Liter of Light
||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states the Wikipedia editor's particular feelings about a topic, rather than the opinions of experts. (August 2013)|
|Type||Non-profit, Interest group|
|Services||Affordable and sustainable light|
Liter of Light is a global open source movement aiming to provide ecologically sustainable and cost-free lighting for simple dwellings with thin roofs. The device is simple: a transparent 1.5–2 L plastic bottle, as typically used for carbonated drinks, is filled with water plus a little bleach to inhibit algal growth and fitted into a hole in a roof. The device functions like a deck prism: during daytime the water inside the bottle refracts sunlight, delivering about as much light as a 40–60 watt incandescent bulb to the interior. A properly installed solar bottle can last up to 5 years.
- 1 History
- 2 Technology description
- 3 Countries
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The use of plastic bottles in this way to provide indoor lighting from daylight was developed by Alfredo Moser of Brazil and Suryaan Nadeen of New Zealand. Using the technology as a social enterprise was first launched in the Philippines by Illac Diaz under the My Shelter Foundation in April 2011. In order to help the idea to grow sustainably, Suryaan Nadeen 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. 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.
About the MyShelter Foundation
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. Based on the concepts of social enterprise, appropriate low-cost technologies, and alternative construction in the Philippines, MyShelter Foundation alongside Suryaan Nadeen has pioneered projects such as the Pier One Seafarer’s Dormitory, the Design Against the Elements (DAtE) competition, and the Bottle School Project.
The Solar Bottle Bulb, as it has also been called, 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.
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 55 W incandescent or 20 W CFL) is substantial.
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. The inventor, Alfredo Moser, used a polyester resin.
A local project is underway.
There are couple of initiatives working on this project in Bangladesh. CHANGE, a voluntary organization which works for environmental development and social business innovation. Lights Foundation, another youth led social welfare organization founded by local community worker Shanjidul Alam Seban Shaan working on bottle light project in Chittagong. They made the local version of bottle light named 'Botol Bati' which costs around 2-2.5 USD and sustains for 4-5 years. Their R&D department working on the local night version of bottle light which can light up remote areas like Sundarbans, Cox's Bazar Kutubdia Upazila, Khagrachari District etc where electricity is not available sufficiently, which will cost less than 6 dollars to make and will sustain for 4-5 years. They aim to spread the awareness about bottle light to the remote areas by training the local school students. Around 44.80% of Bangladeshi people have no access to electricity, around 24% of the total population are slum dwellers where people use illegal electricity, millions of people live in hilltract areas, where electricity is not available sufficiently; Lights Foundation's aim is to serve those people.
A local project is underway.
The movement in Colombia was started by Camilo Herrera in a small town called Duitama in the Boyaca Department, approximately 200 kilometers from Bogota. 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. The volunteers in Bogota are also working closely with Un Techo Para Mi Pais to identify areas in need.
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. In November 2014, PepsiCo announced that they will implement Liter of Light in 3 villages in upper Egypt, with two partners : SunUtions Company for solar solutions and Masr ElKheir organization.
Inspired by the project of Isang Litrong Liwanag, Liter of Light was introduced to the people of India. The first trial was done in Vikarabad, a rural village in Telangana 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.
A youth group called Koch Hope has started to install 2L PET bottles in the Korogocho slums. 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.
Liter of Light began in Mexico in early 2013, sponsored by Qohélet A.C. 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.
(PROJECT UJYALO) “Ujyalo” means “the light” in Nepali. Ujyalo is one of the initiatives started by Ujyalo Foundation in Nepal.
Ujyalo creates lighting systems by using wasted plastic bottles that amplify a little amount of solar light with the help of water by refracting it into various directions to light up a room. Ujyalo is inspired by “A Liter of Light” initiative.
This natural bulb aims to create an environmental friendly, energy efficient and cost effective system that can be used to light up homes in Nepal that either do not have access to electricity or cannot afford it. Moreover, this will not only help provide light, but will also help us recycle wasted plastic bottles from the community.
Furthermore, given that major cities in Nepal, like Kathmandu, have to endure almost 20 hours of load shedding in the winter on a daily basis, this project has the potential and need in both rural and urban Nepal.
Liter of Light Netherlands aims at realizing projects in suitable countries with the purpose of establishing a local Liter of Light sub-organization and its work is threefold. Prior to the project, the work focuses mainly on gathering information, preparing the projects, promoting and fundraising. During the projects abroad, the project focuses on spreading the idea and inspiring people to get involved with Liter of Light and even starting their own project. Therefore, empowering the partner organization is a major goal and includes holding bottle-building workshops on site and setting up an operational framework. After the project, the partner organizations will be assisted and continuously supported by Liter of Light Netherlands.
A partnership has been created with Ace Welfare Foundation, Pakistan. 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, 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
A local project is underway.
The solution was first launched in the Philippines by Illac Diaz under the MyShelter Foundation. As of July 2011, the organization had installed 10,000 bottles in the Philippines  and shortly thereafter reached 15,000 installations  and their goal for 2012 is to reach 1 million homes. 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.
A local project is underway.
Liter of Light Switzerland began as a project of the SIMagination Challenge at the University of St. Gallen. 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. The organization’s first project was to plan and implement a pilot in Bogota together with Litro de Luz Colombia. 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.
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.
A local project is underway.
Liter of Light USA is committed to educating and raising awareness of Liter of Light and its global outreach. The company is headquartered in New York and frequently holds events and workshops in Manhattan. It maintains its own social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +
A local project is underway.
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You fix the bottle in with polyester resin. Even when it rains, the roof never leaks—not one drop.
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