In Minimalism, Money

Solar Light Bulbs: A frugal 55-watt light bulb?

light-bulbs-roof-cheap-water-bleach-inside light-bulbs-roof-cheap-water-bleach light-sun-water-refraction-bleach-bottle-roof-interesting-frugal

The cheap, solar-powered bulbs are actually just clear plastic soda bottles filled with a mixture of purified water and chlorine or bleach which is commonly used in household cleaning products.

Each bottle is then inserted halfway into a hole made on the roof of a house, and sealant is applied to prevent leaks and the end result gives the impression of a small, plastic chimney.

The bulb gives off light equivalent to a 55-watt electric lamp as the water inside the bottle refracts sunlight and other exterior light.


Impractical for Canada (snow? ice? polar bears?), but an interesting idea for a cheap lightbulb during the day in such homes.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Posted on May 8, 2014

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  1. MelD

    Note to self: should research before commenting!

    The link is

  2. MelD

    I saw this a couple of years ago and thought it was brilliant.

    Also the idea developed by some Swiss students to use PET bottles to disinfect water: it is just laid in the sun for a certain time and something like 90% or more of the germs are destroyed by sunlight. I think they now found that it’s even better if part of the bottle is painted black. Must find out a good link for it, sorry. I just think using a waste product usefully is so clever…

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      THANK YOU! What a great link and idea.

  3. MattNY

    Nice idea, at least temporarily. After a while the UV in the sunlight degrades the plastic, and you end up with water and bleach bombs falling all over your stuff.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Still it’s a cheap way for poorer countries.


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