Solar Bottle Lights a Bright Idea for the Developing World


This idea is so simple, yet so brilliant.  Maybe it could help light up the Middle East?

Filipinos living in simple corrugated metal homes have had problems lighting their homes for generations.  Even since the invention of electricity, electric lighting has been used sparingly by certain communities due to its cost.  It is frustrating that Filipinos live in such a bright, tropical country and yet that some of them have been living mostly in the dark.  But now a creative and entrepreneurial Filipino man has found a cheap, easy, electricity-free (and eco-friendly) way to light people’s homes and is installing his lighting system one home at a time.

The materials needed to create the lights are simple: a clear plastic soda bottle, water, and some basic tools.

"plastic bottle light"A small round hole is cut through the metal roof of the home, and a clear plastic bottle filled with water is inserted so that it hangs down from the home’s ceiling.  Free, bright solar light pours in and is reflected through the water in the bottle, and immediately the home is lit up.

In countries that often have bright, sunny days this solution makes a lot of sense.  It could probably be successful in nomadic or poorer communities in the Middle East, such as the Bedouin community (where women are already beginning to introduce solar power).

The significantly reduced need for electric lighting has freed up money in these Filipino families to spend on other, more important things such as education and training.  This bright idea is having far-reaching effects, not only improving the environment but also the economic situation of certain communities.

Read more about eco-friendly lighting::
Shining Your Green Lights, Tips for Greening Your Home Lighting
Don’t Sit Close to Your CFL Lightbulbs, They May Cause Skin Cancer
IKEA Israel Stops Selling Incandescent Bulbs

Image via: Ralph Aichinger

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