Introduction: Night Vision Toilet

I hate turning on lights at night just to go to the bathroom. When I do it hurts my eyes, wakes up the babies, and I lose my night sight once the light is out and stub my toe. If I just walk in the dark I can see fine until I need to aim for something like the toilet. Here is an easy gravity switched LED that sticks to the lid and doesn't put out too much light but just enough for that 2-am run.

Need to salvage an 3V LED from a happy meal toy or something.
2 plastic soda bottle tops.
A 3V button cell battery, CR2032
A penny
A paper clip
Some double-sided foam tape.

And some solder.

Step 1: Cut Tops of Soda Bottles

Cut the caps of two bottles, make one slice very thin, the other about half way.

Step 2: Solder the Setup

Solder the LED cathode ("-" side of LED) to the penny.
Then bend the anode sideways and solder on a little .25" piece of paper clip.

Step 3: Assemble and Glue Cap

Melt or drill a hole the size of the LED in the thicker bottle cap. (Aim it diagonally towards the bowl, not straight down like in my video and pictures.)

Mount the penny rig into the cap.

Then place the battery into the cap "-" side down; tilt it around and make adjustments based on how the battery contacts things. When you tilt it toward the LED, the battery should slid and make the "+" connection on the paper clip.

Take the thin cap slice and super glue it onto the base. You may need to file the cap cuts to make the pieces fit together better.

Tape it to the toilet lid and wait for the night.


thingygoboom made it! (author)2007-05-12

Well done and very useful. But no one thought that destroying your penny is illegal in the states... well who really cares.

Phoghat made it! (author)Phoghat2013-12-16

it isn't illegal if you don't try to spend the penny. Don't you know anything?

drstre made it! (author)drstre2007-07-03

actually, having the penny in your possession means that you own the penny and are able to do whatever you want with it. as far as the government is concerned, it's your property. that's why you can find coins w/ holes in them for necklaces, etc in souvenir shops.

TheShawMaestro made it! (author)TheShawMaestro2008-07-07

Isn't there some law saying that "All legal tender is property of the U.S. Government"?

drstre made it! (author)drstre2008-07-08

No, you own it and can do with it as you please. The government just recognizes it as a representation of value. At one time, the government promised that every penny was worth a certain amount of gold. Now, the government just guarantees that people recognize the physical object as worth a certain amount of money. You own a thing that is recognized as having a certain value and can trade it for other things that are supposed to have an equal value. (1 gallon of gas = 400 pennies, for example). It's yours and if you choose to drill a hole in it or flatten it or use it in your night vision toilet project, you're free to do so. once you alter it, the government says it isn't worth anything, but they won't stop you from altering it. heck, it would help curb inflation if more people bent coins and burned bills.

TheShawMaestro made it! (author)TheShawMaestro2008-07-09

Oh. Thanks for the info, it's good the know that some people know their stuff!

awang8 made it! (author)awang82009-01-18

Then how is burning money illegal if it's 100% yours?

Tobita made it! (author)Tobita2009-03-24

It isn't, well, maybe in Thailand (defacing the king,) but other than, generally no, unless you use that bill as legal tender.

batman96 made it! (author)batman962011-12-14

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I should add that it is not illegal in the states to mutilate coins, BUT it is illegal if you are attempting to make them look like a coin of higher value by mutilating them.

My $0.02

cornflaker made it! (author)cornflaker2009-03-31

You don't own money, just the value that it has if you know what I mean

Led Man made it! (author)Led Man2011-12-09

ya thats what i did with a quarter, cut in half with wire cutters. and drilled holes bam necklace. also i flatened and stretched a penny with it for the necklace looks pretty cool i got one n so does my gf


lol yeah, that law is so lame, pennies are too useful to say you cant "deface" them!

robbtoberfest made it! (author)robbtoberfest2007-05-25

If thingygoboom really needed the penny that bad, just melt the solder off of it. Think about this, if you are paid minimun wage $5.15/hour, your time value per minute would be 8.5 cents. At minimum wage, I just wasted a can of soda to type out this response over destroying a penny. lol


lol. who cares. did you know in arkansas, when pulling from a side road into a main road, you are required to pull clear over to the lane closest to the middle and THEN move BACK over to the lane you want to be in. hoiw dumb (and unsafe) is that??? its totaly opposite in other states. I would never follow that law unless there was a cop right there. its totaly unsafe.

Grey_Wolfe made it! (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-09-07

Arizona Law states that it is illegal for a woman to drive unless a man walks fifteen paces in front of her with a lantern. We don't follow that one much though. lol

Led Man made it! (author)Led Man2011-12-09

lmfao hahaha blondes XD

Grey_Wolfe made it! (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-09-07

Wait. How long did it take you to type this? lol

Phoghat made it! (author)2013-12-16

simple, cheap, and elegant solution

longwinters made it! (author)2011-12-11

If you ever need an endless supply of white LED's just buy or scrounge a led flood light, I got one at COSTCO for something like 15 bucks, the thing has like 50 5mm bulbs in it, I bought one 3 years ago and I haven't used half the LEDs yet.

Now all you have to do is find a motion sensor from one of those cheep Halloween toys squeeze it in there and you have a hands free light.

viper64 made it! (author)2011-11-19

you know what would go good with this my instructable (pee target)

sneakyshitnl made it! (author)2010-01-28

I prefer using the wash tube...

aliyevzaur1989 made it! (author)2009-10-04


ramkrishna made it! (author)2009-03-13

Its a novel idea- could be done as a school project. Ideas only are worth a million dollars- i am going to make one for my grand child

ruffruffian made it! (author)2009-02-12

Like so
some people do this with LED throwies.

robbtoberfest made it! (author)robbtoberfest2009-02-13

Very nice, simple and effective

ruffruffian made it! (author)2009-02-10

to conserve energy, attaching a light sensor could be attached, this would stop it from lighting up when the lights are actually on.

robbtoberfest made it! (author)robbtoberfest2009-02-10

Is it a simple add-on? I don't know too much about sensors and circuitry, hence the crude and simple device I've built here.

fuzzyguy made it! (author)2008-09-06

Cyberguys used to sell a toilet light that sensed if the seat was down. It lit green if the seat was up and red if it was down.

Arbitror made it! (author)Arbitror2009-01-08

That's cool...

mrmath made it! (author)2007-05-05

I have two problems with this project. First, I can only image that thing drilling into my back when I NEED to sit down on the toilet. Second, I've found that when it's late at night, sitting to pee is not that big of a deal for guys. No need to aim, no need to even keep the eyes open. As I'm getting a little older now, I'm also finding that the seated position grants more thurough, um, drainage.

ironsmiter made it! (author)ironsmiter2007-05-06

Weee! (pardon the intended pun)
This post is fun! OK, First, if you're having drainage problems, you should go get one of those dreaded prostate exams... something isn't working right... second, sometimes a fella's gotta go, and go RIGHT NOW! No time for things like dropping the drawers, turning around, sitting, and peeing... it's unzip, and flood! Third, with even a MINOR hard-on, you'll NEVER get ANYWHERE NEAR "in" while sitting.. you'd be just like that roman peeing statue boy, and get it all over the floor ;-)

To assuage your fears of getting the light in your back, and the similar fears of all the WOMEN that might use said toilet... mount the beastie at the front , under the seat that way, the light shines when both the lid AND seat are up...helping the standing see their mark, and reminding them to put it back down when they're done, which the womenfolk will be grateful for ;-) Also reminds guys to put the lid up in the first place... if you can't see, the seat must be down, so put it up, right?

Of course this works both ways... If the ladies go into the reading room, and there's a dull red glow, they know to put the seat down themselves! No one like trying to sit if they've forgotten to put the seat down.

humoogous made it! (author)humoogous2008-07-18

The solution to getting a hard on is to sit face the other direction, ie, to face the same direction as though you were standing up. there'd be minimal support for your button, and loads of room up front.. it might be a tad bit uncomfortable, but its only for a pee, how long is that? :)

Moogle made it! (author)Moogle2007-05-12

Reminds me of a sign I saw in Germany in a house. Something like "A real man always sits to pee". I can certainly understand the sign in their case - the house was several hundred years old - can you imagine the smell of over 200 years of pee splatter? Ewww. Good suggestion about putting it under the seat instead of the lid.

JamesRPatrick made it! (author)JamesRPatrick2008-05-26

That would break a manlaw, and ruin the challenge.

theRIAA made it! (author)theRIAA2007-05-05

I find just the opposite.

TheCheese9921 made it! (author)TheCheese99212007-05-05

i never sit to pee... never

rmcnaugh made it! (author)2008-06-24

cool man. well done. it's a great beginner project, since i'm a beginner in soldering. here is my version. Also I might find a way to modify it so it can be triggered by a spring. I had no paperclip so I cut and soldered the anode to make that "bridge". I think a small spring that triggers it would be cool. mabey even neodium magnet on one side to keep the device rooted to the toilet.

znernitsud made it! (author)2008-03-17

amazing. i made it, i dont know how i ever lived without it.

twocvbloke made it! (author)2007-12-19

One thing I'd personally reccomend with this is to use a clear LED (colour of your choice) which are a bit brighter and clearer, and if you know how to you could make a target-diffuser to make sure you hit the bowl... :D

nightninja87 made it! (author)nightninja872008-01-24

well i think the reason he used red is cause it helps from hurting your eyes

Patented made it! (author)2007-08-26

Nice!great idea

carlton stedman made it! (author)2007-08-21

Very cool idea. One suggestion: should probably use a current limiting resistor (100-500 Ohm) for that LED, to make both the LED and battery last longer / not melt due to excessive heat during a very long 'moment' at the toilet.

sasgty9 made it! (author)2007-08-13

wow thats genious and so simple at the same time

Hoyt made it! (author)2007-07-23

Absolutely clever as heck! You should patent this-it could be the new "tap light". Make an infomercial and you'ld be set.

robbtoberfest made it! (author)robbtoberfest2007-07-23

Thanks, love the Firefly pic.

robbtoberfest made it! (author)2007-07-06
toogood made it! (author)2007-07-04

great idear!!!!

mattface made it! (author)2007-06-07

this is one of the most innovative things i've ever seen on instrucables

shelleyjo made it! (author)2007-05-19

Made several of these for goofy little Father's Day gifts. Takes some tweaking to get the depth right so the battery consistently hits the paperclip instead of rattling around in there. I put a little clipart of a toilet on the top. I just used a thin cut band of ducttape around it so battery can be changed (plus, I will send them in the mail, so I can leave the battery out so it won't be "on" the whole shipping time.) If you mount the thing in the middle of the lid, it shouldn't hit you in the back, and if it does, you're WAY too uptight (sitting up at 90%), and are probably too constipated to go anyway. Thanks for the great lil instructable. It was fun spending an hour making something I could buy for two bucks!

rachel made it! (author)2007-05-18

fukkin brilliant, i love this, i'm going to make some for *hrm* certain friends

About This Instructable




Bio: Dad and hubby, good food enthusiast, solar energy, boating, making stuff, melting stuff, and raising chickens.
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