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Bottled light in the Philipines Answered


There's a novel, simple idea spreading in the Philipines - using bottles of water as skylights.

The concept is staggeringly simple - slum dwellings are dark, and need light, even in the daytime.

Though they have electricity, it is the most expensive in the area, so they can't afford to use powered lights.

Instead, they use water.

A two-litre bottle of water, with a little bleach to prevent algal growth, is set into a section of metal sheeting, which in turn is set into the roofs of dwellings, workshops, even chicken-coops.  The water-bottle refracts the light in all directions, instead of letting it shine through in a single beam, and provides as much illumination as a traditional 60W bulb.

OK, so this is old news to some people, but it's new to me.

For more information, have a look at the Litre of Light website, or just have a poke around Google and YouTube.


18 Replies

user
yinyang101 (author)2011-12-13

Its a big help especially to families who can't afford to pay electric bills in the Philippines.

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porcupinemamma (author)2011-09-20

Absolutely Nizerbean. Please, Instructable writers and readers, if you can, watch this. You are a very special group of people, and this is a thought provoking clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Ht_19N8Uw

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Kiteman (author)porcupinemamma2011-09-20

"Clip"? It's an hour-long documentary!

It's a good watch, though. I saw it on TV.

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porcupinemamma (author)Kiteman2011-09-20

Well, I've certainly been publically shamed-great comment to wake up to. Documentary is in more than one part, I should have said "episode" instead of "clip" I'm sure readers will now be forewarned.

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user

Hey, I don't think you've been "shamed" at all. :)

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Kiteman (author)porcupinemamma2011-09-20

Hey, don't forget to read the second line of my post!

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iceng (author)2011-09-19

I like the concept, and the engineer's mind wonders what happens
when it gets gets freezing cold.

A

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Goodhart (author)iceng2011-09-19

I bit of antifreeze (without the coloring of course) might solve that one

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iceng (author)Goodhart2011-09-19

Could mix yellow, green or blue. Alcohol is clear.
I think they ship some spirits in plastic containers.

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Goodhart (author)iceng2011-09-19

Indeed, or as long as it isn't coming in contact with metals....even salt water may work (unless it gets terrible cold).

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Kiteman (author)iceng2011-09-19

It's not being used in countries known for frosty nights...

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Kiteman (author)caitlinsdad2011-09-19

I didn't remember that one - thanks.

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iceng (author)Kiteman2011-09-19

Solatubes are used in Reno my daughter's house has one. I have a roof
type ceiling window brightening our add on bath in the mornings.

I have followed the developments in roof top sun light concentration passed
through ½ optical fibers and dispersed in a ceiling fixtures which are not as
effective as that 60 watt light from the water bottles in your interesting BBC
report.

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cammers (author)2011-09-19

Great idea. I'm going to give it a try in my chook shed.
I lived in Philippines for a few years on construction projects, and although I didn't see this particular idea in use, I did see many many examples of truly inspiring creativity and resourcefulness.
It is a place where kids make their own toys, and things still get repaired when they are broken.

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FoolishSage (author)2011-09-19

I've seen a similar application in Brazil. It is an extremely effective way to light up a division that does not (or cannot) have enough light from windows.

This just goes to show what the Honeybee Network advocates. Poor people are not stupid, they can think and create innovative solutions to all kinds of problems. Those that are better off would do well to learn from people like this.

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Ninzerbean (author)2011-09-19