If you’d rather not change the room’s main light source, consider adding a color-changing lamp. There are loads of options, from the Amazon Echo Glow to the Govee Aura, but it’s worth noting that you can always use a smart bulb in a regular lamp.
For parents using a lamp as a night light, consider pairing it with a smart plug (we have several recommendations here), so you can turn it off remotely without waking your child by creeping into the room. You can also schedule smart plugs to turn lamps on or off automatically.
We tried several lamps before settling on a Bluetooth speaker called the Soundcore Flare Mini (we recommend the larger Soundcore Flare in our Best Bluetooth Speakers guide too). It has LEDs in the base with a variety of lighting modes. After settling down for the night, I use it to play sleep stories, music, or soothing sounds. My daughter also uses it for Spotify during the day and the lights change in time to the beats. (It doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity.)
Smart Light Strips Can Transform Rooms
For more impactful and versatile lighting, consider smart light strips. They are rows of LEDs on a strip with adhesive backing. Some are not designed to be viewed directly and can look quite ugly. What’s tricky is finding the perfect spots for them. Recessed areas are best, so the light glows while hiding the strips, but one end must be close enough to a power outlet.
Here are a few tips I learned the hard way: Test it before fixing it in place. Clean the wall thoroughly to give the adhesive backing the best chance of working or you may find it peels off over time. You can usually cut a light strip to the size you want, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And whatever you do, make sure the cat isn’t in the room when you install it. Also, know that these strips can be difficult to remove; they might leave residue or peel off paint.
There are two main types of smart light strips. The cheapest kind can only display a single color at a time. I fitted the Govee Smart LED Strip Light under both of my kid’s beds and it works extremely well as a night light. It supports app and voice assistant control, but what I appreciate most is the simple control unit with physical buttons for power, color cycling, and syncing with music.