Brain child of a car mechanic Alfredo Moser from Uberaba (MG) the PET bottle lamp has been proven to be a ray of hope for the poor and the destitute. This lamp is completely made out of reused materials hence costs nothing. This unique feature makes it affordable and accessible by all. Despite all this the lamp is capable of generating savings of up to 30% on the electricity bill. Keeping this in mind, this lamp can be utilized by anyone and everyone for their benefit.
This lamp was invented in 2001 by Alfredo Moser and was later pushed further by the NGO My Shelter Foundation in 2011 once it caught their attention. Since then Alfredo Moser has been able to install the lamps in the underserved regions of Philippines along with the students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was also able to spread this project to 15 other countries with the assistance of volunteers.
The functioning of this lamp is simple, it lights up the house by simply reflecting the sunlight. By playing the role of a lens without using any electricity it can shine bright in most of the poor households. By 2015 it is estimated this lamp, also known as the Moser lamp was able to benefit around 1 million people worldwide.
Another unique feature of this lamp is that it only works for houses that have no ceiling. It must be directly installed from the roof which proves to be helpful for the people as it is a common phenomenon amongst most of the poor households.
Another similar project is taking shape in Ghana called the ‘Liter of Light’ which also uses plastic bottles to make simple yet effective and affordable solar powered light. These DIY lamps can be utilized after the strike of a natural disaster. Most of the time the people rely on candlelight or kerosene lamps which give out poisonous fumes. This can have detrimental effects on health of its users and can make the problems worse.
The process to make this light is fairly simple and uses substances which are readily available in the household. Empty plastic bottles are filled with water and bleach which removes the algae from turning the water green. Once this is done, the bottles are then installed on to the roof. These bottles refract the natural sun light present on the outside by working as a mirror. They act like a natural light bulb during the day.
Founder of ‘Liter of Light’ Illac Diaz said in a statement, “You go to a village and you say, ‘Who wants an almost free source of light during the day?’. We come back to the villages two months later and we say to the locals, ‘Look, with the money that you have saved from not using your electricity, candles or kerosene lamps (around $10-$15 a month), would you like to upgrade your device to light up during the night?”.
As per another undertaking of this project, women are offered the parts required to make these solar powered lights and are also trained on how to assemble them. The project ‘Liter of Light’ which has humble beginnings from illuminating houses of the poorer folks is now planning to expand towards lightening up entire villages and create cheap and public lighting system.