Isang Litrong Liwanag Project – lighting homes with water

We believe at NH Hoteles that it’s possible to wake up to a better world. The only secret is to want to do so. And we couldn’t had found a better project to represent the spirit of our Wake-up-to-a-better-world than this one. Isang Litrong Liwanag is innovative, optimistic, real… a source of inspiration for all of us!

What do you do with a bottle of Coke after consuming the bubbling liquid? Most of the times you would just throw it away. However, in Manila, Philippines, they have found a better use for those plastics conainers.

Isang Litrong Liwanag (“a quart of light”) is a project which has been developed by students from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in collaboration with the Philippine Myshelter Foundation. It seeks to capture the power of the sun in a homemade ultra-low cost bulb in order to bring light to the dark and dreary shacks that fill the world’s disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The bottles, that cointain bleach and water, are placed perfectly fitted in a hole in the roof as if they were skylights and they are able to provide this places with light equivalent to 55 watts of electricity. Sun’s rays travel vertically through the container and the liquid hit the generate 360-degree horizontal refraction that illuminates the whole room.

The goal of Myshelter Foundation, created by the young Filipino entrepreneur Illac Diaz, is to light one million Philippines homes by the end of 2012. All thanks to a solar lamp made out of 100% recycled materials and whose success is based on providing a simple and easily replicable technology, capable of addressing the basic needs of developing communities.

The process to make the bulb is very simple: a whole is made in the roof, then filled with a bottle of clean water, distilled or purified water to achieve greater clarity, and 3 teaspoons of bleach. Then the bottle cap is placed tightly. The bleach prevents mold and mildew for five years to keep the water as clear as possible. The roof must be sealed with silicone or similar material to prevent the container of possible leaks. Easy but and innovative solution to those lightning problems in developing communities.

In the Philippines there are still more than 3 million homes with no access to electricity and people needs to  with the risk this poses fire, because these families need to fire a little light at nights which obviously implies other risk such as unintentional fires or toxicity problems.

Since April 2011 over 10,000 bottles have been installed on the rooftops of Manila and the nearby neighbourhoods in the province. The City Council of Manila and the Philippine government have assumed the cost to manufacture these “light bulbs”, while MyShelter Foundation is responsible for training residents on how to do them.

The project seeks to enjoy the solar lighting at no cost, but also to help residents save on their electricity bill. A good way to cope with the rising prices of electricity in this country where most of the people do not reach a minimum wage of 18 euros per month.

If you feel like getting involved visit their website and choose the way you want to help out: Donating, volunteering or sponsoring. You will be doing your bit for everyone to Wake Up to a better world.

Photo credits: Clubdarwin

  • posted by Marisa | 06 October 2011, 18:34,

    I think this is an absolute inspsiration. Who would have thought that you could make light with bottles and water!! If everyone was as innovative as this, we wouldnt have the current environmental problems… Love this story 🙂


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