Have you ever yelled at your kids for sitting too close to the TV? You probably told them the light would hurt their eyes. While there’s no scientific evidence for this myth, you do need to be careful about the lighting in your children’s’ room. If it’s too bright, they won’t fall asleep, and it’s already a nightmare putting them to bed. Ideally, a kids’ room needs 600 to 1,200 lumens.
If you hover between those ranges, you can get 800 lumens from a 60W incandescent bulb, 14W CFL, or 8W to 12W LED bulbs. The fewer watts you use, the lower your power bill, and the better you protect the environment. But apart from watts and lumens, what other factors should you consider when you’re shopping for a kids’ reading light? Are they that different from adults?
Well, yes, because children raise certain … challenges. Their reading light is probably for homework or pre-exam studies. You could also use the kids’ bedroom light to read them bedtime stories. So your kids’ reading light has to be sturdy, safe, and childproof. It should be manufactured in a way that avoids common childhood injuries. Let’s take a closer look.
Our Best Reading Light & Lamp for Kids
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Kids Reading Light/Lamp Buying Guides
Tip #1 – Kid’s Age
Smaller children are more energetic. So if they’re aged 10 or younger, you’ll have quite a task on your hands. They’ll spend the entire study session squirming and claiming to be sleepy, but the second it’s bedtime, they’ll suddenly be wide awake. So you want a kids’ reading light that’s bright enough to facilitate study but not so bright it prevents them from sleeping afterward.
Studies say bedrooms should have a total of 2,000 to 4,000 lumens. But that’s layered light – the reading lights can be as low as 500 lumens. Get something like the C1 Model Reading Light which has options to dim the light in three settings. That way, you can gradually lower the lights as the study session progresses, inviting kiddie snoozes and making prepping for your bedtime routine.
Tip #2 – Screen Policy
Do you take away your kids’ laptops, smartphones, or tablets at night? Do they have a TV or computer in their room, and do you limit their screen time? Some parents do, but if your household is a little more tech-oriented, your kids will need a steady supply of USB chargers. It’s best if they have one within easy reach of the bed so they can continue to browse as they charge.
Buy kids reading lights with an integrated USB port like the A1 Pro, A2, and C2 reading light. That way, they can charge their devices without getting out of bed. They can even charge their gadgets on their study desks while they work. The charging jack uses 5V so it won’t dim the reading light or affect the electricity consumption in your children’s room.
Tip #3 – Nightly Habits
It’s not just little kids who run to their parents with nightmares. Even teenagers might occasionally wake up in a cold sweat. And lots of kids – from toddlers to college students – will get up a few times a night to use the bathroom. So it’s worth investing in a night light in your children’s room. Or you could go one better and buy a kids’ reading light with ‘night mode’.
C1 and B1 Pro reading light have this feature in the form of a glowing red light you can activate using the on/off button. The light is gentler and dim than the main task light, so you can leave it on after tucking in the kids. It will guide them to the toilet without stubbing their toes. And it will brighten dark shadows and reassure your children there are no clowns in the corner or monsters in the closet.
Tip #4 – Light Position
Ordinarily, you can use a floor lamp, desk lamp, headboard lamp as a task light. Especially if you already have a main light on the ceiling, and if your kids share a room. Unless you have a designated study area, it probably means one of the kids might be asleep while the other is working. But if the kids are age 10 or younger they’re likely to tip desk lamps or floor lamps.
So you’re better off with a wall-mounting reading light like the reading light for kids (C1 Model). Or a headboard mounted one like the A2 Model reading light, which is also customized for kids. These lights have a 2-inch base so they don’t take up a lot of space. And they have flexible arms so you can lean them against the wall or headboard to stop the kids from accidentally pulling the lights and damaging them.
Tip #5 – Safety Measures
Most adults (outside of frat houses) know better than to touch a naked bulb. These bulbs – particularly if they’re incandescent – will burn your fingers. Worse, the difference in temperature between your hands and the bulb could shatter the glass and cut you.
But kids are likely to hold the bulb. And telling them not to will only make them grab it faster. So for a kids’ room, you want a reading light that doesn’t get too hot. LED bulbs get warm, but they rarely get harmfully hot. They’re also available in bright tones or cycling colors.
Some LED lamps can cycle through seven or more colors. They have stationary settings as well, so you can set the remote to blue or green for night lights and white for study sessions. If you decide to get desk lamps, get one with a weighted base like the Bedside Reading Light/Lamp With Ambient Options (B1 Pro). It’s tougher to tip over.
Tip #6 – Aesthetics
Do you have a designated study corner the kids never use? You may think they’re just being precocious, but put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Or think about your own habits. Would you rather nap in bed or on the couch? It’s because the sofa is more cozy and welcoming. So if you get your kids reading lights that suit their tastes and preferences, they’ll notice.
This may mean getting a lampshade in their favorite color, or buying a lampstand carved out of a superhero figurine they love. Or if your kids want to be medics when they grow up, you could buy them Stylish Reading Light (A2 Model). Its double-circle lampshade and flexible 18-inch arm look a lot like a stethoscope. And spins 360° for added versatility, so get your little doctor a fun study light.
Tip #7 – Wiring Systems
Technically, this falls under safety issues, but it’s a very specific criterion so let’s give it de attention. You might have toddlers that buzz around their bedrooms on a sugar high. Or tweens that occasionally rough-house and tattle on each other for ‘breathing on me!’ You might even have awkward teenagers that don’t quite fit into their bodies yet, so they’re oddly clumsy.
Any of these children can trip over a reading light power cord and end up hurting themselves or causing a fire. So buy reading lights with concealed wiring. A2 Model kids reading lights have hidden hex screws, so there are no visible bits and bobs for curious kids to poke at and screw out. You can buy a headboard model or wall-mounted model whose wires are concealed inside the wall.
Tip #8 – Common Tasks
If your kids mostly use their reading lamps for homework, you probably want a diffuse light that illuminates more of the bedroom. B1 Pro reading light sidelights are good for this. The LED bulb is positioned on the side, so the lit-up area is wider and the glow of the bulbs in gentle and glare-free.
But if the light is for a kid’s hobby table or crafting corner, they probably do more detailed tasks. Maybe they do a lot of cutting, stitching, and sticking with beads, sequins, and hot glue guns. Or maybe they create content for their social media channels. In that case, get directional light.
The A2 Model reading light might be better. It has a conical metal lampshade that emits a strong, direct beam with a 35° arc of light. The beam is warm and yellow, so it won’t hurt your children’s eyes. These lights also have recessed bulbs and/or frosted glass for reduced glare and slower eye fatigue.
Tip #9 – Color Temperature
Several times now, we’ve talked about kids staying awake (to study) versus falling asleep (once they’re done with their assignments. We suggested gradually dimming the light … so gaslighting, but the consensual kind. But you can also resolve this issue by getting lights below 3,000K.
Lower than that and it may be too dim for intensively focused tasks (like essays). Higher than that and you’re veering into the cool, blue-light territory. Think of yellow light (3,000K to 5,000K) as noontime illumination, while 6,000K is more like a cloudy sky, so it’s cold but not inspiring.
By the time you get to 10,000K, you’re mimicking the light of a cloudless, clear blue sky. That makes your kids wakeful, so good luck settling them with a lullaby and a hundred stories! By keeping your bulbs within the 2,000K to 3,000K bracket, they’ll stay awake long enough to work but it’ll be easier for them to drift off afterward. Especially if they can flip from yellow to red.
What reading light do your kids have in their rooms? Show us a photo in the comments!