Source(s) for cute, interesting, off-beat nightlights? Not Etsy.
March 17, 2023 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a nightlight for my daughter. She likes crabs, manta rays, roses, French romantic type stuff, and generalized weirdness.

Preferably not LED although I don't even know if that's possible. Mr. Llama has nightlights all over the house that make me feel like I'm trying to escape a prison in the middle of the night. (Lost the argument a long time ago.)

Looking for something with a soft reassuring glow, something special.

Considered a Himalayan salt lamp but dunno. Want to present her with some cool options. Right now she's sleeping with a full-on lamp on. (There are reasons but not relevant; doesn't need unpacking. Just need a nightlight.)

Want to plug it into an outlet, so don't want to deal with batteries or recharging.
posted by A Terrible Llama to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Look for something vintage!! eBay is a good option if you’re avoiding Etsy. Add something to your watchlist and the seller may send a discount. Local antique stores are good too but pricey potentially. You may need to re wire it but re wiring a lamp is easy. A mid century lamp may be less likely to need any wiring and there was a whole revival of antique things in that era. Then use a lower brightness bulb. They make nightlight dimness bulbs in all sorts of sizes.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:30 PM on March 17

Ikea’s kids’ section has some inexpensive options. My kid has one shaped like a ghost that shifts through different colors.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 2:38 PM on March 17

If you use a humidifier, beware the Himalayan salt lamp! Hashtag dissolution problems.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:44 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]

Are you against buying online in general or just from Etsy?
posted by mermaidcafe at 2:47 PM on March 17

Corning Museum of Glass Here are a few samples of nightlights, there is one sailboat, a bee and a unicorn. Lots of the the works are made by staff during demonstrations, so you may get them to make a specific creature for you.
posted by effluvia at 3:15 PM on March 17 [3 favorites]

“Santa” brought this mushroom night light for my 9 yo and she LOVES it.
posted by missjenny at 3:18 PM on March 17

Blaschka Glass Sea Creatures This museum at Harvard also has an incredible display of glass sea creatures and flowers in glass and their museum shop may have some objects themed on these works suitable for nightlights.

Monterey Bay Aquarium also has some cast in glass but they are not lighted. Maybe you could assemble something from combining them with a light.
posted by effluvia at 3:20 PM on March 17

Response by poster: against buying online in general

Gosh no, love buying online in general. Just don't want to deal with a gazillion vendors unless someone is like, this person on Etsy does absolutely amazing work and we love them etc etc.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:43 PM on March 17

Best answer: Maybe not weird enough, but pretty jolly ones here
posted by Glomar response at 4:57 PM on March 17

There are a million versions of these now, the one we had for our daughter was AWESOME. Dimmable light, soft silicone, plugged in or worked on batteries.
posted by nkknkk at 5:34 PM on March 17

I love my salt lamp...but also my mini one that plugs in like a night light in the bathroom. Warm gentle light. Never get tired of it.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:32 PM on March 17

In general stained glass nightlights generally have a regular bulb rather than being LED. Also kind of different options
posted by raccoon409 at 6:49 PM on March 17

How about a paper lamp? There are some interesting creatures in this shop, for example.
posted by music for skeletons at 9:48 PM on March 17

Best answer: French, romantic, and generally weird: this lamp made out of an actual croissant! It uses an LED light but it is filtered through (again, and I cannot stress this enough) an actual croissant (coated in a special resin to preserve it).

Smoko also makes some cute nightlights: snail, boba tea, mushroom.

But (one more time): actual! croissant! lamp!
posted by earth by april at 11:03 PM on March 17 [3 favorites]

Uncle Milton's Moon in my Room
posted by rhizome at 8:30 PM on March 18

Response by poster: She'd love the croissant. Croissant's got a four month ship time though and takes batteries, and the kid's door is right outside of our room. It's like there's a diner open all night. And we can't shut the door because dogs and cats.

I'm now looking into projector type stuff -- manta rays across the ceiling, that sort of thing. Or stars. We had a spectacular laser galaxy one in the past but they stopped making it.

Especially appreciate anything people actually bought and love. Looking at this stuff on's just really hard to tell why people bought it and whether the ratings are meaningful without having to do math and I'd rather one person's honest opinion than trying to figure out the meaning of a four star rating by 90 people.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:46 PM on March 19

Response by poster: (I did not find a manta ray projector but oh boy that would be great. We were watching videos of the giant ones earlier today and nearly dozed off just watching them float/fly through the ocean.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:47 PM on March 19

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