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Sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that are overlooked.  What do you do if you are not fortunate enough to be able to afford electricity to light one bulb in your home or business?

Photo Credit: Courtesy of ALiterofLight.org

In a novel development created by students at MIT comes the “old light in a plastic bottle trick.”  The Solar Bottle Bulb uses plastic water bottles and a little bleach to bring light to the darkness.  MyShelter Foundation had asked MIT to see if they could come up with an inexpensive lighting solution, to help millions of people in the Philippines, who could not afford electricity light up their homes and businesses.  To create the bulb, the MIT student’s fit 1.5-liter plastic bottles containing water and bleach snugly into holes in a metal roof. Sunlight refracts through and off the water, creating free solar lighting equivalent to 55 or 60 watts of clean white light. The bleach inside the bottles prevents algae from forming inside them. The bottles don’t heat up, and are designed to produce clear light for approximately five years.  The MyShelter Foundation is currently distributing thousands of these lights to homeowners across the Philippines, where oftentimes homes are built so close together that little to no light can get through the windows.  The organization envisions lighting one million homes by 2012. So far, they’ve distributed 10,000 solar bulbs.

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