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Luxury Washroom LED Lighting

JDJD Posts: 514
drawing%20to%20build.jpg

Project Idea: Luxury Washroom Lighting
This project was a present to my wife who enjoys lighting throughout the house at night. I knew it had to be easy on the eyes and that it couldn't interfere with any functions such as, using the lavatory and regular washroom cleaning.

Bathroom%20Light%20Prototype%20(1).JPG

I came up with 2 LEDs and ended up going with 3 LEDs under the seat, and these things are super tiny. They are held by some tape (I know, super space age), but if I need to make any changes, and did, it could be done easily and without any long term damage to the seat. I would like to make one by using a router to create some embedded lights in the seat and then cover it with epoxy. The simpler method was the correct way this time I think, until I get a seat to build it.

Small%20LEDs%20(1).JPG

I have worked with PIR (proximity sensor) before in a number of projects and it's as simple of infrared sensor as they come. It picks up motion within a 60 degree(ish) field of view. The 3 LEDs are controlled through a 2N3904 NPN Transistor and set to a timer of 90 seconds.

Bathroom%20Light%20Installed%20(2).JPG

The lavatory lights where just not enough to light up the shower area so I made a wall piece. I used the 406 because it is the area code for the state, and the state of Montana shape for obvious reasons. I was able to get more detailed with a Dremel, and was very happy with the results. I had not tried to use a Dremel for more than cutting and some basic stuff, and this project called for a lot more. I ended up burning through my XPR (R.I.P. little buddy, it was a beast) when I was cutting 1/2" pine. I used the table saw to half some 1/2" and got a nice thin sheets of 1/4" I was able to breeze through using the new Dremel 3000. I cut out the 4,0,6 and shape of Montana out of 1/4" pine (just buying them from Home Depot store next time).

1/2" Pine aka Dremel Killer
Bathroom%20Light%20Upgrade%20(19).JPG
1/4" Pine aka Butter Wood
Bathroom%20Light%20Upgrade%20(21).JPG

I used tiny SS blue LEDs to backlight the 4,0, and 6, the same kind I used for the toilet seat. Regular T1 style LEDs for the white state back light. I didn't want to over power the eyes and worked great with the small testing I did.

Bathroom%20Light%20Upgrade%20(9).JPG

I was thinking of powering everything with the one Prop that is on the floor but opted to use a PropStickUSB because I wanted each piece to be able to be used or controlled separately if someone wanted to build each, with the placement of the PIR for the wall unit.

I found a DIY stain for the 4,0, and 6 that I thought would pop on the sapphire state; I don't think I nailed it like the video but still got some of that aging look. I ended up using the rust the steel wool and vinegar created to make the back piece pop with some cool red/brown.

How to Oxidize (Age) New Wood & Get A Vintage Look
 
Overall Difficulty 3/5
The difficulty of this project is 3 of 5; any mistakes are met with a long process to replace that part. The coding took a couple days with some simple testing, but there were nothing complex. The soldering was not easy for anything that had to do with LEDs and the PropStickUSB board was getting close (haha).

Installing%20PCB%20(1).jpg

Summery
All and all, this was a really fun project. It worked out great and everyone in the house and visitors have enjoyed seeing it. If you want to build one and have any questions, feel free to reach out and I'll give you any tips.

Initial Demo Video without the wall unit
Wall Unit Upgrade Demo

Tool Note: The Dremel 3000 series (with extended plan, just in case) was a great purchase, it works perfectly with all my XPR attachments.

Comments

  • 29 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Nice project, Glad to see someone using Montana in a project. I'm in Montana, maybe we can start a local/state hobby electronics meetup one or more times during the summer. PM me sometime if interested, I don't login too often but will send you my email which I see daily.
    Jorge P.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 20,781
    edited December 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Am I to understand from the picture that you have LEDs in your toilet bowl ? !

    That might be shocking. If you see what I mean.
  • Heater. wrote: »
    Am I to understand from the picture that you have LEDs in your toilet bowl ? !

    That might be shocking. If you see what I mean.

    I get what you mean and no, the LEDs are not inside but attached to the underside of the seat with some space age sophistication, or tape. :) haha I want to get another seat and route a trough and put the LEDs down, then cover with a clear opoxy, but that is the final final version; as like any project, it always grows.

    Here is a close up.
    Bathroom%20Light%20Installed%20(5).JPG


    I have a couple more pictures and details on my project blog if you want to check it, I didn't want load up the forum with pictures. On my blog there is a slider at top, so you can see more of the process up close.
  • Jorge P wrote: »
    Nice project, Glad to see someone using Montana in a project. I'm in Montana, maybe we can start a local/state hobby electronics meetup one or more times during the summer. PM me sometime if interested, I don't login too often but will send you my email which I see daily.

    Thats excellent, I knew there had to be more builders in MT than just me. :cool: :nerd:
  • JD wrote: »
    Heater. wrote: »
    Am I to understand from the picture that you have LEDs in your toilet bowl ? !

    That might be shocking. If you see what I mean.

    I get what you mean and no, the LEDs are not inside but attached to the underside of the seat with some space age sophistication, or tape. :) haha I want to get another seat and route a trough and put the LEDs down, then cover with a clear opoxy, but that is the final final version; as like any project, it always grows.

    Here is a close up.
    Bathroom%20Light%20Installed%20(5).JPG


    I have a couple more pictures and details on my project blog if you want to check it, I didn't want load up the forum with pictures. On my blog there is a slider at top, so you can see more of the process up close.

    If I could make a suggestion
    Any com port in a storm.
    Floating point numbers will be our downfall; count on it.
    Imagine a world without hypothetical situations.

  • If I could make a suggestion

    Pretty sweet, but I was looking for the seat to appear, factory edition.

    I do not want the light to go up through the seat, only point down to create a glow effect. As-is, with the lights off, it's surprisingly bright, so I wouldn't want to add any more.
  • JD wrote: »

    If I could make a suggestion

    Pretty sweet, but I was looking for the seat to appear, factory edition.

    I do not want the light to go up through the seat, only point down to create a glow effect. As-is, with the lights off, it's surprisingly bright, so I wouldn't want to add any more.

    That's easy enough, pour white slowly to fill the mold halfway and let it cure, then set the lights and fill the remaining portion of the mold with clear.
    It will glow in every direction but up or up butts depending on how you look at it :smile:

    Any com port in a storm.
    Floating point numbers will be our downfall; count on it.
    Imagine a world without hypothetical situations.
  • JD wrote: »

    If I could make a suggestion

    Pretty sweet, but I was looking for the seat to appear, factory edition.

    I do not want the light to go up through the seat, only point down to create a glow effect. As-is, with the lights off, it's surprisingly bright, so I wouldn't want to add any more.

    That's easy enough, pour white slowly to fill the mold halfway and let it cure, then set the lights and fill the remaining portion of the mold with clear.
    It will glow in every direction but up or up butts depending on how you look at it :smile:

    Good point, I could just do layers. I have not used epoxy or molds before other than simple stuff. I'll keep it on my ebay list in case I need it.

  • JD wrote: »
    JD wrote: »

    If I could make a suggestion

    Pretty sweet, but I was looking for the seat to appear, factory edition.

    I do not want the light to go up through the seat, only point down to create a glow effect. As-is, with the lights off, it's surprisingly bright, so I wouldn't want to add any more.

    That's easy enough, pour white slowly to fill the mold halfway and let it cure, then set the lights and fill the remaining portion of the mold with clear.
    It will glow in every direction but up or up butts depending on how you look at it :smile:

    Good point, I could just do layers. I have not used epoxy or molds before other than simple stuff. I'll keep it on my ebay list in case I need it.

    The first thing that comes to mind with lighting a toilet is keeping things sanitary. Many epoxies will give you a nice bleachable surface.
    We made epoxy paperweights with 4 layers with 3 graphics in 2D design class about a million years ago. It made a neat parallax effect with an object, foreground, and background. It was just mix and pour. We did 3 clear layers and a black rear layer.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with :smile:
    Any com port in a storm.
    Floating point numbers will be our downfall; count on it.
    Imagine a world without hypothetical situations.

  • The first thing that comes to mind with lighting a toilet is keeping things sanitary. Many epoxies will give you a nice bleachable surface.
    We made epoxy paperweights with 4 layers with 3 graphics in 2D design class about a million years ago. It made a neat parallax effect with an object, foreground, and background. It was just mix and pour. We did 3 clear layers and a black rear layer.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with :smile:

    Thanks again for the suggestions; I will be adding RGB LEDs on the final project as well, might as well get color changing going on while im at it. :)
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 20,781
    edited December 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The first thing that comes to mind with RGB LED lighting in a toilet bowl is: Weird.

    I have had passion for LEDs since I my friend showed me a 3mm red LED in play the ground in about 1970.

    But, call me old fashioned, RGB lighting of poops in a bowl starts to sound freaky and perverse.

    :)

  • Heater. wrote: »
    The first thing that comes to mind with RGB LED lighting in a toilet bowl is: Weird.

    I have had passion for LEDs since I my friend showed me a 3mm red LED in play the ground in about 1970.

    But, call me of fashioned, RGB lighting of poops in a bowl starts to sound freaky and perverse.

    :)

    There is no denying that I am an odd duck :lol:

    The RGB is just being able to play with different colors and see which is best, although I suspect blue is going to be the best, or combo with the back piece and do holiday themed colors, can't ever down play the home décor idea. In some houses that is big and could offer a unique experience for guests, or get really maniacal and use RED as a prank. See, plenty of reasons this project could be used, or maybe it's just this quack. haha :coffee:

  • Wuerfel_21 wrote: »

    right, im just a law abiding citizen over here following the RGB Ordinance 0.2.255 of the Builders Code haha :D
  • Any com port in a storm.
    Floating point numbers will be our downfall; count on it.
    Imagine a world without hypothetical situations.
  • JD:

    I just love this project. It has inspired me to do a similar project just as soon as I finish my current project. Thanks for the inspiration.
  • ASKME wrote: »
    JD:

    I just love this project. It has inspired me to do a similar project just as soon as I finish my current project. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Thank you, im glad this project inspired you; it has become one of the most used projects I've created. There is still one more version to be completed, which is full custom seat with RGB embedded and epoxy covered, custom pcb instead of the wire mess, you know, super official style :) haha

    Here is the project blog for that project, it has more pictures.

    I look foward to seeing your creation on here
  • JD,
    There is still one more version to be completed, which is full custom seat with RGB embedded ...I I look forward to seeing your creation on here.
    Trust me. You really don't want to see what I create in the toilet. :)


  • Heater. wrote: »
    Trust me. You really don't want to see what I create in the toilet. :)

    I have no doubt you are telling the truth, and I assure you I am not asking. lol
  • *Update*

    The wire I used for the seat was solid instead of stranded, and the movement from opening and closing the lid created a break. I had an idea this was going to happen because of the wire used, and pulled the lights off the seat until I can do my embedded design idea. That will make them part of the seat and able to move up and down without issue. I will note, even without the seat lights, the wall unit creates enough light to still be useful. ;)
  • Why don't you thread the wires through the water fill channel in the lower unit of the toilet and bring the wire up between the porcelain base and the rubber doughnut? That never moves and the light is usable with the seat in the up position.
    Jim
  • RS_Jim wrote: »
    Why don't you thread the wires through the water fill channel in the lower unit of the toilet and bring the wire up between the porcelain base and the rubber doughnut? That never moves and the light is usable with the seat in the up position.
    Jim

    Good idea. I wasn't planning on submerging the wires or lights, but I like the idea that it's in the bowl and would work regardless of the seat position. I would need to just treat that part to be able to be submerged, as long as it didn't get in the way of easy cleaning. I thought of embedding them in the seat and covering with epoxy would allow for easy cleaning.

  • JD,
    In my toilet the Jets ar just below the rim. The LEDS would have to be waterproffed, but would not always be submerged.
    Jim
  • I believe mine is similar, and can see wires in the way of a cleaning brush unless I glued them to the bowl. Since Im renting, I can't make anything permanent with glue; a seat is easy to replace when I move.
  • It's four or five months since this thread started.

    Being old school and let's face it old, I'm still struck with awe and amazement that you want to illuminate your poops with LEDs in the toilet bowl.

    I look forward to seeing the outcome. As it were.



  • msrobotsmsrobots Posts: 1,942
    edited March 31 Vote Up0Vote Down
    how about a webcam, live?

    just kidding.

    I actual do like the craftsmanship on the 406 sign way more then the bowl-light.

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.
    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.
    Press any key to continue, any other key to quit

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • msrobots wrote: »
    how about a webcam, live?

    just kidding.

    I actual do like the craftsmanship on the 406 sign way more then the bowl-light.

    Mike

    SmrBkt1.png

    :lol:

    Thanks, the 406 portion was added after starting, good thing too because the seat didn't work out as good. I had a good time building it too, got to start using the Dremel for carving and more detailed work instead of mainly using it to cut through anything, which it always has done swimmingly.
  • I was puzzled by the meaning of 406 until I realized it must be the area code for Montana. And then I read your description of the project, which verified it.

    Is this project battery powered, or does it plug into the wall? If you plug into the wall I would be a little concerned about a potential failure of the wall-wart or transformer. Also, shouldn't the light be attached to the bowl instead of the seat? If it's attached to the seat it won't illuminate the bowl when you lift the seat.

    I've tried one of those motion activated toilet bowl lights that are in the "as seen on TV" section of Walmart and pharmacies. The electronics hangs on the outside of the bowl, and the LED is on the inside pointing downward toward the center. I found that the light-blue color was the best. Any other color just looked weird -- especially red.
  • Dave Hein wrote: »
    Is this project battery powered, or does it plug into the wall? If you plug into the wall I would be a little concerned about a potential failure of the wall-wart or transformer. Also, shouldn't the light be attached to the bowl instead of the seat? If it's attached to the seat it won't illuminate the bowl when you lift the seat.

    Correct, 406 is for Montana. Someone could easily do any numbers or logos though, just have time and patience. I have it plugged into the wall; I wanted to use the wall unit because there is no replacement of batteries every couple months. I had them on the seat because I didn't want to install anything I would have to waterproof in the bowl. RS_Jim was suggesting a way to install so there wouldn't be any moving parts and pretty simple waterproofing; however cleaning I think would become more problematic than I desire. My idea is to embed them into a new seat, and then just take that with me once I move out and replace it with a generic one. If I go that route, then cleaning the toilet and removal of the project is easy enough. On the seat, the LEDS do not light the bowl once lifted, with that said though, this project is more of a night light rather than a target. :lol: I think if I owned my home, I would go that route though and then just run the power into the wall instead of across the counter.

    I have seen those before, I saw one on Ebay too. Agreed, red would be a horrible choice. I think purple might be an option. The LEDs that I want to use for the seat are RGB so I can play around with colors to fine the best one. So far, blue has been the best for us too.
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