Thursday, April 25, 2013

Urine A Different Light

Normally this is the kind of idiocy I would reserve for the Halfbakery but I present it here as it turned out to be actually useful. So: an invention for the gentlemen here.

I am rather tall, and prefer to urinate standing up, and piloting the stream accurately can be a problem in the dark of the night. Plus I'm a bit of a clean freak. It's not that my aim is bad, the problem is a simple matter of target acquisition without sufficient illumination. (Yes, I could turn on the light, but then I am dazzled for longer than the duration of my business, plus my eyes lose their dark-adaptation for the journey back to bed.) So I produced the following innovation:

Overhead motion-activated UV lamp

This is a motion-activated night light where the lamp has been replaced with a ultraviolet LED. It's placed on the ceiling to directly illuminate the toilet underneath. Ultraviolet has the neat property that it causes your urine to glow, as the vitamin B12 in it fluoresces yellow-green. To make it easier to photograph (and to spare your delicate sensibilities) I made a simulated #1 solution by dissolving a vitamin B complex tablet in a wash bottle. The night time results look very much like this, highlighted by a red (night-vision-saving) night light:

Liquid fluorescing in low light

Pretty happy how well this works: it's actually rather beautiful, and an easy way to see to pee.

Tagged: hacks
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