Monday, August 4th, 2008
Review: Moon in my Room
Our 4-year-old daughter’s routine has involved going to sleep with the light off, but with the door open and a hallway light partially illuminating her room. But when we threw our sporadically crying infant son into the mix two months ago, we began leaving her room light on and closing her door.
Last weekend I picked up our latest solution, the Moon in my Room by Uncle Milton. I say “solution” because it serves as a night light that turns off after 30 minutes. The rest of its features are gravy.
The moon is a plastic three-dimensional convex circle textured and colored to look like the moon, jutting out 2.5 inches at its highest point to give it a spherical look. The moon mounts to your wall (not ceiling) and does look quite realistic, but with a 10 inch diameter, it’s much larger than you’ll see in the night sky.
A light sensor turns on the moon automatically as the room darkens, keeping it on for 30 minutes. A remote control manages three settings:
- Active for 30 minutes (or turn off).
- Manually cycle through the phases of the moon, each click of the button lighting up more or less of the moon’s face.
- Auto-cycle through the phases of the moon every 5 seconds.
As a night light, the full moon setting is the obvious choice, but I can foresee making a “sky check” part of our bedtime ritual… run outside and see what the real moon looks like, then set the indoor moon to the same phase.
At 4-years-old the remote control is easy to handle. It’s powered by 2 AAA batteries (secured with a screw panel) and the moon uses 4 AA batteries. A 15-minute informational CD is included that is quite educational, but is on the boring side and more appropriate for the moon’s suggested age range of 6-years-and-up.
The moon cycles through 12 phases, half of which are shown in the above image. The moon is brighter than the photos may imply, casting a healthy glow over a room. The illumination on its face is also fairly even despite photos depicting a brighter center.
1. If you lose the remote, your moon will have only one phase, full, and only be activated by external light sources (flicking your room’s light switch off). However, the entire unit can still be shut off via a switch on the back.
2. I wish the moon could automatically show you the correct moon phase each night after you set it the first time.
3. A couple of negative Amazon reviewers (amid mostly positive reviews) claim their moons were sold to them broken and Uncle Milton wanted them to pay shipping for repair.
4. The moon is illuminated by LEDs. While they are energy efficient and long lasting, if one goes out, the average person would have to ship the unit back to the company for replacement.
5. I bought my moon for 50 cents at a garage sale. The mother who sold it to me claimed it functioned sporadically, as did a second mother who owns one. However, mine works fine. I suspect they never read the instructions and thus the remote buttons never made sense, or the 30 minute limit confounded them.
Moon in my Room is $25 at Amazon ($10 less than I saw at a local toy store last weekend). Amazon sells other wall-mounted moons that seem nearly identical, but under Discovery and National Geographic brand names for a considerably higher price.
As purely a night light, there must be less expensive option. We used a Megabrite socket night light when my daughter was younger, but it shines all night long and doesn’t cast enough light for a demanding 4-year-old.
What do you use in your home, and have you run across a night light that runs on a timer?