How To Choose The Best Light Bulb For Your Nursery

Looking for the best light bulb for your nursery lamp? Let me help you choose the perfect lighting from the start. 

The right lighting is crucial for your baby’s comfort, bedtime routine, sleep patterns, and overall health. 

I’ll explore various options in this article, from traditional light bulbs to LED alternatives, and smart bulbs and fixtures. 

We’ll cover diaper changes, nighttime check-ins, and more to ensure you make the best choice. Let’s light up your baby’s room for a cozy and dreamy atmosphere! 💡😊

Remote for remote LED light bulb in nursery
Remote LED Nursery Lamp

This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through one of these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for the support!

Different Types of Nursery Lights

I’ll refer to two different types of lighting throughout the article:

  1. General or Ambient Lighting
  1. Task Lighting for Specific Activities (e.g., diaper changes)

Ambient lighting, like floor lamps, overhead lights, or ceiling fan lights, serves as your primary illumination. Make sure these lights are easily accessible with a switch, so you can light up the room without stumbling in the dark room while carrying your baby. A bright light is essential for common tasks such as cleaning, playing, and eyeing for rashes.   

Task lighting is a light placed and designed for a specific task. There are a few tasks that you’re going to do repeatedly in your nursery. You want to make sure you’re set up.

Pro Tip: Use your phone’s flashlight to navigate the nursery at night. Once you’re there, switch on the specific light you need to avoid stumbling and keep the bright overhead light off.

1. Diaper Changes

For daytime diaper changes, general light is fine, but go for minimal light at night to avoid disturbing your baby’s sleep.

A small table lamp or desk with a low-lumen bulb works great if you have space on the changing table.

Alternatively, add a dimmer switch to the overhead light and use a floor lamp with dimmable settings, or opt for a dimmable lightbulb.

2. Night Feeding and Reading

Less light is best for both diaper changes and nighttime activities.

Add a small table lamp nearby if you’re reading and night feeding in the same spot. Make sure it’s bright enough for reading but dimmer than the general baby room light.

Pro Tip: After getting settled during night feeds, turn off the light entirely. If it makes you sleepy, turn off the light five minutes before the end of the feed and use your cell phone light to put your baby back to bed. This helps ensure a smooth transition and keeps them sleeping peacefully.

Bright nursery with white crib. Lighting for your nursery. From Night lights to smart bulbs. Mommymakerteacher.com
Lighting For Your Nursery: From Night Lights To Smart Bulbs

Choosing the Right Light Bulbs for Your Baby’s Nursery

Warm White Light vs. Cool Blue Light

Always opt for a warm white light bulb in the nursery, whether smart, regular, or dimmable.

Cool lights emit blue rays that can disrupt melatonin production, affecting sleep. Stick with warm light for a cozy and sleep-friendly environment.

LED Light Bulbs

LED bulbs are a top choice for your nursery due to their energy efficiency and long-lasting nature.

Incandescent bulbs are outdated and hazardous, so it’s time to replace them if you still have any. This goes for caregivers, like grandma and grandpa, who might have stockpiled bulbs from Sam’s Club (we’ve all been there!).

LEDs don’t emit heat like incandescent bulbs, making them safer for your baby. Plus, they last for several years once you find the perfect one.

The best lighbulb for your nursery.

Remote LED Lights

Remote for remote LED light bulb in nursery
Remote LED Nursery Lamp

I adore remote LED lights for these reasons:

  1. They’re budget-friendly.
  2. No need for apps or hubs to connect.

We initially got one for the nursery as a temporary fix, but it’s now a permanent fixture. As my son grows older, he loves controlling the lighting during bedtime. It’s also fantastic for travel.

Smart LEDs

Controlling smart LED nursery light bulb from app on phone
Smart LED Phone App

Smart LEDs offer all the benefits of remote LEDs but are controlled through an app.

Our nurseries have several of these gems, allowing for extensive customization. Unlike remote LEDs with limited settings, smart LEDs offer many brightness levels and thousands of colors.

We prefer these Kasa smart bulbs in our nurseries. Connect them through the app; they often work with Google and Alexa.

Another fantastic feature of smart LEDs is setting timers. This ensures a consistent schedule, automatically turning the light on at a certain time in the evening and adjusting the brightness as bedtime approaches. You can even dim it to the “nightlight” level for the end of storytime.

Kasa Smart Light Bulbs (4 Pack)
$44.99 $26.67 ($6.67 / Count)
02/23/2024 04:17 am GMT

Specialty Bulbs for Baby’s Nursery

Red Light Bulbs: Enhancing Sleep Quality and Melatonin Production

If you don’t have a color-changing smart light, opt for a red light bulb for your nursery. This is going to be the best light to avoid disrupting melatonin production.

Sun Lights

Consider using sunlight for your nursery. These light bulbs mimic the sun’s rays, stimulating cortisol during the day.

02/23/2024 03:52 am GMT

Best Nursery Light Bulb for Traveling

For the perfect portable night light, consider remote LED bulbs. They offer multiple brightness settings and colors, so swap out one bulb in your temporary room. It becomes the general light (brightest setting), book reading and diaper changing light (medium setting), and night light (red light, lowest setting). Convenient and versatile for your travels.

Bonus: This GE bulb also has a Bluetooth speaker built in! Play your white noise or lullabies on the go without any wifi connection needed!

Types of Lighting for the Nursery

Nightlights for Comfort and Security

As your baby grows into a toddler (around 18 months to 2 years), they might express fears about the dark.

While a pitch-black room is ideal for sleeping, many children prefer night lights for comfort and security.

Look for red night lights, perfect for your child’s room and the hallway and bathroom if needed.

Types of Nightlights for the Nursery

When it comes to nightlights, you have several options. 

Hatch Rest Night Light

The Hatch is one of those things you might want to consider for your baby registry. I can’t say it’s essential for your nursery (heck, I don’t have one!), but if you look at all of the gear I recommend in this post, you’ll find that the Hatch does it all in one device.

Features:

  • Sound machine
  • Night light
  • Time-to-Rise (like a light meets an alarm clock for your child)
  • Sleep library (sleep stories and lullabies for members)
  • Wifi controlled (from an app on your phone)
  • Portable (take it with you wherever naps or sleep happens)
  • Backup battery (for traveling and power outages).

Plug-In Night Lights

Plug-in nightlights have stood the test of time for good reasons: they come on automatically, emit just enough light, and are affordable. We love keeping one in our diaper bag for naptime on the go and in our travel essentials.

Potty training tip: When your child is potty training and going to the bathroom independently, ensure the pathway to the bathroom is well-lit.

02/23/2024 05:02 am GMT

Table-Top Night Lights

A tabletop night light plugs into an outlet and sits on a table or shelf. A lot of times, these also play white noise and have some customizable features.

Echo Glow

An Alexa-made programmable light to help with everything from bedtime routines to screen time limits.

02/24/2024 04:22 am GMT

Tonies Sleep Sheep

You know how much I love music players for babies, so if you’re like me and already have a Tonies player, this Sleep Sheep character is a perfect addition to your collection.

Record your own stories, listen to white noise or melodies, set a sleep timer, and more.

Yoto Player

Speaking of music players, new to the scene (since I bought my Tonies player) is the Yoto player. Read more about the Yoto player’s features for music and storytelling here.

When it comes to nighttime, Yoto has a whole other set of features:

  • Set a dimmable night light
  • Customize sleep timers for sleep training
  • Play white noise, lullabies, or sleep stories
  • Display a sun (for daytime activities) and a moon (for sleep) as a visual clock
Yoto Player
$119.99 $99.99

I have the Yoto Mini, but I recommend the Original Yoto player for children under 3. It's bigger and can sit on a shelf, vs. the Mini, which could be easily dropped or lost. We also have a Toniebox player, which we love, but Yoto offers more variety and customizability for parents.

  • Listen to endless free content (daily podcasts and radio stations are free!)
  • Create your own Yoto Cards with up to 100 tracks.
  • Control the Yoto player remotely from the parent app.
  • Connect headphones with a wire or Bluetooth.
  • Set daytime and evening parameters (including turning it off after bedtime).
  • Use it as a white noise player.
  • Built-in alarm clock.
  • Built-in okay-to-wake clock (lets children know when it's time to be in bed and when to get up with different colored lights).


02/24/2024 06:32 am GMT

Mobile With Lights

Crib with mobile with night light in nursery
Poorly Pictured But Our Mobile Night Light

One of my kids adored their mobile with lights, while the other wasn’t a fan.

We had this mobile with a projector light on the ceiling and a remote. It worked like magic to soothe him back to sleep in the middle of the night. And, hey, let’s be honest, we snagged a few extra minutes of sleep when he woke up at 5 AM! 😄

As he grew older, he loved being able to push the buttons and control it himself.

A Baby Monitor With Night Light

Baby monitor with night light for nursery
VTech Baby Monitor With Night Light

Many baby monitors come with built-in nightlights (check out my favorites here!).

We use the VTech Smart WiFi Baby Monitor, and it’s fantastic. It’s expandable, allowing multiple cameras for kids in the same parent unit. You can control the nightlight from the parent unit or the accompanying app. The best part? It offers various colors to set a soothing red tone for your little one’s nightlight. It’s a win-win! 🌙😊

02/23/2024 08:07 am GMT

Table and Desk Lamps

You’ll use table and desk lamps as task-lighting solutions for late-night feedings and diaper changes.

Table Lamps

Table lamps are ideal dim light options for bedside tables or changing stations. Look for a dimmable lamp with adjustable brightness settings.

Desk Lamps

A desk lamp is a great option if you are limited in surface space. They don’t take up as much room on a table or shelf, but you get the benefits of having a light source where you need it.

Ceiling Fixtures and Fans

You’ll use your overhead lights for general illumination and ambient lighting. IMO, it’s worthwhile installing a ceiling fan in your nursery with a built-in light. They are great for air circulation to keep your baby’s room at a consistent temperature throughout the year.

Pro Tip: If you decide on smart or remote LEDs, you might as well put them in your ceiling fixture. This will offer more lighting options and flexibility as your child gets older.

Floor Lamps

Floor lamp with reading arm for nursery.
Floor Lamp With Reading Light

We love our multi-light floor lamp, and it’s the best floor lamp for several reasons:

  1. The top bulb provides general lighting with a smart LED
  2. The smaller light offers perfect positioning for reading or nail trimming with a remote LED.

If you’re not into smart or remote LEDs, no problem – many floor lamps come with built-in adjustable brightness. This floor lamp is a top-notch choice, ensuring customizable and convenient lighting for your nursery.

02/24/2024 01:46 am GMT

Sleep Training Light

One of my relatives uses a smart light for sleep training and nap purposes. It works as a visual clock, with the light off indicating sleep or rest time in bed and the light on allowing the child to be up and about.

They continue using the light for quiet time during the day after the kids stop napping. The most popular options on the market are the Hatch+ and Echo Glow I mentioned above. They’re fantastic choices for creating a structured sleep routine😴.

Check out this other multi-tasker from one of my favorite baby brands:

Nursery light being turned on with a remote. Finding a lightbulb for your nursery. mommymakerteacher.com
Finding A Lightbulb For Your Nursery

Understanding Nursery Lighting Needs

Light impacts sleep patterns and melatonin production for adults and children.

More light, less melatonin production.

Less melatonin production, less sleep.

Here’s the simple truth: To improve your little one’s sleep time and ability to stay asleep, limit both the amount and brightness of light they’re exposed to before bedtime.

Also, consider the color of light in their environment. Keep it cozy and dim for a good night’s sleep.

Promoting Restful Sleep with the Right Light Levels and Colors

Lamp with red light bulb for nursery
Red Light Bulb for Nursery

The brighter the light, the more alert your child will be.

Similarly, the color of light matters too. Avoid blue light, as it suppresses melatonin production the most.

Opt for red-based lights in the nursery, as they have the least impact on melatonin production.

Avoiding Harsh Lighting for Baby’s Sensitive Eyes

When bringing home a newborn, avoid bright white or fluorescent lights. Newborns are sensitive to light, having lived in darkness for nine months.

Harsh lighting can make them fussy, cranky, and even uncomfortable. Opt for gentle lighting for your baby’s eyes to keep them happy and comfortable.

Nursery Light Bulbs and Fixture Features

Dimmable Lights to Adjust Brightness According to the Situation

My go-to solution for all these situations? Color programmable and dimmable smart lights!

Control them with switches or your phone, and even set specific timers.

They’re perfect for regulating your child’s sleep schedule (lights out at 7:00 PM, anyone?).

These bulbs are a must-have in my new mom survivor kit, making night feeds a breeze. Schedule the light to come on at 2 or 3 AM, so you wake up to a lit room.

As my kids grow, I love adjusting the brightness – medium for getting ready, lower for reading, and a soothing, red-based light for sleep.

Parent-to-Parent: Bedtime can be a real struggle with my little one, especially when it comes to the amount of light. He wants it bright for playtime, but I want it darker for better sleep. Thankfully, with a smart bulb, I can compromise. I leave it a bit brighter initially and then dim it fully once he falls asleep. He doesn’t even notice the change, as it still seems bright to him when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Smart bulbs for the win!

Pro Tip: Not a fan of Siri or Google controlling your light bulbs? No problem! opt for color-adjustable and dimmable light bulbs that come with a remote. No need for apps or complicated setups. Just screw in the bulb and use the remote for easy control. Check out more on remote LEDs below.

Dimmable LED Bulbs for Flexible Brightness Settings

Of course, my top pick is the smart LED light bulbs, but if you don’t want smart bulbs or if they are out of the price range, consider buying a dimmable LED light bulb and putting it on a dimmer switch.

GE Relax 8-Pack
$23.36 ($2.92 / Count)
02/24/2024 04:07 am GMT

Touch Control Lamps for Convenience

Think about getting a touch-control lamp for ultimate convenience and sound control. It’s a breeze to turn the light on and off, even with your hands full.

And hey, new parents, I see you! 👀 Nothing is scarier than waking a sleeping baby while fumbling with a light switch. Touch lamps got your back! 😊

Additional Considerations for Nursery Lighting

Safety Concerns

Baby monitor with night light and cord cover
Cord Cover on Baby Monitor
Nursery light outlet cover box
Outlet Cover Box in Nursery

When it comes to nursery lighting, safety is a top priority. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  1. Placing Light Sources Away from Baby’s Reach

Ensure all lights, cords, and outlets are out of your baby’s reach. Consider using cord, outlet, and plug covers to make the outlets safe.

Opt for lights without cords, such as plug-in night lights, ceiling lights, or fan lights.

02/24/2024 03:47 am GMT

2. Ensuring the Right Power Source for Different Lamps

To avoid hazards, ensure the lamps in your nursery use the right power source and are installed correctly to avoid potential hazards such as electrical fires or accidents.

Always use the specified voltage and wattage, and check that the power cords are in good condition.

Room Layout and Ceiling Height

Select lights appropriate for your nursery’s ceiling height, ensuring sufficient illumination without overpowering the space. Adjust the lighting to suit your nursery’s unique layout and needs.

Consider pendant lights or chandeliers with adjustable heights if you have a high ceiling.

On the other hand, recessed lights or flush mount fixtures can save space and prevent headroom issues for nurseries with lower ceilings.

Final Thoughts

To find the best light bulb for your nursery, consider the importance of proper lighting for your baby’s comfort, sleep patterns, and overall health.

From general lighting to task lighting for specific activities like diaper changes and night feeds, various options exist.

To promote restful sleep, opt for warm white light bulbs, avoiding harsh blue lights that disrupt melatonin production.

You can create a soft and relaxing atmosphere for your little one’s nursery with the right lighting choices. 💡

Jacqui headshot

Jacqui

Author

Hi, I'm Jacqui, founder of Mommy Maker Teacher and mom of two toddlers. With a degree in education, 12+ years of experience as a K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, and courses in childhood psychology and language acquisition, I share research-backed parenting tips and advice. I provide helpful content for moms on all stages of motherhood - from trying to conceive and pregnancy to postpartum, breastfeeding, and parenting.