Ever since humanity first came down from the trees and lit our first fire, we’ve been attracted to the prospect of lighting the unseen. Maybe it’s for protection, warmth or to be able to see what has not been seen before, but it seems to have been an important part of our evolution.
Nowadays predators are nowhere to be seen, us being the dominant, apex species on the planet, we don’t really have to worry about tigers lurking in the dark. Somehow, though, this desire to have a soft, comforting light presence has stayed with us, and for a good reason – it’s nice, it’s practical and it gives you the required comfort that our ancestors first felt a long time ago.
A professional’s advice on picking out a night stand light
Bedrooms have a special function on the home. They are places to relax and enjoy and intimate moment with a loved one, whether that’d be a cuddle under a cosy blanket or a soft conversation.
Sometimes you also need to set the mood for a more relaxing sleep, and having a glaring overhead lamp radiating extraordinary light into your eyes right before going to bed, might not be so healthy for your sleeping cycle.
This is why we contacted a professional sleep therapist who can give us an insight into world of sleep and provide us some constrictive ideas on how to select a good night stand light. With this, we combine our personal designer experience to match the expertise – thus we created this Top 10 list on what to look for in your new night stand.
1. Functionality – easy of turning on/off the light
The functionality of a night stand lamp is unmistakable and is especially apparent when you get up at night. The easy with which you turn it on can be understated when making a choice, but the mistake can become apparent when you first need to go to bed.
The old nightstand lamps have a leaver which acts as the switch, sometimes they have a chain, oftentimes they have a different mechanism of operation. This might require more concentration to use, but who can concentrate when they are sleepy.
Touch-laps are a fantastic choice – they provide the necessary sensitivity when controlling the light on-off function and are quite easy to use. It’s recommended that the design does not include an ambient light for the indicated turn on button, but its rather a general area which you need to touch.
The best choices leave it to the use to choose where to input information, best choice is the base of the lamp – this way you don’t have to fumble in the dark, no concentration required.
You turn it on, do your business, turn it off, get back to bed with minimal disturbance for yourself or your partner – easiest solution so far.
2. Light Intensity – soft not intense
The goal of a night stand light is not to light the entire room, but to rather provide a soft, gentle light source which does not strain the eyes or provoke a sharp response from the brain. One good example of a sharp response is when you go to the bathroom and turn on the overhead light – the difference between light sensitivity for the eyes can be quite stressful and might disrupt your sleep pattern.
Whenever choosing a night stand light, always go for a light source which supports low light, low voltage light bulbs or LED lights which are gentle to the eyes. This way you can get the necessary sensory information without disrupting the sensitivity of your sleeping self or that of your partner.
3. Night Stand Light Height
The height of the lamp is directly correlated to the amount of light which will be emitted from underneath the light. Having a high night light next to you might provide great light when going to bed, but is not ideal for waking up in the morning.
A diverse choice is a low to medium height light stand which indirectly shines creating an ambience rather than a direct light to your eyes. The way to the determine which light height is for you is to consider the height of the nightstand itself – if it’s a lower stand and the bed is higher, getting a light stand which matches the height and provides easy access to the light switch might be the best solution.
It’s actually pretty rare to find a high night stand, this is a characteristic most often associated with floor lamps and free standing lamps rather than night stand lamps. The best combination comes from the height of the night lamp stand and the night stand itself – it must be a proportion which is comfortable to reach – this is best calculated according to the height of the bed + mattress.
4. Night Stand Lamp Shade Thickness
Lamp shades have the very important task of dimming the light, dispersing direct light into the room, providing that familiar and necessary soft, ambient feel. The thickness of the lamp shade will determine how much light goes through it and if the bulb is actually visible or if the light is properly dissipated throughout the room.
The lamp shade should be made from a material which is both color coordinated and does not burn, as night stand lights might get hot. You don’t want something like cotton catching fire next to you – linen is also out of the question – synthetic fibers might be a great solution for your current needs and will provide the necessary dimming effect that you require.
There are radiated glass shades which will dim the light when the bulb is lit, but will look transparent when it’s off. They have an industrial feel and go great with old Edison Bulbs, which have a soft, low brow light feel to them – a fantastic choice for a less standard bedroom arrangement.
5. Night Stand Lamp Shade Shape
The shape of the night stand shade will determine in which direction the light is being dissipated. There are transparent glass shades which dim whenever electricity is run through the system, providing the necessary ambience – as mentioned above, they have their own pros, but the biggest con is that they are quite fragile.
The most common lamp shade shape is the inverse cone which is wider on the bottom and quite a bit narrower at the top. They have a gentle feel to them, providing a classical look to the room while also dissipating light in the same conned pattern, leaving light to escape both from the top and bottom.
Biggest issue here is the escape of light from underneath the cone, having a blinding effect to the user, which is quite unpleasant, especially late at night.
Square Lamp Shades look modern, while also providing quite a familiar sensation to the room. They can be made from all sorts of materials and provide uniform light dissipation throughout the room – the thickness of the material and the size of the cubed square shape determines how much light will be ambient and how much of it will direct.
6. Night Stand Light Bulb Intensity
The intensity of the light bulb of your night stand lamp is a great factor for the comfort for both you and your partner. Most night stand lights are rated for lower voltage lights which provide less than 40W of electrical light output – these are some of the lowest ratings.
We recommend the usage of lower voltage bulbs since they emit the lowest amount of light, while also staying quite efficient. Stay away from light bulbs with a higher rating, they are not suited for the usage in nightstand lights.
7. LED Nightlights
As LED technology reaches its peak, we the consumers, get a wider range of choices and a selection to match our personal needs. As a technology LED lights have been around for more than 100 years, however, they reached their peak in the last 15 years.
Some LED lights have the option to emit less light depending on the time of the time or pre-setting which has been chosen by the user. LED lights can be quite bright, but there are specialized choices which have a soft, gentle light emitter with a built-in dimmer to accommodate the sleeping needs of the user.
8. Smartphone Controlled Night Stand Light
Smart phones have become an important part of our lives – and that’s an understatement. They have everything we need, they can control the temperature of the house, give us access to our money and all of the information in the world.
With RGB lighting you can have full control not only of the intensity of the light, but also the color and the pulse. RGB (Red, Green, Blue) lighting uses a subtle combination of all 3 colors to create more than 3 million combinations giving you the necessary flexibility.
There are Smart Night Stands which connect to your phone, allowing you to pre-set the light intensity, the amount of light during a certain time-period. They can also be synced to different phone functions such as your alarm clock – providing a soft, gentle light to help with the waking up process.
9. Child’s Bedroom Night Light
Children are some of the main users of night lights. They make them feel safe, and help them go to bed – those lights can be wall mounted as to avoid children knocking them over.
Granted, the traditional look of a night stand light is usually seen only in a grown up’s bedroom, however, there are some cold bulb lights with wide bases which can be used in children’s rooms.
They come with a security base which can be either suction cupped to the base of a night stand or with a double adhesive tape, either way, children will find it difficult to know them over. The cold bulb does not get hot which makes this choice extra safe for children – security glass equipped models might be a bit more expensive but they provide the necessary resilience.
10. Color and Design
Last but not least important are the color and design of the night stand lamp itself. While this might not affect the light source itself, the design of a night stand lamp will determine how easy it’s to use, how it fits into your interior design choices and what sort of feeling it provides.
Throughout this while article, more or less, we’ve touched upon sleep patterns, the importance of light ambience and intensity, as well as the ease of use of a certain lamp. All of this can be combined in an overall category – night stand light design.
The color really depends on your preferences, though the color of the shade will determine the color of the light which passes through the shade itself, so keep that in mind.