricity. Just plug them into an outlet and you are all set.
Vont sent me a sample pack of these lights so that I could see them for myself. I put one in my hallway, another in the kitchen and bathroom, and another in my daughter’s room. They are bright enough that you don’t need to turn on overhead lights which could disturb others. But, they aren’t so bright that they’d keep most people awake – unless you just like a really dark room to sleep in. (Keep reading – I have a recommendation for you too!)
They come in a pack of 6 so you’ll have plenty of them to spread around the house. Plus, they are very affordable too – less than $2.00 per light
This is another easy to install and maintain nightlight for seniors. Just plug it in, set your mode and you are ready to go.
There are three (two, really) modes to choose from. The first setting is you can turn the light off and only use when needed. This isn’t the recommended setting if safety is your priority! The second setting turns the night light on all the time. It is LED so it won’t use too much electricity if you choose this option.
The third setting – auto on – is my recommended one. In this mode, the light will turn on automatically when it senses low light conditions. That way, it will always be on when you need it.
There are no batteries to maintain either. Just plug it, set it, and forget it. This light puts out a bit more light than the others and it is a true white light.
So, What’s the Best Nightlight Setup for Seniors?
So, here is the ultimate setup for nighttime safety for seniors:
- 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.
- Have motion-activated nightlights on the way to the bathroom or down the hall.
- Have dusk to dawn nightlights in the bathroom and kitchen to help you see the switches for over head lights.
- Always use the overhead main lights while in the bathroom or kitchen.
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.
If getting to the bathroom at night is unsafe regardless, consider using a bedside commode instead.
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.
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.