Introduction: How to Build a SOLAR BOTTLE BULB

About: This is the official account of Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light). MyShelter Foundation’s latest venture is a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bul...
Light up dark areas in your home during daytime using this green and sustainable concept. Recycle used clear plastic soda bottles, add water+bleach, then install. After installation this solar light bulb can provide approximately 55 watts of light from the sun! 

The comments below have noted that this is like a solar tube or deck prism. 

The communities who benefit from this idea live in areas where the houses hardly have windows and live in darkness even during daytime. Their solution up until this innovation was to turn on the light bulb and use electricity.


*PET soda bottle
*Galvanized Iron (GI) sheet
*Rubber sealant
*Filtered Water

Step 1: Cut Approximately 9 X 10 Inches of GI Sheet (corrugated or Flat)

(Filipino: Gumupit ng yero na may sukat na 9 x 10 inches.)

*Here is a how-to video

Step 2: At the Center of the GI Sheet, Draw 2 Circles

(Filipino: Sa gitna ng yero, gumuhit ng 2 bilog (labas: pareho sa sukat ng bote; loob: mas maliit ng 1 cm). Gupitin ang mas maliit na bilog.)

Step 3: Cut the 1 Cm Difference Radially, Making Strips and Bend Upwards, Perpendicular to the GI Sheet

(Filipino: Gupitin paikot ang natira na 1 cm sa maliliit na bahagi at itupi pataas, salungat sa yero.)

Step 4: Using Sandpaper, Scratch the Surface Around the Upper Third Portion of the Soda Bottle Where the GI Sheet Will Be Placed, to Allow the Rubber Sealant to Stick Better

(Filipino: Gamit ang sandpaper, kuskusin ang ibabaw sa may ikatlong bahagi ng bote kung saan ilalagay ang GI sheet para mas dumikit ang rubber sealant.)

Step 5: Insert the Bottle Into the GI Sheet Until the Upper Third. Apply Rubber Sealant on the Strips Above and Around the Area Below. Wait to Dry

(Filipino: Ipasok ang bote sa gitnang butas ng yero hanggang sa itaas na ikatlong bahagi. Lagyan ng rubber sealant ang itaas at ibaba ng pinagkabitan.)

Step 6: Fill the Soda Bottle With Filtered Water and ~10 ML (2 Capfuls) of Bleach. Cover With Its Original Cap

(Filipino: Punuin ang bote ng filtered na tubig at ~10 mL na bleach (2 sukat gamit ang takip). Ilagay ang takip.)

Step 7: The Solar Bottle Bulb Is Now Ready for Installation!

(Filipino: Ang solar bottle bulb ay handa nang ikabit!)

(Proceed to next step for the installation.)

Step 8: Cut a Hole on the Roof, Similar to the Bottle Circumference

(Filipino: Gumawa ng butas sa bubong, pareho sa sukat ng bote.)

Step 9: -Place the Solar Bottle Bulb Into the Hole. Make Sure It Is Firmly in Place

(Filipino: Ilagay ang solar bottle bulb sa butas. Siguraduhin na maayos ang pagkalagay.)

Step 10: Drill 4 Holes on Each Side of the Solar Bottle Bulb Using Bosch Lithium-ion Cordless Drill and Put in the Rivets

(Filipino: Magbutas ng apat sa magkabilang gilid ng solar bottle bulb gamit ang Bosch lithium-ion cordless drill at lagyan ng rivets.)

Step 11: Apply Rubber Sealant Around All Edges of the GI Sheet of the Solar Bottle Bulb to Avoid Leakage. Make Sure to Cover the Rivets

(Filipino: Maglagay ng rubber sealant sa lahat na gilid ng GI sheet ng solar bottle bulb upang maiwasan ang pagtulo.)

Step 12: Place a Protective Plastic Tube on the Bottle Cap and Apply Rubber Sealant

(Filipino: Lagyan ng plastic tube at rubber sealant ang takip ng bote.)

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    300 Discussions

    How do they make this thing work at night though? In the video I saw at the people have a tube like thing in the bottle with something giving off the light, and there has to be something retaining the energy during the day. This would be a great science fair project! Anybody know how to do this? There is more to it than just the bottle, water, bleach, holes, rivets and sealants. They are using these at night.

    4 replies

    It's a solar panel with light is added..which will turn on automatically during dark on solar panel..

    This is for buildings which are dark during the day; my Amish friends install these in their barns. Obviously, a solar powered anything doesn't work at night.

    I have used my own version (will publish it later) using a plastic straw through the cap and into the water. I passed the wires from a small 5 V solar panel to a LED at the base of the straw, insulated it (prevent water from getting in) and voila! No need for serious hole in roof (just a small one to pass wires through). Hanging the light from the roof is not to difficult either - the bottle's neck provides sufficient grip. The installation also has a small Power 500 charger for a LIPO battery and a light switch for obvious reasons. More to follow.

    The literoflite ones use a small solar panel to charge up a battery which then powers the bulb at nite.

    If you look carefully you can see the water level at the halfway mark, so they are using water as a light diffuser. The tube bit is most likely insulating the bulb wires that run down in the water to stop corrosion which could change the water clarity.

    This version is a daytime only one with no batteries, solar panels or bulbs.

    Just in case you were still wondering. :)

    What bleach is used for this.. Chemical name..

    Can we use bleaching powder in it !

    Don't quote me on it because I don't know for sure but I believe it's because the way the bleach mixes with the water is how it reflects so much light but I personally don't know too much about chemistry so you could try it but I don't know

    6 replies

    All that the bleach is doing is keeping algae from growing in the solution. Any anti Algal would work, but beware, the lights usually last for 5 years until they degrade. (get foggy, break down or otherwise become unfit to refract light).

    Lets see a 8W LED bulb {=60 watt incandescent} has an expected life of 50,000 hours (>15 years) and uses 11 KWh/hr a year WHILE a solar light bulb {=55 watt incandescent} has an expected life of 14,600 hours (~5 years) and uses 0 KWh/hr a year. For the monies saved over the years, it isn't to much of a problem for the user to change the recycled soda bottles every five years! :-)

    Your hours are off.

    A LED is calculated as 3 hours use per day .

    50,000 hours divided by 3 divided by 365 =45 years.

    Apparently the solar light gets way more hours per day especially in the summer.

    We don't think twice to throw a plastic bottle away, but in some countries plastic bottles are recycled which will put food on the table, so a plastic bottle is still a luxury for many of them. Sheet metal is expensive in those countries compare of income and such solar lights require silicone or other substance to seal it which will not last long either.

    Solar lights making their grounds in those countries because the electricity can not be relied on. Power goes out on a constant bases every day and that is the reason those solar lights are getting more popular despite that is hard getting the materials for an individual to make those.

    they don't use expensive adhesives. they use what ever they can find. after all they know they are trying to make it "on the cheap". the bleach is not at all toxic. anyone worrying about the toxicity of the small amount of bleach is totally exaggerating.

    This is obviously for bringing more light into the room during the day. Would even extend the life of any LEDs since they would only be used during overcast and at night.

    Chlorine in bleach is to prevent water going green from Algae.


    2 years ago

    Although I'm, let's say disappointed with the lack of understanding in the comment about crowd funding, I have always loved this idea. However, It does need some improvement. In Australia the sun will cause the plastic to perish in a single summer. Glass would be a better option, as would a clear liquid that ISN'T prone to grow algae. I have wanted to install some of these in our sheds, but I also have experience with a Solatube, and find that to be a much better option. Now if someone could find a way to use that technology adapting it to re-use of materials, THAT would be brilliant. Crowd funding is not something to blow ones nose at! It has been used by some greedy self important jerks true,as is anything that they can jump on to try to accumulate "points"... but it has also helped others with ideas that DO seek to make products that HELP the poor, the disabled, etc.. People should not be put off the idea of crowd funding simply because of a few with bad intentions. People should be encouraged to think about the need for the product, and do so without greed being the motivation for investing. Invest to make this world a better place for everyone. THAT is the reason for crowd funding my friends.

    3 replies

    You do know that bleach kills algae, right? Also, a certain type of plasticbottle must be used. That is because itlasts longer. I believe that this video will help you: