#108 Solar lights without solar or bulbs

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) plans to light up a million homes in the Philippines with light bulbs made from plastic bottles.

The Solar Bottle Bulb works without a solar panel or a light bulb. Just take a two-liter water bottle, some water and bleach (to prevent algae buildup), and find a metal roof to install it on. That’s it. No electricity and almost no expense to provide the equivalent of a 50-watt bulb that lasts five years. True, they work only during the day, but for the three million households in the Philippines with no indoor light, these light bulbs offer a nearly no-cost boon.

This video from Brazil shows just how effective these solar lights can be. Such a simple idea. So many lives improved. So much less impact on the environment than commercial bulbs. They’re appropriate where tin roofs are all that is needed to provide shelter.

What else can we do when we put our minds to it?


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sterling haynes - August 1, 2011


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