Isang Litrong Liwanag

Is the tagalog name for a project of MyShelter Foundation in association with the MIT students (Massachussets Institute of Technology, you’ll hear it a lot from me): Liter of Light. It’s a smart way of providing light during daytime to poor zones (and so dark because of the overcrowding of the houses (shelters rather) in Philippine.

The “hardware” is a bottle of soda, water and bleach. The foundations are just a bottle filled with water and embedded in the roof (made most of times of corrugated iron). The light passes through the plastic and together with water it provides the same light as it would do a 55W light bulb. The bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is just to avoid the algae and other undesired microorganisms to appear inside the plastic bottle, because it would trouble the water.

As there isn’t a physical neither chemical detailed explanation in the Internet, I quote what is the most plausible one:

 “When the sun hits the outside part of the bottle, a lot of light reaches the inside part of the bottle. The water inside the bottle makes the light omnidirectional, mimiking an electric light bulb”  => kevinwarnock.com

The pros are quite clear. Free daylight for everyone (of course you’re not going to drill your block-made roof to embed one of this bottles…) and at a absolutely cheap price (some people talk about less than 1$). Moreover, unemployed people are being instructed about how to make and install them to people in order to reduce unemployement.

There are only a few bad (or not so good) issues about this. Because of the chemicals and the materials, they don’t last more than 5 years more or less, and they don’t provide light during nighttime, but the advantages have nothing to do with the disadvantages. Philippine Gouvernment is subsidizing the installation of many of this great invention.

In summary, I think that is a great invention, but they haved to improve it by inventing a chemical that accumulates the sunlight and releases it at night, so it can be a portable 55W camptorch.

The details of the installation, which are not interesting for our scientific purposes, are described in the upper link (liter of light).

I just miss one suspicion I had when I read about this. The icon of the project in the webpage and everywhere this appears is a CocaCola-like bottle, so even if I can be told suspicious about good intentions, I wonder wether if CocaCola company has something to do with this project… I leave the question there.

I specially thank Pablo Lafita the idea for this entry

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