Make a Solar Bottle Light

Edited by Jerry Rivers, Anonymous, Alma, karim321 and 4 others

Light up your life with a solar water bottle light

Do you have a room or building that is dark during the daytime, in which you must turn on a light? Perhaps you have a room with no electricity. Now you can create your own light in that dark place, and save on your electric bill. There is an eco-friendly way to do this by making a solar bottle light using a plastic water bottle, and it can be done with little cost. With only a few tools and materials, by following the steps below, you can have a bright 50 to 55W light during the daytime. Appreciation should be given to Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who began their Liter of Light program to light needy homes in communities around the Philippines, and to Alfredo Moser, whose original concept of the solar light bulb LED the way to light low income homes in Brazil.

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Materials required to complete your Solar Bottle Light:

  • 1 liter or 2 liter clear plastic bottle and cap
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Distilled water
  • Roof sealant

Tools required:

  • Electric drill
  • Marker and a sheet of paper
  • Scissors

•"Hole saw"- Use the type of saw that will cut through the material for your particular roofing material.

How to make the solar bottle bulb

  1. 1
    Fill the bottle with distilled water within a few inches from the top.
    Add a few tablespoons of bleach. Allow the bleach to mix on its own with the water. Do not shake the solution. Due to impurities and chlorine, tap water should not be used. The solution of water and bleach will prevent mold growth in the bottle. It will last up to several years before you must change the solution.
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  2. 2
    Screw the cap on the bottle tightly.
    Wrap electric tape around the cap to block direct sunlight from weakening it.
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  3. 3
    You must cut a hole in your roof that is the same circumference as the bottle:
    1. On a sheet of paper, trace around the base of your bottle with the marker.
    2. Cut out the circle and trace around it with the marker where you will insert the solar light bottle.
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  4. 4
    Use the specific hole saw for your roof type, and saw the hole for your new solar light bottle.
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  5. 5
    Set your bottle in place about halfway through the hole.
    The UV rays striking the upper half of the bottle will activate the solution and give the room as much light as a 55 watt bulb.
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  6. 6
    Use a roof sealant around the bottle where it contacts your roof.
    Put an even coating around the bulb to hold it in place. It will prevent leaks, also.
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  7. 7
    Follow the same procedure to make and install more solar light bottles in a large room, or for more than one room.
    No longer will you need electric power to light up a dark room during daytime.
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  8. 8
    This solution should effectively light your room from two to five years.
    Once the bleach/water solution becomes clouded, replace your solar bottle light and solution, or just the solution. If you replace only the solution, be sure to rinse the bottle well. This will stop the mold and bacteria from growing.
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  9. 9
    As an alternative method installing your solar light bulb, insert the bottle into a cut-out fitted hole to a 1 meter-by-1 meter square of sheet metal before setting it over a cut-out hole in your roof.
    As an alternative, install the solar light into a square of sheet metal first.
    1. Make sure that the hole in the roof is a larger circumference than the bottle.
    2. Use a metal screw to screw down each corner of the sheet metal square. Apply roof sealant along each edge.
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Questions and Answers

Please explain whether we can get light during night or cloudy day?

We need light during night and during cloudy day.

Unfortunately the solar light bottle will not work to give your room bright light at night. If there is a very bright moon out or a lot of ambient light from streetlights or other sources you might get a bit of a blue glow from bottles. If it is cloudy out the solar light bottles might emit some light but probably not enough to light up the space in the same brilliant way that they will when it is sunny out. To remedy a low light situation you can shine a flashlight through the water to light up the bottle. Wrap a headlamp around the bottle or take a cheap LED key chain flashlight and attach it to the bottom of the bottle so that the light shines through the water when you turn it on.

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Can you put bottle in sunlight directly without covering half under roof?

I stay on the second floor of a building, can you put bottle in sunlight directly without covering half under roof? I want to keep bottle in sunlight, whole day. Then take the bottle inside house to use at night This instructional solar bottle wiki only works if the part of the bottle is outside to catch the reflection of the sun. For your needs I recommend purchasing a jar and inserting a solar stake light into the jar. Leave it out in the sun during the day to charge. You can add some aluminum foil on the bottom of the jar for reflective purposes for maximum light output.

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Frosted Glass Jar with Solar Light attached to the lid


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