Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Brilliantly Simple Idea-A Liter of Light






Brilliant ideas that are cheap, effective for the long term, and greatly improve the conditions people live under are very rare. Whenever discussion of helping those in underdeveloped regions of the planet are brought up we are use to a whole range of logistical, technical, procurement, and political problems frustrating even those who dedicate their lives to helping people in need. But sometimes inspiration strikes with an invention so simple and inspired it wipes away all problems and obstructions.

Here in America the vast majority live with the benefits of electric light significantly enhancing living conditions not only at night but also during the day. We have become so accustom to having our homes illuminated at the flip of a switch that we only really notice when it is absent because of power failures. So great is our dependency that when we lose lighting in our homes it often becomes an insane scramble to find working flashlights or candles to try and make up the difference.

The remarkable discovery, at least for me, during these times of power failure is that when blackouts extend into the daytime unless a window is nearby the house is still largely left in the dark. Like a typical American, I never made the connection between losing lights in my house for a short time and that of people living in third world countries for which darkness is the usual state of affairs making their lives even more difficult. However, someone has come up with a plan to fix that using discarded plastic bottles and other simple and cheap items. My only hope is that this video at the bottom of the post reaches a wider audience.

A little further research on this subject suggests some have gotten their noses bent out of shape because of the ubiquitous multinational corporation jumping into the mix trying to take some credit for the idea. Yeah, it does appear that way and while I detest those actions since this design is so simple but can help so many people I will ignore the typical corporate behavior.

Lighting Up Homes With A Plastic Bottle and Some Chlorine

Isang Litrong Liwanag

If you live in a home without electricity and few or no windows, it's always incredibly dark inside, even at high noon. Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) is a sustainable lighting project that is trying to help people overcome that problem with extremely simple technology: a plastic bottle, water, and a few drops of chlorine and salt is all they need to light up the inside of homes that have no electricity. Designed and developed by MIT students, the Solar Bottle Bulb is now being distributed throughout the Philippines, and the MyShelter Foundation plans to light up a million homes by 2012. 

33 comments:

Mike said...

Beach, this is wonderful. Do you mind if I post it on the WCWIO.org site and twitter. So simple and so effective. Shari and I have scheduled power outages a couple of time a year. We use the cheap solar panel lights you get at Walmart for $3 dollars. No drilling necessary we just leave 4 or 5 outdoors all day and have light all night long.

Leslie Parsley said...

This is such an amazing story. I love it. Such a simple thing that surely means so much to these people.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

The friendly hi is: great stuff Beach. Love it, all new workable ideas I'm grateful for !

Akelamalu said...

WOW such a simple idea yet so amazing!

Nance said...

I saw this and marveled! What a wonderful thing and so wonderfully simple. I hope it stirs entrepreneurial ideas everywhere it goes.

Workin Man! said...

Doesn't look like a money maker since everyone has a few plastic bottles, bleach and salt laying around. But what a great idea. I'll be trying this later.

Solidarity Bro...

Leslie Morgan said...

And this is why I follow you! Sometimes, some days, you're so deep I drown. THIS, I get and can understand. Thank you so much, BB!

Sue H said...

Stunned by that video! I didn't expect the result to be that fantastic!

We've used the solar-powered lights from the garden during powercuts - adequate for lighting stairs at least!

So, with a 'bottle-bulb' for day and solar powered lamps for night some of these poorer communities could have virtually free power!

Windsmoke. said...

Bonza idea using a plastic bottle as a sky light its cheap, simple, effective and easy to install. I have a sky light in the dining room it really lights up the whole unit so i don't need to switch on the light during the day :-).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

That's impressive (especially since I always seem to forget to stock up on D batteries). And how long does the light last for, double b?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

P.S. Clemson 38 Auburn 24 Sweet, huh?

Red Nomad OZ said...

Whoa, great idea!! A shame multinationals don't spend their energies making the world a better, cheaper, safer, more comfortable place rather than suppressing anything that would eat into their profit margin ... some say I'm cynical - I don't believe them!!

If this idea's so great, why don't we ALL do it and save some carbon emissions??!!

TOM said...

Thanks for coming to my blog and showing all what a hate filled jackass you are

Ranch Chimp said...

Good Morning Bum .... this was an interesting piece here, and you may know that I have familia member's in the Phillippines, my granddaughter is also there right now on vacation ... however, I never heard of this before, and this is importante to know, whether you experience frequent blackout's or not. Later Bum ....

Lowandslow said...

That's amazing. Really cool.

I'm waiting for the comment (from someone who shares my ex-wife's hair color) asking how you turn it off at night when it's time to go to bed. :)

S

Beach Bum said...

Mike: No problem, please repost as many times as possible.

Leslie: It picked up my spirits.

Gwen: You welcome.

Akelamalu: It was a great idea, I hope they take it far as possible.

Working Man: Thats the rub, I am sure some corporate suit is brainstorming ways to make money on this idea or mess it up by making the plastic bottle not work anymore.

Nance: From the Treehugger website it looks like there are several ways to reuse old plastic bottles.

Leslie Morgan: Me deep? Naw, I'm just a good old country boy with too much time on my hands.

Windsmoke: Yeah, there is a business here in the States that charges a lot of money to install something similar.

Sue H. : We may have to keep this a secret, I'm sure some corporate type is having a seizure over the money being lost.

Will: Just a daytime thing but in a confined space without electric light as you know it can be pitch black.

Here in the Columbia area they are all Gamecock crazy and little has been said about the Clemson game.

Red Nomad: Yeah, multinationals are a cancer on the planet. We will eventually need a global agency with real power to keep them from causing even larger issues than they do now.

TOM: No problem mother fucker! I hope it raised your blood pressure, that you had to drop by here and whine suggests it did. You could be real fun to fuck with on a long term basis.

Beach Bum said...

Ranch: That is what amazed me, just on the rare occasions that we lose power confined spaces become pitch black. As the video suggests this will make their lives just a little easier.

LowandSlow: LOL!!!

My wife drives me crazy along those same lines.

Randal Graves said...

What a crock of hippie bullshit. How the hell can I retire via offshore millions on this cheap gizmo?

TOM said...

You, Leslie, and Sue are the same kind of ass holes.
Thanks for proving the point of my post. I could not have asked for any better example of hate, than your comment.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: I'm sure some suit is doing his best to figure a way to make a buck off this. I've read a few remarks that an unnamed soda company is already trying to take credit for it.

TOM: I happen to like Leslie and Sue very much, they are intelligent people. So including me with them is a compliment. In other words you can kiss my ass.

John McElveen said...

GENIUS and thanks for sharing and CARING!! High Five Bro!!!!

John

Mr. Charleston said...

Simply brilliant. Of course, I suppose it's really only effective in homes with no windows.

TOM said...

Ass holes together
I'm glad you admit to being an ass hole
The two whores don't have that kind of honesty
Stop by my blog anytime and make a bigger ass of yourself

Marja said...

That's fantastic Beach. Gives the spirit hope again. Thank you for sharing, you are one good soul and thanks for your nice words on my blog.

Glen said...

brilliantly simple

Workin Man! said...

How can anyone even get on Tom's blog with the millions of comments he gets he had to moderate. And don;t even think of emailing him as there are billions of emails already in his inbox. The man is more popular than Facebook.

he would do well to save some energy by using this simple yet brilliant idea BB turned us on to. And perhaps to see if IBM will set him up with Watson to be his server considering the trillions of emails and comments his blog gets.

Beach Bum said...

John: I was just amazed at the concept. We need engineers and politicians with such imaginations.

Mr. Charleston: That seems to be the case essentially, giving what I saw of the homes in the videos. Still though, my own home has dark areas where daylight from windows does not reach. There is a company that does something similar to the Liter of Light concept but they are expensive as hell.

TOM: Poor little baby got upset because someone said some bad words? Screw you.

If anyone is making ass of themselves it is you. I give less than a damn your opinion of me.

Marja: Thanks you, I'm just the messenger.

Glen: I hope the guy thought it up get some money for it.

Working Man: LOL!!!!

goatman said...

BYE!

John Myste said...

Is this a practical joke?

Beach Bum said...

Goatman: I am unsure of what you mean sir.

John: No, its real.

Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

Loved this story!

lime said...

simply brilliant! brilliantly simple!

John Myste said...

Thanks, Lime, but really, I can't take all the credit. This was a team effort.