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

16 Magical New Harry Potter Products

Business Wire
Business Wire

Another September has arrived, and with it, the realization that—once again—you won’t be going to Hogwarts. But don’t cry into your butterbeer: These Potter products from Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Target will help you forget that you’re a mere Muggle.

1. HOGWARTS CANDLE LANTERN; $99

Pair this turret-like lantern—which is made of aluminum and glass and features an antique bronze finish—with a pumpkin juice candle from Wick and Fable to get that Hogwarts at Halloween vibe.

Find it: Pottery Barn

2. HOGWARTS COMFY THROW; $13

Don this fleece throw—which looks exactly like a Hogwarts student robe—for studying in your house “Common Room” (a.k.a. your living room) or before mealtime in the “Great Hall” (a.k.a. your kitchen). Get some treacle tart on your robe? Don’t worry—it’s machine-washable.

Find it: Target

3. GRYFFINDOR APRON; $40

As all wizards know, food is the first of the Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration: Tasty treats don’t just appear out of nowhere—someone has to make them. Now you can display your house pride in the kitchen with this cotton twill robe. The neckband is equipped with a d-ring to make adjustments a snap.

Find it: Williams Sonoma

4. HOUSE BACKPACK; $63

These adorable canvas backpacks (available for all houses) feature interior and exterior pockets, a padded laptop pocket, and a roomy interior. See if you can make it even roomier with an Undetectable Extension Charm!

Find it: Pottery Barn Kids

5. VELVET TRAIN CASE; $59

Arrive at Platform 9¾ in style with one of these chic velvet toiletry cases.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

6. TRIWIZARD CUP LAMP; $18

Great for your bedside table or your Halloween costume, this cordless, battery-powered acrylic lamp will make you look like a Triwizard champ.

Find it: Target

7. MIRROR OF ERISED JEWELRY CABINET; $399

If you don’t have room for the full-length mirror, this jewelry cabinet is the next best thing: It opens to reveal hooks, shelves, and pegs for all of your baubles.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

8. WALL DECALS; $16

What better way to show of your hoggy hoggy Hogwarts pride than with these house crest vinyl wall decals? Each set comes with five decals, which reviewers give high marks.

Find it: Target

9. HOUSE CREST COOKIE CUTTERS; $17

These detailed cookie cutters are fun for witches and wizards of all ages. Plus, they’re dishwasher-safe.

Find it: Williams Sonoma

10. HOGWARTS MAP; $129

This vintage-looking aerial map of Hogwarts is a true work of art. It’s printed on canvas and has grommets for easy hanging. And it won’t talk back like the Fat Lady!

Find it: Pottery Barn Kids

11. WIZARD CHESS; $40

It’s not life-sized, but this set is a detailed replica of the smaller board Harry and Ron play with in Sorcerer’s Stone.

Find it: Target

12. FAUX BOOK LOCKBOX; $139

Whether you’re hiding a Hallows or a Horcrux, this 20-inch-long facade—which looks like a shelf straight from the Hogwarts library—will keep all of your most precious things safe.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

13. GOLDEN SNITCH SNACK BOWL; $40

Made of gold-plated aluminum, this adorable bowl is perfect for serving up all kinds of snacks, from jelly slugs to Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. (Just watch out for the earwax flavor!)

Find it: Pottery Barn

14. QUIDDITCH PILLOW; $50

This Quidditch pillow—which is made of cotton velvet—has a delightfully retro vibe. There’s also a Snitch pillow, a Hogwarts letter sham, and this throw pillow featuring one of Harry’s signature spells.

Find it: Pottery Barn Kids

15. DEATHLY HALLOWS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER, $79

This gold-gilded Bluetooth speaker is compatible with all smartphones. It’s also cordless, which means you can take it with you—and listen to the Weird Sisters—wherever you go.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

16. ETCHED SCENE SHEET SET, $79 - $149

These cotton percale sheets come in every size from Twin to King and are adorned with scenes from the Hogwarts grounds and the Forbidden Forest.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

25 Back-to-School Products That Earn High Marks

iStock
iStock

New school style: Whether you're starting college, shopping for the kids, or just want an excuse to treat yourself to new office gear, Mental Floss has you covered. Equip yourself or a loved one with these stylish and functional school supplies.

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. COFFEE AND DOUGHNUT POST-ITS; $13

coffee and doughnut Post-its
Courtesy of Post-it

Add some flavor to your notes with the two-pack set of coffee and doughnut Post-its. Each of the 60 sheets is 3.20-by-3 inches.

Find It: Amazon

2. PACKIT FREEZABLE HAMPTON LUNCH BAG; $16

PackIt Freezable Hampton Lunch Bag, Blanket Stripe
Amazon

This spacious lunch bag is designed with a freezable lining, so it can be folded and placed in the freezer. When you're ready to take it on the go, it'll be ready to chill your food for hours. Bonus: It's also lead- and BPA-free.

Find It: Amazon

3. MONSTER REUSABLE SANDWICH BAGS; $11

Orange Monster Reusable Sandwich Lunch Bags
Amazon

Save the Earth and amuse little students with these reusable, dishwasher-safe bags. Each set of four includes two sandwich bags and two snack bags—all with an easy-to-grip opening.

Find It: Amazon

4. BENTO BOX FOR KIDS; $40

OmieBox Bento Lunch Box With Insulated Thermos For Kids
Amazon

This three-compartment bento box is roomy enough to fit a hearty, healthy lunch. The BPA-free container—available in five bright colors—is leak-proof, easy to open, and comes with a built-in thermos.

Find It: Amazon

5. LARGE MONTHLY PLANNER; $15

Large Personal Monthly Planner
Amazon

JStory's minimalist planner is made of thicker-than-average paper and includes a column for notes. And the blank design offers flexibility: You fill in the dates yourself.

Find It: Amazon

6. ORANGE LINED NOTEBOOK; $9

Rhodia Staplebound Orange Lined Notebook
Amazon

French brand Rhodia earned a strong following among artists and designers for its high-quality paper that's unbelievably smooth. The cover is sturdy so you can take notes anywhere.

Find It: Amazon

7. HONEYSTICKS BEESWAX CRAYONS; $23

crayons
Amazon

These sustainable crayons are made of 100 percent beeswax from New Zealand. (They smell like honey, too!) The thick shape is perfect for toddlers to hold.

Find It: Amazon

8. MOPHIE POWERSTATION XL; $66

external battery
Amazon

An external battery is a must for days when shuttling around campus from classes to clubs to rehearsals is unavoidable. This slim rose gold option has two USB ports and is compatible with both smartphones and tablets.

Find It: Amazon

9. CABLEKEEP; $13

Nice GLD-02 Goldie CableKeep
Amazon

This helpful gadget for iPhones holds both your power adapter and USB cable while keeping them tangle-free. It also functions as a stand for your phone when the Cablekeep is plugged into the wall.

Find It: Amazon

10. PARKLAND BAYSIDE KIDS' BACKPACK; $28

Parkland Bayside Kids Backpack
Amazon

Tote books in style with this eco-friendly backpack, featuring a polyester exterior made from recycled water bottles.

Find It: Amazon

11. LEGO BRICK BACKPACK; $50

LEGO Brick Backpack
Amazon

This whimsical statement backpack from LEGO features a padded handle and shoulder straps, so it's as comfortable as it is cool.

Find It: Amazon

12. HERSHEL NOVEL DUFFEL; $81

Herschel Supply Co. duffel
Amazon

Class up your gear with this stylish duffel from Herschel. It features a padded shoulder strap and a special compartment for those dirty cleats.

Find It: Amazon

13. ANTIQUE BRASS PHARMACY FLOOR LAMP; $50

Dawson Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Amazon

Overpower dim dorm room lighting with this brass floor lamp. Its height can be adjusted from 33 inches to a maximum of 55 inches, while the arm can be adapted to shine light at a variety of angles.

Find It: Amazon

14. EGYPTIAN COTTON TOWEL SET; $24

bathroom with towels
Amazon

This set of soft Egyptian cotton towels from Amazon's Pinzon brand includes two hand towels, two washcloths, and two bath towels—all listed as 100 percent cotton and at an affordable price.

Find It: Amazon

15. WHITE MARBLE MACBOOK KEYBOARD SKIN; $12

White Marble MacBook Keyboard Skin
Nordstrom

Protect your keyboard while adding a little luxury to your Macbook with this white marble keyboard skin.

Find It: Nordstrom

16. MAGNETIC CHALK BOARD; $18

chalkboard
Amazon

Get organized with this wood-framed chalk board, which comes with chalk and two vintage-style magnets.

Find It: Amazon

17. COFFEEBOXX SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MAKER; $230

portable coffee maker
Amazon

This ultra-durable single-serve coffee maker is great for the dorm as well as the campground. It's water- and dust-resistant and works with K-cups.

Find It: Amazon

18. TRAVEL MUG; $25

 Zojirushi SM-SA48-BA Stainless Steel Mug
Amazon

If you need java to survive, pick up this sleek vacuum-insulated travel mug, which features a splatter-free push-button lid. It's also lockable, so you won't be that person who spills coffee in class.

Find It: Amazon

19. SIX-PACK OF STACKING DRAWERS; $32

stacking drawers
Amazon

Stack these versatile transparent drawers to create a dresser so you can fit your huge wardrobe in your dorm room.

Find It: Amazon

20. FACETED TAPE DISPENSER; $7

gem tape dispenser
Amazon

This elegant copper tape dispenser will give your desk some class. It's also weighted, so you can grab with ease. (Roll of Scotch tape included.)

Find It: Amazon

21. COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE; $84

microwave
Amazon

Master the art of dorm room microwave cooking with this 1000-Watt model, featuring that all-important popcorn setting.

Find It: Amazon

22. SATEEN SHEETS; $18 AND UP

sheet set
Bed Bath & Beyond

These 400-thread-count sateen sheets feel silky to the touch: They're a simple way to make your dorm room feel luxurious.

Find It: Bed Bath & Beyond

23. TOUCHSCREEN MIST CLEANER; $10

Two-In-One Spray and Microfiber Cloth
Amazon

Use this screen-safe spray to remove dirt and fingerprints from your phone. It comes in a bottle that's coated with microfiber cloth so you can spritz and wipe all in one.

Find It: Amazon

24. MESH SHOWER BAG; $13

 Saltwater Canvas, LLC Zip Top Mesh Shower Bag
Amazon

No more feeling around outside the shower curtain for your shampoo. Take this quick-drying mesh shower caddy right into the stall with you.

Find It: Amazon

25. MINI FRIDGE WITH DRY ERASE BOARD; $250

 Igloo FR326M-D-BLACK Erase Board Refrigerator with Neon Markers
Amazon

Make your dorm room unique with this fun fridge that has a dry erase exterior and comes with neon markers so you can write notes directly on it. No paper and magnets needed. It also includes a freezer unit and ice cube tray.

Find It: Amazon

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