Project Brings Light to Communities While Dealing With Plastic Waste

Liter of Light’s provides light to low-income households with an upcycling strategy that uses plastic waste.

Liter of Light’s low-tech, “daylighting” lamps made from water bottles have been providing light to low-income households with no access to electricity since 2013.

Apart from providing lighting and business initiatives for these communities, the project also has an environmental side to it — an upcycling strategy that reuses plastic waste.

Interesting Engineering reports that Liter of Light was started with an idea of building classrooms, and has since evolved into an international initiative with headquarters in the Philippines, Switzerland, and Colombia.

"Around 20 million Filipinos still live without access to energy, let alone clean forms of energy," [Illac] Diaz (founder of Liter of Light) tells us in an email exchange. "They resort to candles or kerosene lamps, which are extremely costly and can lead to fires, third-degree burns, and indoor smoke inhalation," he continues. Worldwide, almost 1 billion individuals live without access to energy. In 2013, Diaz's solution was a "simple daylight system using plastic bottles, water, and 5mm of bleach."

Anyone can build these eco-friendly roof lights. You need a transparent two-liter bottle filled with water and bleach solution which you fit into a hole in the roof.

The bottles refract light during the day, delivering the equivalent of a 40-60 watt incandescent bulb to the room below.

These upcycled plastic bottles also reduce the waste stream that in many areas contributes to flooding and devastation from storm surges. 

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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