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This Nightlight Looks Like a Mac Pro and Puts You to Sleep

Casper’s nightlight is pricey, clever and promises to put you to sleep with a light.

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Chandler Bondurant

In our connected age, it’s hard to live a healthy, balanced home life. In Homebody, we test one product that claims to help.

An embarrassing admission: I have lived in my new apartment for almost a year, and I am still very short on lamps. This is caused by a few personal shortcomings. First, I am indecisive. Not in normal things, really — just in picking lamps. I go to Target and there they are, standing in their rows by the dozens. They all — wrought iron or plastic, bronze or steel — look hideous to me. I go to the vintage store and nearly vomit at the shapes and sizes of lights that past generations dained to build, buy and eventually sell. “They’ll look different with a different lampshade,” my fiancee says. But they always just look worse. If they were cheap, it might be a different case—but no, I just can’t pay $80 for such abominations.

And so the apartment has stayed darker than a cave.

This is not a good solution. And so, when my editor suggested testing out a lighting solution for the next Homebody column, I jumped on the opportunity. Surely someone out there has upgraded the old shaded monster! I thought. And you know what? They kinda have.

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In Theory…

Casper’s Glow Light ($129 for one, $229 for two) is a 6-inch-tall cylinder that almost supersedes the bedroom table lamp. It looks kind of like an Apple Mac Pro. It charges on a little pad. To turn it on, you flip it upside down (it’s not weird, because both the top and the bottom are the same). To adjust the brightness, you spin it. Because it’s aimed at helping you fall asleep or wake up (Casper sells mattresses, remember), it gradually dims. The idea being that you flip it over, adjust its brightness, then read or think or whatever until you drift off to sleep.

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In Practice…

I don’t really drift off. But they’ve got that covered too. I’d just press the button on top to pause the dimming while I read, then flip the sucker upside down when I was ready to pass out. If you need full light, you just flip it back over; or, if you’re walking to the bathroom or checking on a bump in the night, you can “wiggle” it (I’d call it more of a jiggle) and it turns on at its faintest setting.

This all comes with an app, which is about as easy to use as possible. You can adjust the light in the app, rather than physical twisting. You can also control the other half of the light’s use: setting up a “wakeup time,” at which the light will slowly come up to help you wake up naturally.

In Conclusion…

That’s it? You ask. That’s it. And you know what, it’s the perfect bedside-lamp replacement — almost. It adds a few clever utility features that are literal no-brainers to use; it’s chic and simple in appearance; most importantly for me, it’s not a traditional lamp. It helped me establish a nice bedtime and wakeup routine. More importantly, perhaps, it was cute and fun to use. My one beef is that, even with high-tech materials (diffused polycarbonate) and a newfangled light source (warm LED array), the Glow Light doesn’t throw its light quite as pleasantly across a room as a traditional lightshade. But in this age of personal data and facial recognition and Facebook doing evil Facebook stuff, I’ll take a simple win for technology.

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