Motion Triggered Bed-to-Bathroom Floor Illumination




If you or your elderly parents belong to those who have to frequent the bathroom by night, and sometimes get disoriented in the dark, this might be worth a try. Like the illuminated floor lane in a smoke filled airplane, the EL wire shows you the way from your bed to the bathroom, triggered as soon as you step out of your bed... (and decent enough not to wake up your partner)

What you need
  • Pliers
  • Some screwdrivers
  • MakerBot Thing-o-matic (optional)
  • Duct tape


Step 1: Testing the EL Wire

Screw the black/red cable of the inverter to the terminal block. Make sure to connect the red cable to plus (+) and the black to minus (-).

Plug both orange EL wires into the splitter and the splitter into the inverter. Connect the screw terminal block with the power supply.

Plug the cord of the power supply into an outlet. If everything works, the EL wire lights up as shown in the picture and you hear a high pitched sound. This is normal and comes from the inverter.

(If it does not work make sure to unplug the power cord first before you manipulate anything else.)

Step 2: Putting the Inverter Into the Junction Box

Unplug the setup.

Cut holes on both ends of the junction box.

Insert first the screw terminal and then the connector as shown.

Putting the inverter in the box reduces noise and keeps the screw terminal dry (just in case).

Step 3: Connecting the Motion Sensor to the Power Cord

Unlock the screw and push the opposed side to open the base of the motion sensor.

Make sure the power cord is unplugged! Cut it in the middle and prepare he leads as shown.

Pierce a whole into the rubber besides the screw and insert both cut ends.

Connect the big plug (that goes into the outlet) to L (brown wire) and N (blue wire).

Connect the small plug (that goes into the 12V adapter) to LS (brown) and N (blue wire).

You should now have two wires attached to N as shown on the plan and on the picture below.

Close the base of the motion sensor again and screw it in place. Make sure the rubber seal is still in place.

Step 4: Testing the Motion Sensor

The motion sensor acts like a switch between the power outlet and the 12V adapter.

Plug everything together as in step 1, and try to trigger the motion sensor.

The system should work like this (note the timer):

Step 5: Adding a Stand to the Motion Sensor

In order to enable placing the motion sensor close to the floor, it needs some sort of feet or stand.

One way to achieve this is designing a custom add-on with Sketchup and 3D printing it.

Here's my take, feel free to use the files:

Step 6: Installing the System

Install the EL wire along the walls or under the bed. Take care not to set up a trip wire.

The sensor should be placed such that it's triggered by stepping out of the bed, but not by a low hanging blanket.

That's it! Thanks for reading.



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    14 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I built something like this much cheaper and simpler..I bought a PIR battery powered closet light from Ebay for $6..Then I conerted to to wall power with a $1 6V wall wart...too abot 30 min....

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    My same idea... but it is not so well-time-killer and no good for investigation and personal improvement... ;)
    In addition, I can tell not necessary e-bay: passed Xmas I bought 3 of them in Carrefour,7€ each one.
    Interesting tut, anyway


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I put motion lights on my stairs because I have 3 steps down, a landing at the "top" of the stairs to the first floor then 3 steps up to the hall where the other bedrooms are in the house. I had visions of my daughter waking up in the night and forgetting the steps between our bedroom doors. My problem is the darn cat wanders all night and turns the lights on. I love that yours is low intensity. I'll have to see if mine can be switched. Thank you for sharing!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    you should secure the path.. what if someone change the path to your closet.. you'll end up messing it.. :))

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Sensor and junction box are both IP45+ i.e. they withstand "low pressure water jets from any direction"

    Robot Lover

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very interesting design. If I make this I would either boil the EL wire before I put it along the base boards to straiten it out, or heat it with a heat gun. Great instructable!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Genius! Pair with this: and say goodbye to being blinded by late night conventional lighting again! Maniacal laaaaugh.

    1 reply