This is a pretty cool concept. An innovative solar lighting option developed in Brazil provides energy-efficient lights that probably won’t compete with the next LEDs and only really work in specific circumstances/roofs, but are super cool and have their own unique benefits.
The lights? Plastic bottles with water and a couple lids of bleach in them… and stuck through the roof.
The Brazilian engineer who came up with the idea did so in the midst of an energy blackout and crisis in 2002, as the first video below indicates. The 2-liter soda bottle lights are actually rated at 50-60 watts. Not bad. The lights have gotten the attention of normal folks and engineers alike, and have caught on a bit in some places. The idea has spread to the slums of Philippines, where every penny counts, through a program called “a liter of light.”
I was especially surprised to find out that there is no leakage and the bottles can stay there for years without any need for maintenance! The water bottle lights are said to last for 5 years.
I imagine the natural light is good for the users of the buildings as well. Also, in my humble opinion, I think they look quite beautiful. The way the light shows through the water is really unique. I’m curious to see one in real life.
If you try this out, I’d love to hear about it and see pictures! Have you heard of any other places where these lights are being used, other than Brazil and the Philippines.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on your favorite social network, go to: zacharyshahan.com