Aiming an LED

I'm building a mint-tin-based nightlight that sticks to the wall and activates off of a PIR sensor. When mounted, the bottom of the tin would be flat against the wall, and the PIR dome protrudes from a hole in the lid (the lid stays closed except to change the batteries). When activated it will only turn on one red LED, but I'd like to be able to adjust where the LED is pointed; having it point straight out perpendicular to the lid or straight down parallel to the wall won't work. It needs to spotlight something.

Ok, I'll just come out with it: this is to highlight the toilet bowl at night so my young kids won't miss the target, and I'm tired of the mess. A commercial nightlight would work but a homemade job has an extra cool robot factor and they'll actually get up at night to see it work.

First thought was to hang the LED outside of the box and bend the leads - not desirable because it can get bumped or played with. Second thought was to mount it flush with the lid and open the lid so the light angles downward - then all of the wires are exposed.


Mount a string of leds on the outside edge of the toilet seat, that should sharpen their aim. ;)


When you are talking about aiming it, do you mean being able to move it manually to point at some position and leave it there, or are you trying to somehow actuate it electronically?

Not so cool, but maybe fluorescent paint as well as / instead of the light?

Otherwise I can only suggest mounting this contraption away from little fingers and mounting a directional lamp on the end of a bendy wire bracket which can be shaped by hand to aim it.

Yep. If the OP doesn't mean that they need to articulate the light, I was going to suggest bendy wire as well. An LED doesn't weigh much, so a pipe-cleaner or even a paperclip would work.

Another option would be to mount it on the ceiling above the toilet. Simpler to aim AND keeps it out of the reach of little hands.