Plenty of us have been in that classic situation when we desperately need to use the toilet at night (heck, you may experience this issue regularly). Waking up from a deep sleep and entering your bathroom without any light can be hazardous, causing you to bump into doors or even trip over bathmats.
For seniors, this danger is even more severe, as a trip could potentially result in a serious fall. This makes nightly trips to the bathroom that much more frightening for older individuals.
Toilet lights can help safely illuminate the bathroom and keep a senior safe when they need to get up and relieve themselves during the night.
Why are Toilet Lights Beneficial for Seniors?
Toilet lights can be beneficial for elderly seniors because they:
- Light up the bathroom to provide better visibility. This improved visibility can help prevent trips and falls. Considering that seniors often struggle with an increased and more immediate need to urinate, the dangers associated with late-night bathroom trips are a regular occurance. Plus, a toilet light can help illuminate other bathroom aids like toilet safety rails or grab bars, making them easier to use at night.
- Use soft, low-illumination lighting. Turning on an overhead light during the night can be painful and even blinding for some seniors. For seniors that struggle to get to sleep, a bright light that suddenly awakens them might result in a restless second half of sleep.
- Prevent “missing” the toilet seat. Older seniors may not have as great eyesight as they once had, making missing the toilet seat a bit more common. A toilet light can illuminate the toilet bowl to help make a senior less likely to misfire, in turn keeping the bathroom cleaner and more sanitary.
What to Consider in a Toilet Light
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a toilet night light, from illumination brightness and color to power source.
- Brightness & Color. Avoid toilet lights that are too bright, as some may be as bright and blinding as standard overhead bathroom lights! Opt instead for models with lower brightness settings. Some toilet lights also come in red lights or other shades that are easier and less intrusive on the eyes.
- Motion Activated Sensors vs. Continuous Lights. Toilet lights can operate in a few different ways – some will stay on continuously as soon as the sensor recognizes that it’s dark out, while others are motion-activated. Some will even have you program an on and off cycle yourself. If you choose a motion-activated option, make sure the sensor is installed and angled in a way so that it will be able to recognize and respond to someone approaching the bathroom.
- Power Source. For toilet lights that require batteries, check how often the batteries will need to be replaced. Ideally, the batteries should be easy to remove and insert. Alternatively, a caregiver may need to periodically change the batteries to keep the toilet light operating. The good news is that most battery-operated toilet lights can last for up to 6 months or even a year! Toilet lights that attach to a plug won’t require you to worry about batteries, but they may not illuminate the toilet bowl itself as effectively.
- Installation Location. Toilet lights come in a few different styles, with some installed beneath the toilet seat, near the toiler area, or even attached inside to the toilet bowl. Lights that are closer to the toilet bowl and seat can be convenient, but do pose a sanitation risk, and will need to regularly be cleaned safely. Ideally, a caretaker should clean the toilet lights, as an elderly senior – especially one with a compromised immune system – probably should avoid putting their hands into a toilet bowl. Ideally, choose a light where most of the unit rests outside of the toilet, allowing for easier cleaning.
Best Toilet Lights
1. Chunace 16-Color Toilet Night Light
About: The Chunace Toilet Night Light is a motion-activated toilet light that can be installed either outside or inside the toilet bowl, with no outlet socket required (since it operates on batteries).
Any movement within five feet of the toilet will trigger this toilet nightlight to turn on and brighten up your path at night. When no motion is detected for two minutes, the light will shut off to conserve energy.
This toilet light features five levels of brightness, allowing you to program the perfect light level that will provide just enough illumination to keep a senior safe without blinding or overwhelming them.
This light also offers the option to choose from 16 different colors, which allows you to choose a softer color that’s easy on the eyes – or just choose the senior’s favorite shade!
Lastly, the unit’s soft and flexible PVC arm makes the light easy to attach and allows for flexible installation, since the arm can be bent and angled differently as needed. Since the light can be installed on the outside of the toilet bowl, cleaning is easy with just a quick wipe down without getting down and dirty inside the toilet bowl itself.
The device runs on three AA batteries which are reported to last for up to 12 months depending on the brightness level and frequency of use!
- 16 different color options and 5 brightness levels
- Motion-activated sensor
- Easy to install and battery operated
- There aren’t many drawbacks to this
2. Ailun Toilet Night Light 2-Pack
About: The Ailun Toilet Lights are another solid option for helping seniors get around the bathroom easier at night.
The package set includes two LED toilet lights, with the lights functioning via motion-activated sensors The light automatically turns on when it senses movement and switches off again after two minutes with no movement.
Choose between 8 different colors or relaxing color-cycle patterns for a beautiful light show when you need nighttime relief!
The toilet lights also include a flexible neck that can be bent easily to conform to any toilet types bowl shape. It functions through the use of three AAA batteries. Plus, this company also makes a faucet night light that can complement your toilet light, if you choose to go all-out!
- 8 different color options, including a color-cycle pattern!
- Easy to install and runs on batteries
- Motion-activated sensor
- No brightness adjustment option
3. SerieCozy LED Bathroom Night Light
About: The SerieCozy LED Bathroom Night Light is a great night light for midnight trips to the toilet. The low-light setup is designed to be bright enough to see where you’re going without totally blinding you and waking you up!
The warm LED light functions a bit differently, turning on automatically when it senses that the ambient light in the bathroom has become too weak and dark. It does not turn on based on movement, which may be a plus if your bathroom design poses issues for motion detection.
This light functions differently than the other, as it is plugged into a wall socket for power, rather than relying on batteries (but it only needs a single wall socket, so you’ll still have a 2nd socket for other needs). It runs efficiently, using a standard annual power consumption of .362 watts.
- Plug-in light that operates without batteries
- Turns on automatically when it senses ambient light is too low
- Only takes up one wall socket space
- No color options or ability to change the brightness levels
4. Delta Faucet Elongated Nightlight Toilet Seat
About: The Delta Faucet Elongated Nightlight Toilet Seat is different than the other options listed here, as it’s actually an entirely separate toilet seat that can replace your existing one!
This toilet seat uses slow-closure technology to help avoid slamming the toilet in the middle of the night. It also features quick-release technology for easy removal and cleaning.
And – of course – it features a built-in toilet light! The light glows softly with 9 hours on, 15 hours off lighting cycle that can be programmed for your schedule. The light itself is powered via four AA batteries which can last for up to 6 months.
If you’re looking for an upgraded toilet seat for an elongated toilet anyway, consider opting for this one!
- Includes other toilet seat upgrades like a soft-close feature to prevent slamming
- Glows on a 9 hours on, 15 hours off cycle
- Uses four AA batteries
- Cannot be installed onto an existing toilet seat – requires a complete replacement of existing toilet seat
- Replacing the batteries is a bit more effort with this toilet seat than other external models
Toilet Light Alternatives
Nightlight in bathroom
One alternative to a toilet light installed on the physical toilet is to opt for simply putting up night lights on the bathroom walls.
Night light sets can be found in larger packs at affordable prices and can allow you to place night lights not just in the bathroom itself, but in the hallways leading to the bathroom, staircases, etc.
Plus, a well-positioned night light may provide more all-encompassing illumination than a toilet light.
For example, placing a nightlight beside the toilet can help better illuminate the toiler paper dispenser, or even the sink to make hand-washing easier.
Bidet With Nightlight Functionality
We’ve written an entire guide as to why bidets are a great bathroom tool for elderly seniors. Another bonus for bidets is that some also include a night light functionality!
Of course, this feature is more commonly associated with more premium, high-end bidets, so if you’re not already interested in purchasing a bidet, it might not make the most sense.
How Do You Install a Toilet Light?
Toilet nightlights are compact and extremely easy to install. Most toilet nightlight models are simply set up by using a flexible plastic arm to loop around the bowl rim and keep the light stuck against the outside of the bowl.
Others are even easier – you just plug them into a nearby outlet!
Considering bathrooms are one of the highest-risk locations for a senior fall, it’s no wonder increasingly more elderly individuals are opting for having toilet night lights installed. Have you ever used a toilet light before? What did you think of it? Did it gross you out or can you see the appeal?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API