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Bringing light into some of the poorest parts of the Philippines

They call him “Solar Demi”. The man known in their community as the god-send who is illuminating their homes. Demi is a volunteer who is a part of the Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Litre of Light) project.

The latest brainchild of Illac Diaz of the MyShelter Foundation, Isang Litrong Liwanag is a project that aims to bring sustainable lighting to some of the poorest communities in the Philippines. The concept, designed and developed by students at MIT, is surprisingly simple. Filtered water and a few tablespoons of bleach are placed into a 1L plastic bottle and a metal sheet is affixed around the bottle with a sealant to seal the seams. A hole the circumference of the bottle is then punched into the metal sheet roof of the home, and the bottle is placed through the hole and attached to the roof. The result: a previously dark home that relied heavily on electrical connections, that can be faulty and present fire hazards, can now be illuminated with free, and clean solar light during the day.

Each eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb transmits the equivalent of approximately 55-60 watts of light from the sun, and can last up to 5 years. The bleach in the filtered water prevent algae from building up in the bottle, extending the life of the simple bulb.

As of this year, over 10,000 bottle lights have been installed in underprivileged homes across Manila and the nearby province of Laguna. Isang Litrong Liwanag and MyShelter Foundation aim to install bulbs to light up a million homes by 2012.

To make a donation, or to volunteer for this amazing cause, go to Isang Litron Liwanag.

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