invent to thrive: plastic bottles of daylight

(Video link here.)  Barr Hogan sent us this compelling video about a man who invented simple, easy-to-make solar light “bulbs”  using ordinary materials housed in recycled plastic liter bottles. He has literally brought daylight indoors to poor families in the Philippines whose houses are so close together, they block the sun from entering.  Now the My Shelter Foundation and other organizations have started campaigns, hoping to spread this simple d-i-y lighting throughout the world.

We are always inspired seeing ordinary materials transformed into a useful technological wonder – making a powerful force for change – in this case light – out of virtually “nothing”. It reminded us of the amazing William Kamkwamba, who rigged a windmill out of bits-and-pieces to bring electricity to his village in Africa. The survivalist in us loves knowing the recipe for this strange homemade lighting.Note: The light only works during the day, bringing about 50 watts of of sunlight indoors without electricity (it doesn’t store electricity like a solar panel).

The device needs the following materials: a used plastic bottle (preferably a 1.5 liter soda bottle), 1’x1’ roof sheet material, purified water, chlorine and rubber sealant.

 On the roof sheet, cut a hole to the size of the bottle’s circumference. The bottle is inserted through it, with the bottle’s upper 1/3 on one side and the bottle’s lower 2/3 on the other.

Next, fix the device firmly on the roof of the house, with the bottle’s upper portion exposed to the sun and the lower portion protruding in the ceiling. The rubber sealant, or epoxy resin, is used to secure the roof sheet and prevent leaks.

The bottle is filled with a solution of purified water, a bit of salt and chlorine measured by three bottle caps.

In the process, the water refracts the light while the chlorine and the salt slow down evaporation and prevent molds. The solution is expected to last up to two years before it needs changing.    – via Pimoy Tambay Group

Thanks Barr!

Related posts:
william kamkwamba’s windmills: creating currents of electricity and hope
ellen silverman photographs: inside cuba’s kitchens pt.1
vietnam’s culture of improvisation via charlie allenson (happy birthday charlie!!!)
improvised street kitchens + utensils

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