Recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials are being put to good use illuminating homes, businesses, and streets worldwide as part of the Liter of Light initiative.
Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement commited to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity.
This source of light is based on a solar bottle, easy to install and requires only simple technology and accessible materials.
Liter of Light teaches people around the world how to create a simple solar light from a plastic bottle and a few simple tools. The idea is that you take a plastic bottle, fill it with water and some chlorine to keep the water clean, and then make a hole in the roof of the household and install the bottle – half outside half inside.
The daylight that enters from above gets diffracted by the water and spreads the light into the room. During the day, it substitutes a 55 watt light bulb completely. It also works even when the sky is cloudy. There is still enough light getting inside the bottle, but of course the bottle will shine less brightly.
The impact of installing these solar bulbs goes beyond providing light. It will lead to a better quality of life for the families, create new working opportunities and will reduce the carbon dioxide footprint.
Liter of Light has installed more than 350,000 bottle lights in more than 53 countries and taught green skills to empower grassroots entrepreneurs.
Liter of Light provides a model where individual entrepreneurs can learn to make and install the devices and sell them on to their communities at a small profit, thus kick-starting grassroots green economies such as the one in San Pedro Laguna in the Philippines, where a single local entrepreneur has installed 11,000 solar bottles.
The global success of the idea has led to many different projects around the world. In Pakistan, the streetlight version of the technology is being used to light refugee camps. In 2014, local Liter of Light head, Vaqas Butt, installed 100 streetlights in the UN’s Jalozai camp, one of the largest refugee camps in Pakistan, sheltering 10,000 families that have fled the conflict in Afghanistan.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea