Illumibowl Motion-Activated Toilet Night Light Review

Who knew that peeing in the middle of the night could be so much fun? Not me, but I do now. The Illumibowl Motion-Activated Toilet Night Light is easy to set up. It’s hard to find the instructions, because they are hidden in the battery compartment, but it’s easy to set up once you make that move.

Pop in three AAA batteries. Adjust the length of the arm that holds the LED light to fit your toilet. Moisten the suction cups (Don’t lick ‘em. That’s just gross, knowing where they’re going.) and attach the unit to the outside of your bowl, facing your bathroom door. Attach the LED’s suction cup on the inside of the bowl, and wait until nighttime to see the color show. Alternately, turn off the lights if you can’t wait and your bathroom has no unblockable light sources. (Damn you, south-facing glass block windows!)

The Illumibowl Night Light has both a light sensor and a motion sensor, preserving battery and giving you light only when you need it. When you reach the motion-sensing range, the light comes on, and you can see exactly where the toilet is (This is sometimes a problem for me. So?), and whether the lid and/or seat are down.

IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light (As Seen on Shark Tank)

The Illumibowl cycles through nine different colors, spending only a few seconds on each. When I had this attached to my 10 year old son’s bathroom toilet, he loved it. I loved the light show as well, but I soon realized that most of those colors are not good for your sleep.illumibowl

The white and some of the other lighter colors are too bright. Light at night messes with your ability to produce melatonin and thus negatively affects your sleep cycle. When I have to get up in the middle of the night, I want the least amount of light possible for me to accomplish my task, and I want it to be red, the color with the longest wavelength, which will not affect my ability to fall back asleep and stay asleep.

Fortunately, the Illumibowl’s color-changing light show is optional. You may set it to maintain any color you wish. For me, that’s red. And much to my son’s disappointment, he gets red, also.

The Wife likes this product. No more guessing or feeling around to tell if I left the seat up. (I never leave the seat up anyway. I don’t know what she’s talking about.)

Overall, this is a fun, cool nightlight that solves the problem of the always-on nightlight, the too bright, in-your-face nightlight, and the I-just-sat-on-cold-wet-porcelain-I’m-going-to-kill-him-why-don’t-we-have-a-nightlight? lack of a nightlight.

The illumibowl Motion-Activated Toilet Night Light is available at,, Ace Hardware and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and at the illumibowl website.


Disclosure: An illumibowl Motion-Activated Toilet Night Light was provided to me for this review. My review is in no way influenced by this.

There Will Be Blood

Jackson Pollock

That night, Junior Jackson Pollock-ed half the house.

Local Man Loses Mind As Son Loses Blood

Dear Santa II


Happy Christmas

Another Open Letter to Santa

Alleged Adult Can’t Stop Writing to Santa

The people where are work are Christmas decoration crazy. They have an annual competition among the departments to see who can decorate “better.” The department next to mine put out a box to collect letters to Santa. Why they believed working adults would take the time to submit letters that would obviously not make it to Santa was beyond me. But I felt bad for them when no one had put any letters in their box. So I wrote a letter to Santa and put it in their box. I hear they were moved. The letter appears below. Continue Reading…

Dear Santa

Kris Kringle

Santa (not to scale)

An Open Letter to Santa

Fully-Grown Adult Sends Letter to Santa; Authorities Alerted

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for my nine year old son to believe in you forever.

I know it’s a lot to ask. I know he’s on the verge of losing his belief, if he hasn’t already. But this is what I want. I want him to believe in fun and whimsy and magic and goodness and giving and these are the qualities that you represent.

I fear his disappointment and disillusionment when he realizes that his parents have been lying to him for his whole life—that all of society has been lying to him.

If they lied to me about Santa, what else have they lied to me about?, he might think. And if all of society is lying about Santa, who can I trust? Continue Reading…

Faces of Death, Vol. 3

dead bicycle

The chalk outline of Junior’s dead bicycle in the aftermath of bicycle violence.

Keeping the Kids Alive

Boy Learns to Ride Bike and Almost Dies Riding Bike All in Same Day

If you’ve followed Volume 1 and Volume 2 of this short series on how easy it is to get your kid killed, you know that you can take all the precautions in the world to keep your child safe and still lose him to something stupid.

Junior resisted learning to ride a bike. The wife and I would take him out and try to teach him every summer from year 3 on. Our attempts usually ended in tears and screaming. Junior cried and screamed, too.

When he was six–SIX!–we were determined to get this boy on two wheels. He was resistant still, though he was zipping around our neighborhood on a Razor scooter and having no problem balancing on that.

This was a new year, he was unbelievably old for a non-bike rider, and we were going to make him learn on the first time out no matter if Family Services had to be called.

Much to our delight, he was riding in seconds. We spent another 45 minutes on the bike trail and Junior could not have been happier. The wife and I could not have been happier. Continue Reading…

Faces of Death, Vol. 2

fallen tree

If a tree falls near your son, does it make your heart pound so loud you can hear it?

It’s Hard to Keep Your Kids Alive

Boy, 5, Eludes Reach of Tree Trying to Kill Him

This is the second in a series of posts about how difficult it is to keep your kids alive. Read Faces of Death, Vol. 1 here.

Junior is five. I am a stay-at-home dad working in the kitchen on a late August afternoon. Junior asks if he can go play with the older boys from next door, as he has done many times. I say okay. There are no streets to cross. We know the neighbors and their boys well.

Junior leaves through our front door.

Thirty seconds later, I hear an incredibly loud cracking sound. I look out the window to see the next door neighbor’s massive oak tree, which stood in the middle of their front yard, hitting the ground.

“Wow,” I thought, then an instant later, outloud, “JUNIOR!” Continue Reading…

Political Correctness Out of Control

Political Correctness Gone Wild!

The Coddling of the American Mind

Political correctness is out of control. College students are out of control. My daughters are out of control.

Along the lines of my friend’s guest post a few weeks ago, the Atlantic has an article about the insanity of umbrage permeating our young people’s minds.

Check it out in The Coddling of the American Mind.

Faces of Death, Vol. 1

Father's Day vs. Mother's DayKeeping Your Kid Alive

Getting your kid to his first birthday is a feat to be celebrated. There are many ways for you to screw up and accidentally kill your kid. Babies are fragile. They have underdeveloped immune systems. They have underdeveloped every system because they’re babies. Getting them through the first year is an accomplishment.

Mortality rates go down after the first year, but they don’t disappear. For every cabinet you put a lock on, for every electrical outlet you put a plastic plugs in, for every baby gate you wedge in a doorway or at the top of a staircase, there are a million ways for your baby to die that can never imagine.

When Junior was three, we had our property re-landscaped, as our original builder groomed the property so as much water as possible would be funneled into our house. The landscaper used a big machine called a Ditch Witch to carve up the lawn to lay drain pipes.

We live on a steep street with no curbs or sidewalks. The landscaper and his wife/business partner parked their truck and trailer facing downhill adjacent to our property. Junior and I were outside watching the activities and playing.

The landscaper went to load the Ditch Witch back on his trailer, but he was having trouble getting it over the lip of the ramp. Junior had drifted down to the front corner of our property to watch the big machine move. Continue Reading…