Water-Filled Plastic Bottles Can Illuminate Millions of Poor Homes [Video]

Let there be light! So said a group of MIT students some time ago – and there was. A charity organization, far off in the Philippines, thought of going for an encore and they too echoed in chorus “Let there be light”. And, they too succeeded in illuminating the place they stood. In what could seem straight out of the scriptures, the MyShelter Foundation is now illuminating homes with just a plastic bottle full of water, mixed with some bleach. The one-liter plastic bottles, originally designed by MIT students, are being put to play in darkness-invaded homes in the Asian nation.


MyShelter Foundation aims at effectively ushering in this alternative source of daylight to light up one million homes in the Philippines by year 2012. The solar bottle bulb, as it is called, the new plastic bottle filled with filtered water can provide luminosity equivalent to a 55-watt electric light bulb!

Being promoted at the moment in the Philippines by the MyShelter Foundation under the name Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) project, the project has now started getting support from government by way of cost for the bulbs. The foundation, on their part, has been able to effectively train residents on how to make and install them.

Compared with the light bulbs and candle lights that are used commonly, these solar bulbs come with advantages that include sustainability and safety. Also, as no electrical connection is used, expenses too are less. They also incur no operating costs while in use.


We know you are wondering as to how these plastic bottle solar lamps are made. Okay, here goes:  Pick a one-liter plastic bottle water. Pour pure filtered water in it and add a little amount of bleach. Why bleach, you tend to ask? That’s for longevity – the bleach prevents mold growth and helps the bulbs stay on for up to five years.

The next step is to cut holes in the metal roofs of homes and place the bottle sealed into the hole in the ceiling. The bottle should be positioned in such a way that it looks down from the ceiling. No, don’t look for more instructions. The process is complete.


The illuminating aspect comes in when the clear water disperses sun light in all directions by way of refraction. This, you will be amazed, will provide luminosity equivalent to a 55-watt electric light bulb.

You must have noticed, we said sun light.  That means the bulbs work only during day time. In nations like the Philippines where houses are so crowded that even sunlight doesn’t enter rooms, these light bulbs can be a boon (Watch the video posted below) . MyShelter Foundation’s efforts can be seen as treading the right line.

Amazing! That’s how we would love to call this piece of innovation. What do you feel?

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