Liter of Light

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Liter Of Light
Logo of Liter of Light .png
Type Non-profit, Interest group
Headquarters
Key people Illac Diaz, Founder
Service(s) Affordable and sustainable light
Website aliteroflight.org

Liter of Light is a global open source movement with the aim to provide an ecologically sustainable and free-of-cost source of interior light to rooms in simple dwellings with a thin roof. The device is simple: it is a transparent 1.5-2l plastic bottle, as typically used for carbonated drinks, filled with water plus a little bleach to inhibit algal growth, fitted through the roof of a house. During daytime the water inside the bottle refracts sunlight, delivering about as much light as a 40- to 60-watt incandescent bulb to the interior. A properly installed solar bottle can last up to 5 years.[1][2]

History[edit]

The use of plastic bottles in this way to provide indoor lighting from daylight was developed by Alfredo Moser of Brazil in 2002.[3] Using the technology as a social enterprise was first launched in the Philippines by Illac Diaz under the MyShelter Foundation in April 2011.[4] In order to help the idea to grow sustainably, the Foundation implemented a “local entrepreneur” business model whereby bottle bulbs are assembled and installed by local people, who can earn a small income for their work. Within months, one carpenter and one set of tools in one community in San Pedro, Laguna, expanded the organization to 15,000 solar bottle bulb installations in 20 cities and provinces around the Philippines, and began to inspire local initiatives around the world.[5] MyShelter Foundation also established a training center that conducts workshops with youth, business companies, and other groups who are interested in volunteering their time to build lights in their communities.

In less than a year since inception, over 200,000 bottle bulbs were installed in communities around the world. Liter of Light has a goal to light up 1 million homes by the end of 2015.[6]

About the MyShelter Foundation[edit]

MyShelter Foundation was established by Illac Diaz in 2006 to create a system of sustainability and reliability through its capability-building and employment-generating projects.[5] Based on the concepts of social enterprise, appropriate low-cost technologies, and alternative construction in the Philippines, MyShelter Foundation has pioneered projects such as the Pier One Seafarer’s Dormitory, the Design Against the Elements (DAtE) competition, and the Bottle School Project.

Technology description[edit]

The Solar Bottle Bulb, as it has also been called,[7] is installed in the roof of homes with the purpose of refracting sunlight in order to light up a room. The project’s innovation lies in its utilization of cheap, durable and readily available materials to produce high quality natural lighting enabling the urban poor to have access to an affordable, environmentally friendly long-term alternative to electric light for use during the day.

Most of the plastic bottles used are recycled 1.5 liter bottles. After being filled with water and a little bleach, the bottle is pushed through a steel sheet that serves as a metal lock to prevent it from slipping. It is then embedded into a corrugated iron roof. A small part of the bottle is left outside while the rest of it protrudes into the house. Sealant is put around the hole made in the roof to keep it weather proof. The refractive properties of water ensures that the light from the sun that reaches the inside of the bottle becomes omni-directional mimicking an electric light bulb and emitting the same amount of light as a 40-60 W incandescent bulb depending on the amount of solar insolation available. Adding bleach to the water prevents it from turning green with algae and ensures a high quality light keeping the water clear for a longer time. In order to facilitate use of the invention through open source mechanisms, step-by-step guides on materials and installation are available online.[8]

Sustainability[edit]

The Liter of Light is a zero-carbon-emitting alternative to the daytime use of electric or hydrocarbon-burning (kerosene, gas) illumination. The materials used in the technology are readily available, the plastic bottles as scrap, needing no additional manufacturing resources. This inexpensive technology allows most slum households to install it with the assistance of entrepreneurs from their communities. Once installed, the bottle is estimated to last about five years before being replaced. The electrical power consumed, at significant cost in carbon dioxide emission and money, by an electric bulb producing comparable light (say 55W incandescent or 20W CFL) is substantial.

Glue[edit]

Using an appropriate durable, leak-proof, space-filling glue is one of the main challenges for the solution. Many local groups are experimenting with different glues to find the best solution for both costs and quality. It was usually found that silicone-based or polyurethane glues work best.[citation needed] Inventor Moser, wrapping his face in a cloth, makes a hole in a roof tile with a drill, then pushes the bottle up into the hole, he says "You fix the bottle in with polyester resin. Even when it rains, the roof never leaks - not one drop."[9]

Countries[edit]

Argentina[edit]

A local project is underway.[10]

Bangladesh[edit]

There is an initiative based in Dhaka and working in collaboration with an organization called CHANGE,[11] a youth-based voluntary organization which works for environmental development and social business innovation.[12][13][14]

Brazil[edit]

A local project is underway.[15]

Colombia[edit]

The movement in Colombia was started by Camilo Herrera in a small town called Duitama in the Boyaca Department, approximately 200 kilometers from Bogota.[16][17] After launching a pilot in Bogota in collaboration with Liter of Light Switzerland in February 2012, a local Bogota organization was created. The first bottles in Bogota were installed in the areas of Divino Niño and La Colina of Ciudad Bolíva.[18] The volunteers in Bogota are also working closely with Un Techo Para Mi Pais to identify areas in need.[19]

Egypt[edit]

A group of seven students from the French University in Egypt (UFE) have begun Liter of Light locally in the context of a social and environmental development project.[citation needed]

India[edit]

Inspired by the project of Isang Litrong Liwanag, Liter of Light was introduced to the people of India.[20] The first trial was done in Vikarabad, a rural village in Andhra Pradesh in 2011. This bulb was successfully installed and is still working. With this experience, the team gradually expanded the concept. With the generous help of several NGOs and various organizations, awareness, campaigns and workshops were conducted in various cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, etc. Starting with the one bottle in Vikarabad, the team is not only installing several models in houses of the unprivileged, but also mentoring various other organizations, NGOs, student bodies and the people in need. The demonstration of Liter of Light was conducted at TEDxChristUniversity in November 2012.[21]

Kenya[edit]

A youth group called Koch Hope has started to install 2L PET bottles in the Korogocho slums.[22] At first the people were skeptical that the bottle installations would let in water, so the first bottles were installed in a local school as a test. The locals thus bought into the idea and the first 100 bulbs were installed in April 2011 for free in hopes to attract interest and donors. Next, the local initiative would like to expand to other areas around Nairobi.[22]

Mexico[edit]

Liter of Light began in Mexico in early 2013, sponsored by Qohélet A.C.[23] Founded by Tere Gonzalez, who had previously worked with Liter of Light in India & Spain, the group began operations with a pilot program in the state of Chihuahua México, where they were able to benefit 114 people. As of September 2013, they are working to complete the next phase of installations in Ajusco, Mexico City, to benefit a further 500 families.[24]

Pakistan[edit]

A partnership has been created with Ace Welfare Foundation, Pakistan.[25] According to both of the organizations objectives, and considering the situation that more than 11% of the Pakistani population lives without access to the electricity of which 70% of the individuals live in the rural areas in 50,000 villages that are completely detached from the national grid,[26] it has been mutually decided to form a partnership in order to implement A LITER OF LIGHT project in the territory of PAKISTAN, under the representation of ACE WELFARE FOUNDATION, founded by Mr. Vaqas Attaullah Butt. ACE WELFARE FOUNDATION

Peru[edit]

A local project is underway.[citation needed]

Philippines[edit]

The solution was first launched in the Philippines by Illac Diaz under the MyShelter Foundation.[4] As of July 2011, the organization had installed 10,000 bottles in the Philippines [1] and shortly thereafter reached 15,000 installations [5] and their goal for 2012 is to reach 1 million homes.[6] In order to help the idea to grow sustainably, they have implemented a “local entrepreneur” business model, whereby bottles are put together and installed by locals who can in turn earn a small income for their work. Additionally a Liter of Light office has been established that conducts volunteer workshops.

Spain[edit]

A local project is underway.[citation needed]

Switzerland[edit]

Liter of Light Switzerland began as a project of the SIMagination Challenge at the University of St. Gallen.[27] The project grew and was established as a student club at the University of St. Gallen and as a non-profit organization in Switzerland in November 2011.[28] The organization’s first project was to plan and implement a pilot in Bogota together with Litro de Luz Colombia.[29] The pilot took place in February 2012 and together they installed bottles in Ciudad Bolivar, Bogota. Throughout 2012, Liter of Light Switzerland undertook additional projects in Spain, India and Bangladesh.

The Swiss NGO plans to continue sharing lessons learned and spreading the concept via a global platform as well as launching more pilots around the world.[30]

Tanzania[edit]

World Unite! in cooperation with local NGOs has started A Liter of Light in Tanzania in April 2013. Project locations are Dar es Salaam, Moshi/Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.[31]

Uganda[edit]

A local project is underway.[32]

United States[edit]

A local organization started in Boston where they launched a campaign "Walk for Light" in May 2012.[33]

Zambia[edit]

A local project is underway.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "10,000 Dirt Cheap and Life-Altering Plastic Lamps Installed in Manila Slums | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building". Inhabitat. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  2. ^ "Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time | Video | Reuters.com". Uk.reuters.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  3. ^ BBC News article about Alfredo Moser and his invention
  4. ^ a b "A Liter of Light Goes a Long Way (by Ami Valdemoro) | Harvard Students Talk Rio+20". Riomatters.wordpress.com. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  5. ^ a b c "A Litre of Light". Unfccc.int. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  6. ^ a b ""A Liter of Light" Aims to Illuminate 1 Million Homes With Plastic Solar Bottle Bulbs | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building". Inhabitat. 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  7. ^ Kotoe Oshima (2011-08-30). "Plastic bottles light up lives - CNN". Articles.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  8. ^ "How to Build a Solar Bottle Bulb 2.0 ( Updated English Version)". YouTube. 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  9. ^ The Guardian newspaper: Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor, 13 August 2013
  10. ^ Por Yahoo! Noticias (2011-07-25). "Un litro de luz: botellas de agua para iluminar casas pobres | El blog editorial - Yahoo! Noticias Argentina". Ar.noticias.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  11. ^ "Feature: Dhaka's slum lightened by solar-powered plastic bottles". chinadaily.com.cn. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  12. ^ Web site of CHANGE
  13. ^ Plastic Bottle Lights up Slum, CNC World
  14. ^ Light for the poor; I AM A City Changer Campaign, UN Habitat
  15. ^ "Globo Reporter - Rede Globo". Globoreporter.globo.com. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  16. ^ "Fundacion Un Litro De Luz Colombia | Inicio". Unlitrodeluzcolombia.org. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  17. ^ "energía solar en Duitama - Colombia Noticias: Actualidad Nacional". Eltiempo.Com. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  18. ^ "Ciudad Bolívar, Bogotá". Colombialandoflight.org. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ "A Liter Of Light India". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  21. ^ "Wealth from waste: Illac Diaz at TEDxChristUniversity". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  22. ^ a b "Plastic bottle, water help light Kenyan slums". DailyHerald.com. 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  23. ^ http://literoflight.wix.com/mexico#!about/cipy
  24. ^ https://egresados.itesm.mx/egresados/plsql/NoticiasPortalOr.NPO_Inicio?l_noticia=3504
  25. ^ http://www.acewelfare.org/about/
  26. ^ http://wwww.reffra.com/blogs/14157/11134/life-s-fine-tunes-at-work
  27. ^ "Liter of Light". SIMagination Challenge. 
  28. ^ Michael Casey, ap. "20 Minuten - Schweizer erhellen Slums von Bogotá - News". 20min.ch. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  29. ^ 29. März 2012. ""Nachhaltigkeit" in Praxis umgesetzt | NZZ Campus - Studium, Karriere, Hochschulen, Universitäten" (in German). Campus.nzz.ch. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  30. ^ http://www.literoflightswitzerland.org
  31. ^ [2][dead link]
  32. ^ "liter of light « Joint Energy and Environment Projects". Jeepfolkecenter.org. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  33. ^ "Walk For Light". Walk For Light. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 

External links[edit]