Whether you’re trying to encourage bedtime stories, an extra ten minutes at their homework station, or simply want to add a fun accessory to their room, choosing the right lamp for your little one will brighten up everyone’s day.
We tested a range of lamps to suit the bedside and beyond. Some come with a lightbulb built in, or you may need to purchase this separately.
It’s worth knowing that incandescent bulbs contain filaments that heat up and burn out, while LEDs conserve energy – big tick for us – but also stay cool to the touch which is reassuring for parents.
With the help of our 11-year-old and four-year-old testers we put a whole range through its paces, looking out for practicalities such as cable length, handy inline flick switches and how it’s powered.
But we also believe these should bring beauty or at least fun into the home, so choosing the right design to suit your child’s room is paramount.
Given that you’re likely to have spent plenty on your child’s bedroom already, price has also been well considered.
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Habitat Lizzie desk lamp
Good things don’t come cheap... well actually, sometimes they do. With the smallest price tag of all the lamps we tested we didn’t expect this to perform across the board, but it did. Fun design? Check. Mains powered? Check. Long cord? Yes, a whole 180cm. Easy to switch on? Simply use the accessible flick switch. The only thing missing was the LED bulb which you will of course have to buy separately.
Standing at 32cm tall, it’s perfect for a bedside lamp or on a desk. If for whatever reason you can’t use an LED, there’s no danger of children burning their fingers as you can move the little stem on the back of the shade to direct the light where you want it. Admittedly this was little stiff to begin with but has since loosened up. The metal design is funky with a distinctive shape, we love the vibrant splash of orange against the grey herringbone fabric cable.
Nanoleaf shapes hexagon starter kit, 9 panels
Nanoleaf’s shapes is by far the most exciting of all the lights we tested. But what exactly is it? In professional terms it is modular smart lighting with shape interconnectivity; in reality it’s simply beyond cool. So it came as no surprise to us to learn that the product sold out of its pre-order in 72 hours when it launched last year.
Inside the box there are nine hexagon shaped panels, a controller, power plug, 10 linkers and 10 double-sided adhesive mounting tabs. Our 11-year-old tester downloaded the Nanoleaf app and we followed the steps for setting up; choosing a pattern (we made an arrow) and sticking to the wall. Assembly isn’t a doddle and it does require wifi connectivity, but after about half an hour we were ready to go and oh boy was it worth it.
Nanoleaf shapes allows for a spectacular light show to take place in any room of the house, with each panel offering a choice of 16 million different colours from the brightest reds to calming pale blues, so there’s something to suit even the fussiest of kids. Our favourite feature has to be the music mode where the light panels dance to the beat of the music. If you install the panels next to your TV or gaming monitor, they’ll mirror the colours on the screen too.
You can control the Nanoleaf using the app, or our four-year-old tester’s preference was the touch response where simple gestures control the lights like double tap and swipe left. You can also use your voice if you’ve an Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant. This is a light like no other, and while it doesn’t come cheap it’ll take your lighting experience to new heights, and your child’s bedroom will be the envy of all.
Red Candy paint spill lamp
This humorous paint spill lamp is sure to be a conversation starter. We love the wacky design, and it was a huge hit with our art enthusiast tester too. The cable is generous (about 175cm) and there’s an accessible switch to turn it off and on, meaning it performs well by the bedside or will provide ample light to a desk space.
Great Little Trading Co. children’s desk lamp
This elegant metal desk lamp from the Great Little Trading Company provides a great amount of light to our 11-year-old’s desk. It’s easy to direct the light to just where you want it by tilting the angle of the head and was the largest of the lamps we tested, standing at 40cm tall.
Unlike the majority of the other mains-powered lamps we tested, it comes with a child-safe LED bulb – meaning that no little fingers will get hurt. Plus, there’s a handy inline switch to turn it on and off. We love the grown-up sophisticated design, we only wish the cord was a little longer as it’s only 120cm.
Room To Grow bow tie bear lamp
Who wouldn’t want this charming bear lamp by the side of their bed? The detailing on this lamp is adorable; with paws, a hairy bear nose, subtle pink cheeks and tummy, and last but not least the showstopping gold bow tie – it looks like an ornament you’d proudly place on your shelf. And this is because it’s made from polyresin – a compound which is generally used for statues and figurines which is sturdy yet can be intricately moulded, probably not something you’d want if the room has hard floors but on carpet we’d hope it would survive any falls.
The LED light provides plenty of glow, which makes it great for your bedside or at a desk. Our four-year-old tester found the on/off switch easy to use independently, and she wanted it to be as close to her as possible so we made this a little night light for her. The cable length is about 145cm, which was just long enough for us.
Jox lights table lamp pink
Scandinavian brand Jox provides stylish interiors options for young children and families and who wouldn’t love this lamp in their bedroom? It’s made from a sturdy metal and we love the trio of light natural wooden legs which look great against the pastel pink fabric shade.
Pretty meets practical too, as the cord is lengthy at 180cm and there’s a handy flick switch. It’s worth bearing in mind that the plug is two pins and it doesn’t come with an adapter so you’ll need to buy one (along with a bulb).
Next dinosaur table lamp
This bedtime pal provides a warm yellow glow to a room. Once assembled he’s 24cm high and 41cm wide so you’ll need some space for him to perch. It wasn’t a laborious task to put this together – it took our 11-year-old tester less than 10 minutes to connect the five pieces (head and four legs) to the main dinosaur body. Though it was a little fiddly, she soon got the hang of it.
Instead of using him by the bed, we let this dinosaur-inspired lamp set up camp on our reviewer’s desk which is quite a dimly lit area, and the LED bulb provided plenty of light for reading or doing homework. The design of this lamp is creative, and from a distance it looks like a paper model which looks awesome in the complete darkness.
While we were happy to see that this is a USB operated lamp – say goodbye to batteries – it’s worth bearing in mind that the built-in cable is about 150cm long, so you’ll need to find somewhere pretty close to a socket.
Dunelm porcelain cactus table lamp
You’ll find nothing prickly about this stylish table lamp from Dunelm. As it’s made from porcelain it looks just as attractive when the lights aren’t on, simply flick the inline switch and it creates a soft warm glow making it a great bedside lamp. The cactus shape catches your attention and we love how this looks by our four-year-old’s bed. The cord is on the shorter side at 120cm so that might cause some problems if you wanted to place it elsewhere.
Molang silicon mood lamp
Molang was born in Seoul back in 2010 by South Korean illustrator Hye-Ji Yoon, who doodled the kawaii bunny on her school notebooks and then turned it into an emoticon. Kids seem to be besotted with the little bunny and this lamp makes a cute addition to a child’s bedroom. Made of 100 per cent silicone, our four-year-old tester loves to give it a squeeze but we love how sweet it looks by the bedside, providing a soft white light.
You can choose to power it through batteries or with the provided USB cable. Annoyingly the cable is only around 45cm long which makes it pretty impossible to place anywhere, so we’ve used a longer cable to do the job and we’re all pretty smitten. Being able to switch to battery powered is a good option if you’re camping out in the garden, or taking it away from home.
Disco boogie light
Both our 11-year-old, and four-year-old – okay and us participating adults too – loved this boogi light from Tinc. Admittedly it’s better suited for entertainment rather than a useful light source, but it’ll certainly turn any room into a colourful light show within seconds.
You can choose to power it using three AA batteries or, as we did, plug in the supplied USB cable, which is around 140cm long. We liked to place it on the floor and direct the light dome to the ceiling, it’ll have those big and small dancing in no time at all.
Zurleys kidzone heart table lamp
Our 11-year-old tester’s heart was certainly drawn to this white porcelain lamp, and it’s no surprise as it’s rather pretty. Not only does it produce a lovely warm glow, it’s also a lovely ornament to have by the bed or on a shelf. The cable length is pretty impressive at 180cm long; the longest of all those we tested, plus the on/off switch makes it easy for children to use.
A Little Lovely Company bunny nightlight
Our four-year-old tester took no time to carry this off into her bedroom. Providing a soft glow from the built-in LED light, this is designed to be a nightlight rather than a desk companion. This sweet little bunny is made of BPA, phthalate and lead-free PVC which doesn’t get hot, keeping kids safe, which is reassuring as we’ve found it’s been carried all around the house.
Powered by three LR44 batteries (don’t worry you’ll get one lot included), there’s an automatic timer which will switch it off after 15 minutes preserving the battery. It claims to provide around 20 hours of light, and we’ve been using it at bedtime for two weeks and it’s still performing well.
The verdict: Kids' lamps
Habitat’s Lizzie lamp beautifully blends functionality with a fun design, and at a purse-friendly price. If you’ve the money to splurge a little and want to go beyond a desk lamp then take your child’s bedroom to a new level with Nanoleaf’s shapes – a huge hit with the kids (and bigger kids too).
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