Review: Moon in my Room

Photo of the Moon in My Room unit and its remote control sitting on my couch unlit in daylight.

I haven’t written about my daughter’s sleep pattern since things vastly improved at 20 months. Aside from using a wake-up clock for mornings, sleep has been smooth.

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 Good:

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.

Thumbnail of six photos showing the moon in six of its 12 phases.

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.

The Bad:

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?

Comments

11 Responses to “Review: Moon in my Room”

  1. Elaina says:

    Hey! My (now nine year old) daughter has this moon and she adores it. She’s had it for about three years now, and man, oh man, we’ve gone through our share of batteries! My brother bought it for her one Christmas in surprising solidarity with my ideals of the merits of educational toys. It’s worked beautifully as a night light. To answer your inquiry about night light options, in my other daughter’s room (she’s now two months old) we use a dachshund lamp as a night light. (Can I use html in comments? I think not. The link is here: http://tottini.com/store/product/2902/Dachshund-Lamp-White/ ) Rather expensive, yes, but it was a gift. Thanks, Aunt Bonnie!

    August 4th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  2. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    Our son is the opposite — most of the time he goes to sleep without any light at all. When he does have light, its a blue bulb to make sure there is LESS light in there because a typical nightlight was shining too much light for him to fall asleep.

    August 4th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  3. Violet says:

    We use a cloud lamp from Ikea that we put on a dimmer switch. My daughter’s room is decorated like a garden with grass painted on the walls, birds, butterflies, blue skies, an Ikea sun lamp hanging on the wall (just for decoration) so the cloud fits perfectly.

    -violet

    August 4th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

  4. Inki says:

    This would fit our nursery wonderfully (once we start using it, our almost-1-year-old still sleeps in our bed) – we have painted it blue with clouds and we have the IKEA sun lamp illuminating it – the moon would fit perfectly with our theme! Off to add to our Amazon wish list now…

    August 5th, 2008 at 1:47 am

  5. K G S says:

    I’m a big fan of our motion-sensing/light-sensing LED nightlight that plugs into a wall outlet. It’s fairly bright, but only turns on for 1 minute at a time (and only when it’s dark). My daughter’s room is kept dark for sleeping, but if she needs help in the night this light keeps us from tripping over the dog or errant toys.

    August 5th, 2008 at 9:56 am

  6. Mary says:

    Our 2 1/2 year old son goes to sleep without a night light, but he has to have some sort of noise (a fan is what we’re using now that its summer – a humidifier if it is winter). We live in a small apartment and his room is adjacent to the living room – so if Mom and Dad are up with the tv on, he can hear it (unless we have the fan/humidifier on). He used to have a night light, but we realized that it really didn’t make a difference when it went out. So, we got rid of it and he’s been fine since. Once we go to bed and all the lights are off, we crack his door so that we can hear him if he cries (usually happens when he’s sick or something disturbs his sleep). I’m really excited though, because soon he’ll go from a toddler bed (we got that as a hand-me-down) to a big kid bed (twin mattress and boxspring on the floor). Good thing is that it is a twin xl (was mine from college) – good excuse not to buy any character sheets and such. Most twin xl sets are plain or patterned.

    August 5th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

  7. Amy says:

    We got this for our then 3 year old for a Christmas gift and we all love it. The boys love to say goodnight moon outdoors and then to have their own moon in their room is even better.. It does go through batteries.. but isnt that typical of any loved kids toy?!

    August 6th, 2008 at 8:08 pm

  8. Mama Peach says:

    We still use our Fisher Price Flutterbyes mobile (the older model).
    http://www.thisnext.com/item/8E9E8ABA/1A092E41/Flutterbye-Dreams-Lullabye

    It’s just a unit that attaches to a crib or sits on a night stand. It has various settings (different musical tunes, chimes, birds twittering, or nothing), can project onto the ceiling, or not; lights up, or not. We’ve used it religiously every night for almost exactly 3 years. There is no remote but she just reaches up and pushes the self-activation button and it runs for 16 minutes at a time.

    We also have a blue LED nightlight on all the time (so not motion or light sensor). It seems to work well for us!

    I do like that moon though, my daughter would get a real kick out of that! But I don’t want to mess with a good thing just yet. :)

    August 7th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

  9. Chief Family Officer says:

    My boys share a room and fall asleep with a fairly bright light on. It’s the small reading light on a tall lamp, and it’s enough for my oldest to be able to read by until he falls asleep. Before I go to sleep, I go in and dim the light so it acts as a night light, enough for my oldest to see his way into our bedroom to let us know he has to use the bathroom.

    August 16th, 2008 at 8:47 pm

  10. tawni says:

    sleep?! Forget the night light, I want to know how you got your kids to sleep!!

    August 26th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

  11. Dutch says:

    We like the Mobi Tyke Lite. It looks vaguely like a little person and turns off after 15 minutes. It’s LED so it stays cool to the touch and my daughter can hold it or put it wherever she wants.

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:47 am