Jack Miller caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror a few years ago, wearing a blue LED necklace.
Naturally, he thought: “This should be in my toilet.”
Not because he didn’t like it, but because the 62-year-old bathroom designer thought that lighting up the toilet bowl would make those nighttime trips a little easier.
Or, as he puts it now, the light would “give men a clear target and women a safe landing.”
Before long, Miller had a prototype for “See2pee,” a battery-operated light that hooks to the toilet bowl and illuminates when someone walks within 8 feet.
The Boynton Beach, Fla., resident wants to produce 5,000 units of See2pee and has turned to a crowdfunding platform, indiegogo.com, to raise some of the money he needs.
The site serves as a tool for entrepreneurs like Miller to raise money from friends and strangers. Miller’s goal is to raise at least $33,333. He said it will cost him about $70,000 to manufacture the initial 5,000 units in China, and an investor has agreed to cover any amount he needs beyond $33,333, Miller said.
“No one likes to turn bright lights on at night,” he said. “It’s great for children, too. Sometimes they wet the bed because they’re afraid to get up and go in the dark. This solves that problem.”
Although the light stays on for only 30 seconds, a slight movement will activate it again, Miller said. And people can choose a color to do their business by: blue or green.
There are other products out there similar to See2pee, but some turn on only when the toilet lid is up, Miller said. He is awaiting a response to the patent application he submitted about two years ago.
Until he gets it, he isn’t selling See2pee, but he does have a prototype at a boutique in downtown Delray Beach, Fla.
Jen Scoz, owner of House of Zen Dali, said the blue toilet light fascinates her customers.
“They say, ‘Wow, where can I get one like that?’” she said.
Miller eventually plans to sell his gadget on his website, see2pee.com, for about $30.
Sharon Geltner, a business analyst, said inventors like Miller must guard against brand theft by making sure they trademark and patent their names and ideas before presenting them online to the public.
“The more clever you are in choosing a name for your product or service, the more valuable your brand,” said Geltner, who works for the Small Business Development Center at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton.
As of Monday afternoon, See2pee had raised $853. If he doesn’t raise at least $33,333, he says, he’ll give everyone their money back. The campaign’s last day is July 20.