20 Novelty Night-Lights to Illuminate the Dark

iStock
iStock

Whether it's because you have trouble navigating in the dark or harbor a healthy fear of what lurks in the shadows, these night-lights are here to help.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. ANTIQUE CANDLESTICK; $11.75

candlestick night-light
Amazon

History lovers will flip for this candlestick night-light: It's perfect for writing secret love letters to your betrothed by night. It comes in brass and silver with a base that rotates so you can plug it into a horizontal or vertical outlet.

Find it: Amazon

2. WALKING DEAD; $17.95

Walking Dead Night-Llight
Amazon

If you're looking to calm fears, a zombie-themed night-light might not be for you—but for lovers of the hit AMC show, this officially licensed walker night-light is the stuff dreams are made of.

Find it: Amazon

3. MUSHROOM; $6.99

mushroom night-light
Amazon

If you watched A Bug’s Life and felt envious of the ant's interior décor, you’re in luck: You can get this mushroom night-light that looks just like the glowing mushrooms from the movie.

Find it: Amazon

4. TETRIS; $39.99

TACTBIT DIY Tetris Night Light, 7 Colors Stackable Tangram Puzzle LED Rechargeable Induction Interlocking Lamp 3D Magnetic Toys
Amazon

Video game lovers can build their own Tetris light with this set of glowing pieces. It comes with seven interlocking blocks that only glow when they're stacked together.

Find it: Amazon

5. PAC-MAN; $30.48

Paladone PacMan Ghost Light USB Powered Multi-colored Lamp
Amazon

This retro light looks just like a ghost from Pac-Man. You can settle on one color or let it phase through 16 different hues on repeat. For extra fun, party mode makes the light change colors in time with music.

Find it: Amazon

6. DOCTOR WHO; $19.99

Rabbit Tanaka Doctor Who Nightlight
Amazon

This plastic light is perfect for any Doctor Who fan. When plugged in, the windows light up. Unlike the real TARDIS, though, the night-light isn’t bigger on the inside: It can only fit a 7 watt bulb.

Find it: Amazon

7. LIGHTSABER; $24.47

Star Wars Science Multicolor Lightsaber Room Light
Amazon

You won't be able to take down a Sith with this lightsaber, but it's still a must-have for a Jedi and fans of Star Wars: It mounts to the wall and makes sound effects. Using a remote control, the user can pick one of eight different colors.

Find it: Amazon

8. MOON; $11.17

Moonlight Portable Light
Amazon

This night-light gives off a gentle glow, just like the real moon. The small light is 4 inches in diameter and has a switch on the bottom.

Find it: Amazon

9. GLOWING DINOSAUR; $49.94

Dino Pet light
Amazon

This unique night-light isn’t powered by electricity. Bioluminescent dinoflagellates naturally give off a beautiful blue glow. The living mini-aquarium photosynthesizes during the day and emits light at night (only when they're disturbed, though, so you'll have to swish them around all the way to the bathroom). Since it's alive, you have to feed it special food every so often to keep it going.

Find it: Amazon

10. DARTH VADER; $28.88

Padaday 3D Bulbing Star War Star War Darth Vader 3D Optical Illusion Desk Table Light Lamp
Amazon

This clever engraved light gives the illusion of a 3D Darth Vader. A touch button lets the user switch between seven different colors.

Find it: Amazon

11. LIGHT BULB; $77.19

lightbulb lamp
Etsy

Minimalists with great ideas will love this charming flat light bulb. The LED light comes with a power switch and plugs into the wall.

Find it: Etsy

12. DOG BALLOON; $25

Balloon Dog Nightlight
Uncommon Goods

The dog is a classic balloon animal shape that can be found at birthday parties and art galleries alike. Now they can also make an appearance in your bedroom in the form of an adorable night-light. Squeeze this pup's hind paw to turn on the LED light, which gives off an ambient glow for 30 minutes at a time.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

13. BANANA; $5.97

banana night-light
Land of Nod

Quit monkeying around and get yourself one of these banana-shaped desk lights, which is battery-powered and stands on its own. To turn it on and off, you only need to press the top of the banana.

Find it: The Land of Nod

14. UNICORN; $16.95

SMOKO Uni the Unicorn Night Light
Amazon

This “alarmingly adorable” LED night-light is the perfect thing for anyone who loves hugs and rainbows. It comes in purple, pink, and white—and you might want to buy all three so they’re not lonely.

Find it: Amazon

15. MOUNTAIN; $77.19

Snowy mountain lamp
Etsy

This flat glass light is perfect for those missing the slopes. It’s lit by a hidden LED and plugs into the wall.

Find it: Etsy

16. DEER BUST; $17.95

Dreams Hunting Trophy Door Light, Deer, Yellow
Amazon

This motion-activated light is perfect for those who admire the art of taxidermy but maybe don't want a dead, stuffed animal in their homes.

Find it: Amazon

17. REMOVABLE GLOWING BALLS; $62.94

Boon Glo Nightlight with Portable Balls
Amazon

This alien-like lamp comes with three glowing balls that can be removed without turning off. The spheres glow for about 30 minutes after being removed and the lamp itself has an LED base. The balls don’t break or heat up, so you can fall asleep with them.

Find it: Amazon

18. GUMMY BEAR; $29.99

Gummygoods Squeezable Gummy Bear Night Light, Portable with 60 Minute Sleep Timer, Blue
Amazon

This delicious-looking light might make it hard to resist a midnight snack. Simply squeeze its squishy belly to turn it on and off.

Find it: Amazon

19. PHONE CHARGER; $17.99

phone charger night-light
Amazon

This amazing night-light does two things in one: It charges your cell phones and keeps the monsters at bay. It comes with two USB ports and a LED light for a warm ambient glow.

Find it: Amazon

20. SPHERE TO MUSHROOM; $20.93

mushroom night-light
Amazon

This silicone light transforms between a sphere and a mushroom—all you have to do is push it down.

Find it: Amazon

11 Thoughtful Gifts for Secret Santa and White Elephant Exchanges

Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

Finding a suitable gift for a Secret Santa, Yankee, or white elephant exchange can be challenging, especially if you don’t know the recipient all that well. We wanted to help, so we found 11 items that anyone would be happy to receive.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Bourbon-Infused Coffee

We could all use a little kick in the morning, and this Tennessee-brewed coffee is sure to do the trick. A splash of Kentucky bourbon lends the Arabica beans their unique aroma and flavor, but it doesn’t actually contain alcohol, so it’s plenty safe for sipping at the office.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $20.

2. Bento 3-in-1 Splash Box

A set of containers
Amazon

Plastic-free is increasingly becoming the new norm. The Splash Box has three non-toxic stainless steel food trays that lock together for easy transport, while simultaneously keeping your peas apart from your mashed potatoes. It’s leak-proof, shatter-proof, and safe for the dishwasher, oven, and toaster oven on medium heat.

Find It on Amazon for $35.

3. Clinique Mascara and Balm Travel Ornament Set

A makeup set
Walmart

This travel kit is the perfect accessory for frequent fliers who want to freshen up after touching down in a new city or country. Clinique’s black High Impact mascara and cleansing balm are wrapped up in a convenient—and TSA-approved!—travel ornament.

Find It at Walmart for $16 and also at these other retailers:

4. “Weird & Wacky USA” Jigsaw Puzzle

A U.S. map puzzle
True South

Help someone discover the quirky side of America with this 500-piece puzzle illustrated by an award-winning designer. Colorful icons highlight the odd roadside attractions in each state, and who knows—it might even inspire an unforgettable road trip.

Find It at the True South Puzzle Company for $27.

5. Italian Chesemaking Kit

The cheesemaking kit
Uncommon Goods

Give the gift of good cheese this season with a DIY kit. The box holds enough ingredients to make 10 batches of cheese, including classic varieties such as mozzarella, burrata, and ricotta. No prior cheesemaking experience necessary.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $25.

6. Jam Hang Up Portable Bluetooth Speaker

A portable speaker
Best Buy

Music lovers will appreciate this durable Bluetooth speaker with a built-in suction and stick pad. They can slap it on a shower wall, mirror, or other smooth surface around the house or backyard and get their groove on. It can be submerged in water for 30 minutes and comes with a rechargeable battery.

Find It at these retailers:

7. SmartKlear Carbon Smartphone Cleaner

A smartphone cleaner
The Grommet

NASA uses SmartKlear’s carbon cleaning technology in its space station, and it can now be used to scrub the germs and grime from any smartphone or electronic screen. Simply swipe the device across a screen, and the carbon substance it contains will get to work repelling any dirt or oil it encounters.

Find It at Amazon for $16 and also at these other retailers:

8. The Tile Mate

The Tile Mate and Slim Combo Pack
Amazon

We all know that one person who’s constantly misplacing their things. The Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker will help jog their memory. It hooks onto keychains, suitcases, purses, bikes, and more to help the user find their items via a companion app. It also works in reverse: Pressing a button on the Tile Mate makes the user’s phone ring, even when it’s on silent.

Find It on Amazon for $10 and also at these other retailers:

9. Homesick Books Candle

The Books candle
Homesick Candles

The Books candle from Homesick would make a thoughtful gift for any bibliophile who already has a stack of unread novels at home. Top notes of orange and nutmeg are rounded out by earthy fragrances like sandalwood and cedarwood. Splashes of vanilla, balsam, and amber form the base and help recreate the unmistakable scent of a good book.

Find It at Homesick Candles for $30 and also at these other retailers:

10. Chocolate-Covered Snowman Oreos

A box of chocolate-covered Oreos
Amazon

Who doesn’t love holiday-themed chocolates? These milk chocolate-drizzled Oreos from Philadelphia Candies come with candy snowmen on top. There’s also a dark chocolate version, as well as a milk chocolate version with winter snowflakes on top.

Find It on Amazon for $15.

11. Ulla Hydration Reminder Bottle

The water bottle on a desk
The Grommet

We often forget to stay hydrated, but this water bottle accessory from Ulla makes it easy to foster healthy habits. The silicone band fits over most bottles and sends out reminders to take a swig any time the user has gone too long without water. Get one for a health-conscious coworker, or perhaps that one person you know who seems to be subsisting solely on coffee.

Find It at The Grommet for $25 or on Amazon for $29.

11 Brilliant Gifts $10 and Up

iStock
iStock

This year, rock Secret Santa with ease. These 11 budget-friendly ideas are ideal for stocking stuffers, gift exchanges, and last-minute presents.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Bomioli Rocco Selecta Decanter

whiskey decanter
Amazon

Even those with the most discerning taste will appreciate this affordable, Italian-made decanter with matching stopper. Its elaborate cut-glass pattern gives an air of sophistication to any whiskey of choice and it's even dishwasher-safe.

Find It at Amazon for $13 and also at these other retailers:

2. Square Jellyfish Micro Tripod

Banish blurry photos and shaky video with this foldable tripod. The lightweight gadget is compatible with smartphones, mini tablets, and small cameras—and is perfect for the person who's constantly capturing moments on the go.

Find It at Amazon for $10 at also at these other retailers:

3. Craft Beer Pretzel Mix Trio

craft beer pretzel mix
Uncommon Goods

An appetizing plan: Just add beer to this mix to create soft, salty pretzels in less than an hour. Include a beloved brew alongside this gift to really show you care. According to the markers, darker beers will create a heartier dough while lighter beers will add more of a citrus taste.

Find It at UncommonGoods for $25.

4. Tree In A Box

This tree kit includes everything your loved one will need to show off their green thumb, including a packet of tree seeds, a biodegradable peat pot, nutrient soil pellet, and a how-to guide packed with simple-to-follow steps. There are plenty of tree options available from sycamore to ponderosa pine.

Find It at Tree In A Box for $6.

5. Oliver Champagne Cork Appetizer Plate

Serve up festive appetizer plates to your favorite holiday hostess. Each microwave-safe dish features a mixed-media illustration, like the one above which shows a stick figure marching with a champagne cork hat and toothpick baton.

Find It at CB2 for $3.

6. Sakura Blossom Bar Soap

Give the gift of relaxation. Apple, citrus, and heliotrope create a calming combination, and best of all, this soap is vegan and cruelty-free.

Find It at Soap & Paper for $8.

7. "French Picnic" Salt Blend

Ocean salt combined with mustard, garlic, and herbs makes this artisanal blend a must-have in any foodie’s kitchen. Sprinkle the homemade mix over veggies or chicken to transport taste buds to France. Other available options include the Magic Unicorn blend (salt, paprika, rosemary, and garlic) and Hot Steve (salt, cayenne, chipotle, orange, garlic, and smoked paprika).

Find It at Etsy for $8.

8. The Tocca Try-It Kit

Shopping for a fickle fashionista can be tricky, so hedge your bets and give them four perfume options in this sampler kit from TOCCA. Each scent has its own signature mix with personality, from Emelia’s fruity zest of clementine and fig to Florence’s sophisticated florals of jasmine and iris.

Find It at Birchbox for $7.

9. BB-8 Droid Coin Bank

Perfect for the Star Wars fan in your life, this ceramic bank is shaped like the BB-8 droid from The Force Awakens. The slot in the back makes saving for a rainy day easy, and all the painted details turn this bank into a fantastic addition to any Star Wars collection.

Find It at Amazon for $10.

10. Toaster Grilled Cheese Bags

College kids and cheese sandwich-enthusiasts can up their grilled cheese game with these toaster bags. Slide a sandwich or leftover pizza slice into one of these bags and pop it in the toaster. The gooey contents are protected from becoming a burnt mess, thanks to the bags’ Teflon coating. Each bag is dishwasher-safe and lasts for 50 grilled cheese sandwiches.

Find It at UncommonGoods or $10.

11. Funko's Pop! TV Figures

Help a friend or family member honor another year of standout television with these mini figurines. The collection includes characters from The Flash, The Walking Dead, Golden Girls, Game of Thrones (like Daenerys Targaryen, pictured above), and more.

Find It at Amazon for $7 and up and also at these other retailers:

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER