1 Liter of Light Project: recycled bottles to create solar lamps

In The Philippines, like many parts of the developing world, kerosene lamps are the primary source of light for people living in the underprivileged areas. Not only are these lamps dangerous per se they also emit great amounts of CO2 and other toxic gases which cause respiratory problems amongst the people using them as well.



This prompted MIT student Alfredo Moser to come up with an idea for a solar lamp fashioned out of recycled water bottles. This idea was further developed by Illac Diaz, a Filipino student who used it to create the Isang Litrong Liwanag AKA the 1 Liter of Light project. Even though its name may be slightly misleading, the alternative lighting system basically ensures that people are able to utilize natural daylight without having the sun blazing in through a bigger skylight during the day.

Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity. Through a network of partnerships around the world, Liter of Light volunteers teach marginalized communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials to illuminate their homes, businesses and streets. Liter of Light has installed more than 350,000 bottle lights in more than 15 countries and taught green skills to empower grassroots entrepreneurs at every stop. Liter of Light’s open source technology has been recognized by the UN and adopted for use in some UNHCR camps.



 
Each solar lamp contains one liter of water mixed with bleach which creates the same amount of light as a regular 60 watt incandescent light bulb. What’s ever better is that the bleach keeps the water algae and bacteria-free for over 5 years which gives each installation a longer life. The I Liter of Light project basically uses discarded one liter PET bottles, fills them up with water and uses it to create a solar lamp/skylight hybrid that captures and amplifies the light of the sun which functions like an electric lamp and floods the indoors with light during the day. The lamp does not require any electricity to function though it can be a bit less luminescent on cloudy or rainy days. The project is a part of the My Shelter Foundation group who has invited homeowners, students and volunteers to create their own zero-cost makeshift solar lamps and their goal is to have 1 million bottle lamps fitted in homes throughout the Philippines.

If you want to get involved, visit http://literoflight.org

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