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What Is a Liter of Light?

A liter of light is an alternative lighting technique used to provide indoor lighting without electricity. To make a liter of light, people take an old 1-liter plastic bottle, fill it with water and a little bleach, then place it through a small hole in a roof. This can provide 55-60 watts of light per bottle — all without electricity. The way it works is that the water in the bottle refracts the sunlight from the outside, transmitting the light in all directions and providing a cheap, sustainable lighting source. The liter of light method has become increasingly popular in shantytowns and disaster areas where steady electricity is hard to come by.

More facts about alternative lighting:

  • A liter of light can be rigged up in about an hour and can last as long as five years.

  • More than 10,000 liters of light were installed in shantytowns in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, during a three-month period in 2011.

  • Liters of light also have become popular in Haiti, parts of the Middle East and Brazil.

Discussion Comments

By anon292782 — On Sep 21, 2012

And does it work at night, too?

By anon280038 — On Jul 16, 2012

This is a wonderful idea. I would guess that one may seal the area around the bottle's exit through the roof to keep outside moisture from getting inside the dwelling.

By anon218180 — On Sep 28, 2011

That's just wonderful until it rains.

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