Provo man raises more than $60,000 with invention that illuminates toilets

Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-07 00:18:43-05

PROVO, Utah -- Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night just got more convenient thanks to a BYU student’s recent invention.

It’s called IllumiBowl. It's a motion sensor LED light that sticks to the side of the toilet through a suction cup, and shines a variety of different colors onto the water.

“I was just at a family reunion, I was talking to my brother-in-law on how I hated turning the light on at night, so he was like, 'Why don't you just put a light on the toilet?' So I Googled it, and it didn't exist,” Matt Alexander said.

It's three months later, and the IllumiBowl was placed on Kickstarter. In the first 20 days it received more than $60,000 in funding.

"That's three times what we expected, and we're only halfway done--so we're possibly thinking we'll break $100,000, maybe if we keep this current pace," Alexander said.

Alexander said the best part about this product is it appeals to every demographic.

"A lot of mothers have reached out," he said. "They want to use it for potty training because it would be kind of fun for a little kid to go into the bathroom and have a glowing light. Wives kind of like it just so their husbands don't, they don't come in the next morning and see their husband wasn't a very good shot. We've even had a lot of college-age students just because it's affordable and fun because no one has seen anything like it before.”

More than 4,000 IllumiBowls have already been ordered. Alexander said family and friends were skeptical at first, but he said they eventually came to accept that flushing money down the toilet was a good thing.

"There was somebody, he didn't think it was a good idea at all, he was like, ‘that's stupid,’ and then he saw it," Alexander said. "I had him use it, and he was like, ‘that's really cool I want one of those. My brother especially, he was like, ‘You're going to be famous, you’re going to be known as the toilet light guy,' but I'm OK with that."

IllumiBowl is expected to be available on store shelves beginning in January. The cost is expected to be about $15 per device.