February 22, 2016

Nighttime Potty Training–Have No Fear! The IllumiBowl is Here...

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I'm all about trying out new gadgets, including the unconventional kind! So when I was initially contacted by the owner and creator of the IllumiBowl, I was eager to learn more about the product.

Now you may be asking, what is an IllumiBowl? I know...I wondered the same thing when I was first introduced to it. To put it simply, the IllumiBowl is an actual motion sensor nightlight for your toilet.

Yep, you've read that correctly! 

Initially, I didn't get the full gist of what this product was about. Was it meant for everyday use or was it just a gag gift? Would it be fitting to share with my readers? Then the owner mentioned two words that made a light bulb go off in my head, "potty training" Ahhhh, yes, of course! We are currently in the process of potty training my little man, so right then I needed to see how this could fit into the whole experience.

Upon receiving our new IllumiBowls, we couldn't wait to get them installed. This gadget is made up of a small plastic box with a motion sensor. Attached, is a small wire with a tiny LED light. The box has four suction cups that affix to the outside of the toilet bowl, and the light has one that attaches to the very top inside rim. Once installed, it does a nice job at staying in place thanks to those tiny suctions cups. The actual light goes nowhere near the water inside the bowl, so it's out of the way from any action (if you know what I mean). Even so, invisible germs do have a tendency to fly up, so it's nice to know that cleaning the IllumiBowl is a breeze. Just wipe it down with some disinfecting cleaner, and you're good to go.

Earlier, I mentioned that we're in the middle of teaching my son to use the potty. He has his own little potty for this purpose, but eventually he will graduate up to the regular toilet. He is not necessarily scared of the toilet, but after seeing what the IlumiBowl can do, I'm thinking it will come in handy, especially when he has to make a trip to the bathroom at night. 

The cool thing about the IllumiBowl is that you not only have one color that lights up the bowl, but a choice between eight different colors. There is one button on the box that you can push to see a continuous cycle of changing colors. Push the button once more to stop the rotation at the color of your choice, or simply keep the colors cycling through. Honestly, I never thought of using the words "fun" and "toilet" in the same sentence, but I couldn't help notice how fun it was to see all of those colors lighting up my toilet. You can even use it to give the bathroom a festive feel...a green toilet for upcoming St. Paddy's Day, perhaps? 

As soon as we installed it, my son was immediately intrigued with the colors, it was hard to get him to leave the bathroom. Perfect! If he's this excited about going to the bathroom, then it's a win win! Adults will find it equally helpful, since it works great for those middle of the night bathroom visits. I'm personally not a fan of turning on the lights in the middle of the night, so we use a small LED nightlight that goes on when it's dark and automatically turns off when you flip the lights on. The IllumiBowl is just as useful as that nightlight, since it gives off a soft glowing light that's not overpowering.

I'm actually happy with how well it works, too. As soon as the sensor detects motion, it lights up immediately (using three AAA batteries, not included). The light will stay on for a couple of minutes before it turns off, unless there's continuous motion. That brings me to the one snafu that I did encounter–there's no on or off switch. We have the one IllumiBowl installed in our main hallway bathroom, so every time we pass by, we set off the sensor and the light turns on, wasting the batteries. Perhaps they'll come out with a new version that has a switch to turn it off during the day, which would be really convenient.

Initially, I had thought this was one of those novelty/gag products. It does add some humor to a conversation–my father-in-law jokingly asked me if I had turned the upstairs toilet into a fish tank. Truth be told, I am pretty impressed with the IllumiBowl. It actually turned out to be quite a useful little gadget to have.

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