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After Guidelight, night-lights may never be the same again

A Kickstarter campaign for a new breed of night-light has captured funders' imaginations with its easy installation and low profile.

Guidelight nightlight
The Guidelight won't distract from your home decor. Snap Power

Plug-in night-lights have rarely been lauded for the beauty of their design. They are usually utilitarian-looking gadgets or over-the-top silly gizmos with Disney princesses on them.

The SnapRays Guidelight on Kickstarter takes a very different approach. It replaces the cover plate on an electric outlet, but adds three down-facing LEDs. It requires no batteries or wiring to install.

The Guidelight has a light sensor, so it only turns on when it's dark. It comes in two different styles to fit most outlets, though it doesn't work with outlets that have GFI buttons. Snap Power estimates that it costs less than 10 cents per year to run each Guidelight, and that the LEDs should last up to 25 years.

The installation process involves turning off the power to an outlet, removing the old cover plate, and snapping the Guidelight into place. Two tabs on the backside touch the outlet to draw power for the LEDs. That means your plugs stay open, not clogged up with night-lights.

This is one of those inventions that is clever enough, simple enough, and affordable enough to become a new standard. It makes plug-in night-lights look positively prehistoric, like little glowing dinosaurs that belong in the past.

Each Guidelight goes for a $12 pledge, with multi-packs available. The project started with a humble $12,000 goal. It took just a handful of days to obliterate that and exceed $170,000. Apparently, a whole lot of people have been yearning for a better night-light.

Guidelight behind
A look behind the scenes of the Guidelight. Snap Power