Solar plastic bottle lamps provide lighting solution in Manila slums

Solar plastic bottle lamps provide lighting solution in Manila slums

Skylights are a great way to provide natural internal lighting, but installing them is expensive and if you live in the slums of Manila, you’d think it impossible. Not so. A group of innovative MIT students has found a solution by way of some old soft drink bottles, in a project they’ve called ‘Isang Litrong Liwanag’, meaning “A Litre of Light”. The students have taken the bottles (all 10,000 of them so far), filled them up with some bleached water and popped them into the metal roofs, providing light for the ordinarily dark slums, many of which don’t even have electricity. Those that do end up saving a lot of money on their electricity bills—a good thing when you consider a decent portion on their wages would ordinarily be spent on electricity.

The bottles work by reflecting sunlight and spreading 360 degrees of 55-watt light into the room below. And with algae inhibited by the bleach, the lights can last for up to five years. Pretty impressive we think. 

It's not the first time thic concept has been used. A Brazillian engineer came up with the idea to do the same back in 2002 during a massive balck out. 

Check out the project in action below or watch this Reuters video.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).