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Nursery lighting

By Lisa Galliers

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Nursery lighting

Expert tips for designing the best nursery for your baby, using lighting to create a calming environment for a safe and settled night's sleep.

Girl in bed with night light

The right nursery lighting can sooth your little one and help them to nod off to sleep.

While an ordinary lamp or ceiling light is perfectly adequate for use in the nursery, many babies enjoy the ambient lighting of a soft nightlight, or a light show that projects rotating images across the ceiling and walls. Others prefer the dark - it's worth experimenting to find out what works best for your baby.

A soft light can also be useful if you need to tend to your little one in the middle of the night, and some nursery lighting can come in handy later on if your child dislikes the dark.

If you're looking for nursery furniture and baby products, take a look at our guide to .

Types of nursery lighting

Cot lights

These are attached to the cot and emit a battery-powered soft light. Many are sound-sensitive and light up when your baby cries, or you can switch them to be on all night. You can also buy cot lights that project a lightshow of  images around the ceiling to the tune of lullabies, to help your baby get to sleep.

Plug-in nightlights

These are small round or oval lights that you plug directly into the wall socket. Some have light sensors so they come on automatically at night and go off in daylight.

Light-effect bedside lights

You can buy bedside lights that project rotating images round the room, or ones that automatically fade out over a 15-minute period so you have a brighter light to start with while you're settling your baby down.

‘Instant’ lights

These are battery-powered, cord-free, flat, rounded lights that you can fix on to the wall or place on any convenient surface. You push them down to activate them.

It's also worth taking a look at our other safe sleeping tips for the best night for your baby.

Nursery lighting tips

  • Although not designed specifically for use in a nursery or child's room, dimmer switches are a very effective way of lighting the nursery. If you have one, there should be no need for a nightlight as well, unless you want the automatic on-off element that some of these provide.
  • Some baby monitors also come with a nightlight.
  • Choose an innocuous-looking plug-in nightlight rather than one with a cartoon character emblazoned on it to reduce the chances of a curious child playing around with the socket.
  • Of course, some children are happier sleeping in a darkened room. You can buy blackout fabric for lining the curtains or a product such as the Magic Blackout blind, which may be necessary if the nursery window is close to a street light.

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