With the Days Growing Shorter, Light the Night


"Write about night lights", a reader requested – and instantly I remembered being transfixed by the circling goo in lava-lamps. Nowadays my preferences are less gooey and more eco-friendly (that goo? Globules of mineral oil and, um, paraffin).

A successful night light is all about subtlety and artful unobtrusiveness. A light useful and clear, yet gentle enough to be stopped by your eyelids. Moonlight springs to mind, so applause to these guys for patenting the name – and then cheers, for creating such an energy efficient light (run it all year for less than a dollar!).

For something that won’t be mistaken for an iPod during waking hours, however, check out VivaTerra’s Leaf Night Light. Delicate filigree of a real leaf casts soft patterns of light, setting any corner of choice aglow. Or perhaps the Agate Night Light – a sheaf of translucent rock in a soothing color. Both easily stand the test of daylight.

But for cuteness, there’s no beating the Sun Jar. Leave it on a sunny windowsill, and it’ll soak up solar energy that it releases at night in a steady golden glow, as if Tinkerbell’s in there, counting sheep.


Moonlight – around $18 from The Carbon Neutral Company
Leaf Night Light – $39 from VivaTerra
Horizon Night Light – $39 from VivaTerra
Sun Jar – around $40 from Nigel’s Eco Store

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.