A Simple Solar Light to Light Up Your Life

In the developed world it can be pretty easy to take light bulbs for granted. For 1.6 billion people around the world that don’t have access to electricity, light is a precious commodity.  Out of the nearly 25% of the world’s population that has to go without electricity, many of them also live in makeshift, ramshackle housing in shanty towns thrown together with whatever sheet metal and spare wood they can find lying around. Those types of houses generally don’t have windows to let light in meaning that being indoors means being in the dark.

Since many don’t have the money, paying for kerosene or candles is out of the question. Luckily there is a cheap alternative that has become more popular. Simple solar-powered lights made from easy to obtain, recycled material can light up a once dark home. Instead of using their homes only to sleep they can now work, study and feel safe inside their house.

These solar lights are very simple to make, use recycled material, never burn out, and only cost about a dollar to assemble. To start, a hole is cut in the roof of the structure that you are adding the light too. Then a piece of scrap metal is attached to the roof and cut in such a way that it will hold a plastic water bottle in place. The water bottle is filled with water and a small amount of bleach. Once the bottle is held snugly in place by the metal, cap side up, a small amount of compound is added to the cracks to make it waterproof, and you’re done. When the sun is shining the metal around the bottle focuses the light towards the bottle and the bleach and water inside glow to the comparable brightness of a fifty-five watt light bulb.

Image Via: nydailynews.com

While you may have easy access to all the electricity you need these handy little lights can still help you out.  If you have structures on your property that are used primarily in the day that you don’t want to run electricity to you can add a couple of these solar lights to brighten up the space. They are perfect for things like a work shed, outhouse, pop-up garage, or even a child’s playhouse.  There are plenty of benefits to using these solar lights, such as:

Easy to Install

These types of lights are easy enough to install that just about anyone can put them in. There is no need to understand how to run electrical wires or mess with a breaker box. If you have even a basic understanding of carpentry you can install these lights in any small structure.

Uses Clean Solar Energy

Since you aren’t running electrical wiring to the structure to provide light, you aren’t increasing your carbon footprint. All of the light is produced by harnessing clean, readily available solar energy and focusing it using the water bottle.

Provides Light When Electricity isn’t Available

Electricity isn’t always readily available, but with these, that won’t stop you from lighting up a room. Where someone once would have had to use a kerosene lamp or candle to provide light, this solar light is a much safer option.

Upcycle Old Trash

I’m a huge fan of upcycling. Rather than letting trash rot in some landfill it can be reused as something beneficial to society. Simple projects like this give new life to objects that would otherwise just be trash.



One thought on “A Simple Solar Light to Light Up Your Life

  1. Such ingenious and cheap applications of physics are really inspiring.
    I have 2 questions: What’s the function of bleach? And how much light does this device give when the sky is very cloudy?

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