Decorating Inside & OutHome & Garden

Outlet Cover Night Lights: These Space-Saving LED Night Light Outlets Replace Your Regular Outlet Covers (Leaving Your Outlet Plugs Free For Other Things!)

The minute I heard about Snap Power night light outlet covers (with the LED lights built into the outlet cover itself), I knew I had to have some.

I bought 5 of them!

Snap Power calls them “guidelights.” I got mine approximately 4 years before outlet night light outlets became mainstream and available on Amazon.

Immediately, I knew 3 places that I wanted to use them:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Master bathroom
  3. Garage

When they arrived, I experimented by putting them in lots of different places throughout the house.

That’s when I learned just how easy they are to install — all it takes is a screwdriver!

You simply unscrew your current outlet cover from the wall first. And then you screw in the night light outlet cover — in its place. That’s it. Seriously.

I installed all 5 myself in just minutes.

Here’s a great write-up if you want to follow along as Julie installs Snap Power outlet cover night lights in her home.

Best Places To Put Night Light Outlet Covers

I think night light outlets work best in these places:

  • Above kitchen countertops – to brighten up the shadowy space underneath kitchen cabinets
  • Just above the baseboards along your floors – so you don’t trip walking through the house at night
  • In the master bathroom – so you can pee at night without turning on the overhead light
  • In the garage – so you can take out the trash without turn on a light
  • In the garage (near the walk-thru door) – so your guests can enter and exit that way without it being pitch black
  • In a child’s bedroom or guest room – there’s no better night light
  • Near the dog’s food & water bowl – so your dog can eat & drink comfortably even if the room is dark
  • At the top / bottom of the stairs – so you can easily see the first and last steps at night
  • In the powder room – so guests can see which room is the powder room “the one with the nightlight on”

Initially, I had planned to only put one of the night light outlet covers in the farthest corner of the kitchen — where it’s extremely dark. But after putting one there, things felt uncentered in the room. So I ended up putting 2 more in the kitchen to balance out the “glow” above the kitchen countertops at night. It looks much better than just having one there.

Of the 5 night light outlets that I purchased, I now had 2 left to put somewhere…

I ended up putting 1 in our master bathroom and 1 in our powder room.

3 Things To Know Before You Buy An Outlet Cover Night Light…

  1. Don’t do like I did and just assume that all of your outlets are standard.

Any outlets located near sinks will most likely be GFCI outlets — with reset buttons.

Snap Power doesn’t make GFCI outlet covers with night lights at this time.

UPDATE: Now they do! Here is the Snap Power GFCI night light outlet cover.

The outlet that I wanted a night light outlet cover for the most (the one in our large master bathroom, near the sink) is a GFCI outlet — and I haven’t purchased that one yet.

The second place I was eager to put a night light outlet was in the garage — near the walk-thru door, to light the way for our pet sitter when she comes at night. However, there’s only a round 3-prong outlet there for our central vacuum (that we don’t use), and Snap Power doesn’t make outlet covers with night lights to fit that style of outlet. (I don’t think anyone does.)

I ended up putting one of these in our garage instead: Mr Beams Motion-Sensor Light. It works great!

  1. In very dark corners, the light will stay on all the time.

That is, unless you turn on an overhead light or have enough natural light that reaches the outlet cover.

Snap Power says it only costs 10 cents a year to operate one of these night light outlet covers — and the lights themselves will last 25 years.

But I’m guessing those figures are based on the fact that the lights are not glowing for at least half the day.

So, even though it won’t cost much if the lights happen to stay on, you might only get half the life (12+ years) out of the bulbs themselves if they’re glowing most of the time.

In our case, pictured below is the Snap Power night light that tends to stay on most of the time. It’s because the refrigerator is immediately to the right — which prevents most of the room’s natural light from reaching this particular outlet.

  1. In some cases, it would look better if the lights were shining upwards, rather than downwards.
This is the Snap Power night light that stays on most of the time in our kitchen. You can see that the one in the far corner gets enough natural light to automatically turn off though.

Or it might be nice to have one pointing to the right, rather than to the left — or vice versa.

However, the outlet covers are constructed in such a way that the direction you put them is dictated by the direction of the ground prongs in your outlets.

Good news #1:

You could change the direction of your outlet’s electrical box, but you would definitely have to turn off the electricity first. Then, you would simply reverse the direction that the outlets are wired — so the ground plug is closer to the top, rather than closer to the bottom of the outlet.

Good news#2:

Depending on how crowded things are on the sides of your outlet boxes (you can tell after you take the outlet covers off), you might be able to get a good enough connection simply by changing the direction of the outlet cover itself. In my house, it didn’t work for 2 of the outlets that I tried. But it did work that way for 1 of the outlets and I’ve kept it that way ever since.

In my opinion, when the light is shining upwards on the outlet cover, it’s a brighter light that reflects differently — and it covers a slightly larger area. The reason? There are more surfaces for the light to bounce off of, as opposed to when the light is simply shining straight down onto the countertop or floor below it.

In our case, (pictured here) I positioned 2 Snap Power night light covers in 2 different directions! One points in the direction that we walk into the kitchen. The other points toward the kitchen sink.

It works quite nicely for us this way.

Why Night Light Outlets Like This Are So Great

This next photo of our master bathroom (before we got the Snap Power night light outlet covers) shows why these night light outlets are a lifesaver…

This is the night light that USED TO light the way when we got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. But it's so big and bulky -- and it takes up both of the plugs!

As you can see, we were using traditional auto sensor night lights in the 2 outlets in our master bathroom, near the sinks.

For what it’s worth, I do like the power failure night lights (pictured here in the outlet plugs) a lot — because they have one unique “extra” feature.

Not only do they automatically turn on at night and off in the morning, but they also have a flashlight beam that shines automatically when you unplug them from the wall! I have a few of these Sylvania and GE power failure night lights. (I put them wherever it would be most useful to have a flashlight handy in an emergency.)

This is my favorite type of old school night light that plugs into any outlet -- the flashlight type!

But we’ve become frustrated that the plugs in both master bathroom outlets are used up with plugged-in night lights all the time!

So we always have to unplug a night light before we can plug in Jim’s razor or my hair dryer — or whatever.

With the Snap Power nightlight outlet covers, you don’t have to unplug anything! The night light shines from 3 LED bulbs on the bottom of the outlet cover itself.

Plus, Snap Power’s outlet cover night lights are the most energy-efficient night lights in the market.

Here are some other reviews of Snap Power night light outlets.

The Bottom Line

For what it’s worth, I also installed 2 of the SnapPower USB wall charger cover plates.

Here’s my review of the USB cover plates.

They’re better than most of the other USB wall outlets that replace a standard receptacle and wall plate.

What makes the SnapPower USB cover plates so appealing is that it requires no wiring work. You just remove the old wall plate and snap the new one into place! You don’t have to fiddle with any wires.

The USB port sits at the bottom of the coverplate and draws power from the screws inside the outlet.

(The latest version of the Snap Power night light outlet covers actually include a USB charging port now — so you almost don’t need a standalone outlet cover just for USB charging purposes.)

And Snap Power even has:

Here’s a good video review of Snap Power night lights compared to two of the other top brands: