A Liter of Light redesigns solar lighting for the developing world using plastic bottles. The simple and cheap designs help to create local jobs and teach sustainable business skills.

A Liter of Light is a plastic bottle filled with water and a bit of bleach. Inserted through the roof, each solar bottle refracts sunlight with the intensity of a 55 watt light bulb. Using simple tools and basic carpentry skills, volunteers and local entrepreneurs can light up their communities. The night-time upgrade with a solar panel retails at around $10

These solutions have been built by grassroots entrepreneurs and women’s groups in the Philippines, and are now available around the world. Liter of Light has grown from one home in Laguna, Philippines, to 350,000 lights in 30 countries. In 2013, 370 grassroots solar entrepreneurs were trained in 20 months, with each entrepreneur servicing an average of 11,000 homes per year.

We want to reframe the way people think about solutions to climate change, not as a product of industrialized nations, but as a gift that developing countries can share with the rest of the world.

Illac Diaz – Executive Director, MyShelter Foundation.

Liter of Light is currently on a 100 day journey by boat to spread awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals with their Japanese partner, Peace Boat. They will be docking in 19 countries to host workshops and install their solar powered lights for communities in Asia, Africa, and South America. The journey seeks to engage the world in conversation across borders and build lasting solutions for energy poverty.

Why you should care

Over one billion people around the world suffer from lack of access to electricity, including 15 million people in the Philippines. Energy poverty can be alleviated by using local materials, easily replicable solutions, and livelihood-generating enterprises. Liter of Light helps households enjoy better lighting at a very low cost, whilst providing work for local solar entrepreneurs. This year A Liter of Light completed their first global trip around the world by boat. For 100 days they taught workshops about solar energy in ports in several different countries. 

How the Global Goals are addressed


Gender Equality

Women from low-income communities are trained to assemble locally sourced, sustainable and affordable solar products.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Liter of Light creates a 55 watt solar light powerful enough to light up a small home.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Discarded plastic bottles are reused and upcycled to create household lighting systems, helping to change consumption patterns.

Climate Action

Discarded plastic bottles are reused and upcycled to create household lighting systems, helping to change consumption patterns.