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.
What Criteria To Consider
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 it’s time for sleep.
Shop The Best Motion Sensor Night Lights
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best dehumidifiers for closets:
- Overall Best Plug-In Night Light: GE Motion Sensor LED Night Light
- Best Battery-Operated Lights You Can Place Anywhere: Eufy by Anker Motion Sensor Stick-On Night Lights
- Best Night Light & Flashlight In One: Sensky 3-in-1 Motion Sensor Night Light
- Best Magnetic Night Lights With Colorful Settings: SingHong Motion Sensor LED Night Light
- Best LED Night Light For Under The Bed: Vansky Motion Activated Bed Light
- Clever Night Light For Toilet Bowls: Chunace 16-Color Toilet Night Light
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. The Overall Best Plug-In Night Light
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 800 Amazon fans have given this device an overall 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.
One reviewer wrote: “I have this in hallway and in kitchen. The motion sensor is sensitive and picks me up more than 5 feet away, so I don’t have to turn on another light. It’s also great for short trips because it’ll continue to light my path, but shuts off once I’m gone. I’m glad I bought these. Been using them over a year and half and still working.”
Power source: Electrical outlet | Brightness: 20 lumens
Also available on: Bed Bath & Beyond, $10
2. The Best Battery-Operated Lights You Can Place Anywhere
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 have described them as emitting a soft, warm white light.
One reviewer wrote: “So glad we purchased these! We use these on our stairs inside the house. Decided not to stick on but just set along side and wow do they work great! Really impressed and wish we had gotten them sooner. Highly recommend these. We bought two sets. Worth the expense for the added value of light along a dark stairs. And the motion detector works really well on these little guys.”
Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included) | Brightness: Not provided
3. The Best Night Light & Flashlight In One
Not only can this 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.
One reviewer wrote: Every home needs one of these! When you lose your power, you can use this as a flashlight. It is great for night time when you walk into a room and it detects motion and lights up. I love it.”
Power source: Electrical outlet (night light); rechargeable lithium battery (included for the flashlight) | Brightness: 25 lumens (night light); 30 lumens (flashlight)
4. The Best Magnetic Night Lights With Colorful Settings
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.
One reviewer wrote: “These little puck lights are the best I’ve found. These are the only motion sensing, rechargeable puck lights I’ve found that have a red light setting. In the evenings, we switch to only red lights in the house to wind down for bed. We’ve placed these puck lights set to red all around in the kitchen, in the hallways, in the bathroom. I've started to buy them as gifts for new parents who have to wake up repeatedly through the night because the red light lets them fall back to sleep more quickly. They’re more expensive than other puck lights I’ve seen but they’re worth the price.”
Power source: Rechargeable lithium battery (Battery and USB charging cord included) | Brightness: 60 lumens
5. The Best LED Night Light For Under The Bed
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 have reported that it is plenty bright.
One reviewer wrote: “My husband gets up for work hours before I do, and he’s always having to fumble around in half-darkness with his phone light so as to try not to wake me while I’m still sleeping. However, the light of the phone shining often still wakes me. This motion light under the bed is awesome. It gives him enough light to see while he’s getting ready, without being so bright that it bothers me while I’m still sleeping. The motion sensor is pretty sensitive, so it works well. I would highly recommend this product.”
Power source: Electrical outlet | Brightness: Not provided
Also available on: Walmart, $48
6. This Clever Night Light For Toilet Bowls
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 overall rating after nearly 7,000 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 one-year warranty.
One reviewer wrote: “We weren’t sure how this would work but have one for each bathroom and absolutely love them! They take 3 AA batteries so have those on hand. They give off a decent amount of light and the motion sensor is sensitive. Would be a great, yet functional gift for someone who has everything.”
Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included) | Brightness: 20 lumens
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