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17 Things That Glow To Add a Little Light and Kitsch to Your Workspace or Bedside

Late February/early March is a gloomy time — quite literally in a lot of places. And while this is actually technically a very lovely and bright time where I live in Florida (sorry!!!!), I still get it. Any rejuvenation the new year may have brought dwindles. The briefness of February is temporally upsetting regardless of the fact that it is the same every year. What the fuck is even March? MARCH? A month without a clear identity and with seemingly unpredictable weather, no matter where you live.

You know what we could all use as we march into March? Light. Literally. Just things that glow and are a little kitschy and more aesthetic than functional. Dog lamps and fake neon flamingos and whatnot. I’m looking at four things sitting on my desk right now that glow, and it’s like an instant hit of serenity. No, you cannot buy emotional fulfillment, but you can buy literal light. All of the glowing things below would be perfect for a desk or a bedside table (I am an adult, but I still appreciate a soft, subtle “night light”). Or you can get creative and throw them on a bar cart or mantle, wherever you’re in need of some glow and kitsch!

LED House Diffuser ($32)

A glowing house-shaped diffuser

I have one of these, and I love that it doubles as a diffuser! You could just add plain water to it for a scentless experience but still get the smokey chimney effect, but I like to add a few drops of essential oils. Lavender relaxes me in particular.

LED Flamingo Light ($17)

A light-up pink flamingo table light

I also own this! Am I just recommending products from my own home! Maybe so! And I’ll have you know my aesthetic was kitsch long before I moved to central Florida!!!!

Howdy Neon Sign ($129)

A yellow glowing sign of HOWDY in bubbly letters, next to a cowboy hat

Okay, finally, something I do not own but wish I owned!

Rechargeable Cordless Magic Rainbow Light Bulb ($40)

a lightbulb with a glowing rainbow inside it

For when you need to have gay ideas!!!! My literal job is basically to have gay ideas, so maybe I should add this to cart.

Dog Lamp ($55)

A light up little pug-shaped lamp

I am physically incapable of walking past any figurine that looks like my dog without at least considering purchasing it.

Porcelain Kitty Cat Lamp ($30)

a porcelain cat that lights up

And one for my queer cat parents, too!

Snail Ambient Light ($18)

A snail light on a desk

So small! So cute! If I had one of these, I would immediately start using them as a grounding technique. Like every time I get overwhelmed? Just look at snail!

Strawberry Lamp ($14)

A light up pink strawberry lamp

I do think this would make me want a bowl full of strawberries sprinkled with sugar every time I looked at it, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Raven Table Lamp ($49)

A raven figurine holds a light bulb in its mouth

I do not own this, but my mother does, and she has programmed it to go off at 5 p.m. every day to signal “happy hour.” So even though we don’t have one of our own, my fiancé sometimes says “crow’s on!” at 5 p.m. She actually gave the light to my mother, who collects crow and raven art because she’s basically a Disney villain, as a gift one year.

Ghost LED Light ($43)

A light-up sheet ghost lamp

For my haunted gays!

Sappho Bust ($35)

a bust of Sappho lit up

She’s on-the-nose, and we love that about her.

Mushroom String Lights ($24)

mushroom string lights

Oh, ho, ho! I feel like I could write an entire separate list about string lights you should buy. (Should I write an entire separate list about string lights you should buy?)

Gaymer Neon Light ($137)

a rainbow neon sign that reads "GAYMER"

I am not a GAYMER myself, but this would be such a cute gift for one!!!!!!

Color Changing Clam Light ($13)

A clam light on a table next to a bed

Aaaaaand we’re back to things I do own. That’s my emotional support clam light!

Cat On The Moon Led Night Light ($37)

a cat on a crescent moon light on a bedside table

I am convinced I would sleep 10% better if this were on my bedside table.

Toast Light ($40)

a small lamp shaped like a toaster with smiling toast coming out of it

This might even beat the snail for cutest glowing thing on this list!!!!!!!

Color Changing Crystal Lamp ($55)

two lamps shaped like crystal clusters. one is pink and one is blue

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 815 articles for us.


  1. Please, I beg of you, write the string light recs list too! I’ve got so many ideas from this already, but I love all the creative things you can do with string lights and I’m always eager to find out about new kinds.

  2. “A month without a clear identity and with seemingly unpredictable weather, no matter where you live.” This explains my gay chaos. I was born this month.

    Also here for any corvid-obsessed villain mum stories!!

    Also also: that terrified bunny behind the strawberry lamp reminds me of the adorable children’s book, “Creepy Carrots” and I love that.
    https://www.goodreads.com/ book/show/13259987-creepy-carrots

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