Use a Quantum Block with an observer on it. When they are at their base the detector activates the observer which turns the block to a redstone block, have it entangled with a block on your end that controls a redstone lamp or TE Glowstone Illuminator.
I don't think it has failed, but won't be the next "iPhone" until it is as sleek and sexy. When it becomes the size of a pair of glasses and as easy to use, then you'll get widespread adoption. The problem though with VR also is in many people it can trigger vertigo and there is nothing sexy about nausea. :)
Catch a bunch of bats in Jailer Safari Nets and rename them all ChimneySwift perhaps? You'd have either have something release them like a Automonous Activator or perhaps after you name it you can put it back in the Reusable Safari Net after named.