Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Night night, don’t let the toilet monsters bite – Philips and Disney night light range

{User experience}

I admit. As a kid, I had always had a night light. I still remember my dad coming in to my room in the middle of the night to switch my night light off, which was of a floral design and was attached to a floor to ceiling pole. Then as I grew up, I became less afraid of the dark, and eventually forgot what it is like to be so.

Fast forward to today. The kids sleep with us in our bedroom, and we’ve always been using this lamp that gives off yellow light as our night light. The kids don’t like to sleep with that light off, even though we have tried to ease them into getting used to sleeping in the dark. We’ve opened the curtains to let the exterior light in, we’ve used glow in the dark stars and moons, but nothing seemed to work. So in the end, we decided to just leave the night on for them. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Recently though, EV has developed a fear of the toilet monster. Yup. Even though the main room light is switched on, and we are still doing our bedtime reading, EV will insist that we close the toilet door tight, with an audible ‘click’. She doesn’t dare to close the door herself, but insist one of us do it for her. This extended to any room with no lights on. She may be in a brightly lit room, but if she sees a dark room, she will insist that the door to that room is closed. She wouldn’t even get close to it. I realised then that she was really afraid of the dark, something that we as adults take for granted.

So when I found out that Philips had tied up with Disney to create a range of night lights, I thought: about time! I mean, Philips is a leader in LED (light emitting diode) lighting for the home, so it makes perfect sense for them to extend it to the children’s room. The partnership is just magical!

But how would the lights look like? I was so excited to find out. And find out I did at the pyjamas themed launch. I wanted to bring EV, but couldn’t since I had to work that day. Actually, I’m kind of glad I didn’t bring her. She’ll probably ask me to buy the whole range!

So I stepped into the homely studio, complete with warm lights, a child’s bed and a play area. And Disney characters everywhere!

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I felt almost like a kid myself! Being a Winnie the Pooh fan, I couldn’t help but go instinctively in search of my favourite character, and finally found it in the form of a torch. I had to stop myself from claiming it as mine, and slowly found myself gravitate towards the other products. These include

- illuminated soft toys or SoftPals in classic Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc
- Night Light and Projectors in Cars and Princess designs, that can also be used as projectors for storytelling
- Motion sensing night lights in Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Cars and Princess designs
- Torch Lights in Winnie the Pooh and Jake the Pirate designs

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After a short introduction to the products, the mum bloggers listened to an interesting sharing about kids’ sleeping habits and their fears, which can affect bedtime routines and cause them to take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. Other issues include the fear of being alone, of monsters and of the dark.

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I can personally identify with the sleep issue, as EV can take extremely long to go to bed. She asks for story book after story book and refuses to sleep. It can be extremely challenging and frustrating.

So I’m glad that the new range of night lights is especially catered for helping to chase away the children’s fears and soothe them to sleep, and make it less stressful for parents and caregivers.

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I was given the opportunity to try out the effectiveness of the night light. Because I had no idea of which one I would be receiving, I was hoping that if I was to receive the Night Light and Projector, I would not receive the Princess design. EV is not exactly into any princesses at the moment; my little tom boy is rather interested in cars or anything vehicular at the moment. So I was really glad to receive the Night Light and Projector in Cars design. Now what I had to be worried about is how to prevent the siblings from fighting over it.

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Strangely, the first time they laid their eyes on it, they seemed to know they shouldn’t fight over it. Maybe they had a sixth sense that their mum was keeping a hawk’s eye over them. Whatever it was, they were both sharing the Projector with each other. I’m not sure how long this will last, but you can be sure I’m revelling in it.

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The Projector in night light mode (left) and image projector mode (right).

EV’s and AA’s new best friend is extremely child friendly, with few jutting edges. The power switch and film wheels are rather flushed against the Projector body, so there is little chance of the kids being scratched.

The first time I turned on the night light, and both kids gave a unanimous ‘wah!’. We still had the main room light on. Then after they seemed more comfortable, I switched off the room light and the room became cosy and magical. As they continued to ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh’ at the night light, I inserted one of the three film wheels (each consisting of eight different images), turned on the image Projector and shone the images on to our room’s white wall. I could almost see their eyes pop out with amazement! They’ve never seen something like that before, and I think they really did believe it was magic. Then they started asking what was happening in each of the images, and a session of ‘story time in the dark’ began.

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The siblings peacefully sharing the Projector, for now.

I personally like the image projector. It reminded me of an old toy I used to have. It was something like a camera, with film inserts, and I had to press a button to make the film insert rotate, in order to see the different images. The Light and Image Projector also allowed me to relive some of my younger memories.

That first night, bedtime took longer than usual, as both kids were too excited to fall asleep. They kept asking me to turn the film wheels over and over again. We shone the images on to the wall, on the ceiling and even in the toilet. I suppose that helped to ‘chase’ the toilet monsters away and ease EV’s mind. It is a good thing that this battery operated (3 x AA batteries) Projector uses Philips LED – it is long lasting and definitely safe for little hands.

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AA checking out the Projector, and having fun trying to catch the image.

The second night, after the usual bedtime reading routine, I switched off the main room light, and there was absolutely no objection from the kids. I knew they were looking forward to the having fun with the Projector. My imagination was tested again as I told them stories based on the film images, but with the initial excitement over, it was easier to stress on the kids that it is bedtime.

It’s been about two weeks since we first used the Cars Night Light and Projector, and I must say, bedtime has become a smoother process. I can’t say that I’ve chased away all the toilet monsters, or any monsters for that matter, but bedtime is now more fun, something that the kids look forward to. In the dark, under the soft glow of the Projector, we would go on magical adventures, destroy monsters, and then return to the room, ready for a peaceful night of sleep, as the Projector keeps the toilet monsters out.

Now, if only the SoftPal is available in Winnie the Pooh design. That’s definitely mine!!!!

The new Philips and Disney night light range is available online. From June 2014, it will be available at selected departmental and mother & childcare stores. The recommended retail prices are:

Philips and Disney SoftPals - $72.90
Philips and Disney Night Light and Projectors - $38.90
Philips and Disney Night Lights - $24.90
Philips and Disney Torch Lights - $19.90

Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation and a Cars Night Light and Projector for this review. All opinions and images are my own, based on EV's, AA's and my personal user experience.

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