In our old house at bedtime the issue was having my youngest not being able to get to sleep without the bedside light on and the eldest not getting to sleep with it on. A staggered bedtime helped get around this but I would often discover that my son had turned the light back on in the middle of the night.
When we moved my mum suggested putting in a night light in the children's new bedroom to make for a softer light. I ended up having to put in one at each end of the room before he was satisfied that the room wasn't too dark.
Then my daughter started refusing to go to sleep with the bedside light off saying she was too scared and got nightmares. If I turned it off she screamed and sobbed and just got out of bed to turn it on again. Of course this results in her staying awake for several hours after bedtime.
At school they have been reading The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson. The teacher was trying to get children to try turning off the light and seeing that it isn't completely black and scary in the same way Plop the Owl learns to love the dark. My daughter was very upset about the thought of this "homework" but I thought it was a good chance to try to wean her off the light.
So on the first night I turned off the bedside light, left the night lights on, the door was ajar and landing light left on. As I got downstairs I heard her thudding of her bunk bed, slamming the door and turning the light on.
The second night she was in my bedroom and I turned off my light and sat with her whilst talking through how our eyes adjust to the dark. She agreed it wasn't that bad and that she could see where things were. I left the curtains not fully closed so the moonlight was in the room. I reassured her that it was perfectly safe to sleep with the lights off and left. Not long after I noticed that the light was back on again.
Now I know that the majority of adults don't sleep with the lights so should I just let the light thing grow out naturally or is there anything I can do to speed up the process?