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DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

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  • DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

    http://lifehacker.com/5195641/diy-no...yline=true&s=i

    Originally posted by Lifehacker
    Got a shed or garage you like to tinker in during the day and want to save a little cash on the cost of lighting it? Polish off your a few two-liters and let's DIY.
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zMAWztZ6TI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Flifehacker.c om%2F5195641%2Fdiy-no%2Belectricity-lighting-from-2%2Bliter-bottles%3Fskyline%3Dtrue%26s%3Di&feature=player_em bedded[/media]

    From what I understand, the water basically refracts the sunlight and sends its rays in various directions thus doing a better job of light a room than just a normal skylight can.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

  • #2
    Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

    That is really really cool! I wish I had somewhere that I could do this.


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    • #3
      Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

      You're exactly right in your assumption Acreo, the bottles function like a prism and refract natural light in every direction.

      Also, for anyone who was wondering why you would add bleach to the water before sealing the bottles: bacteria. If the bottle has been exposed to open air for any period of time, or if you're using tap water, or any of a number of other circumstances, the water will have bacteria in it, which will grow and bloom in the sunlight. The 2 capfuls of bleach kills all that so that the bottles would never have to be emptied and cleaned (so long as the plastic holds up).

      I also did a bit of digging at work on the university internet and found something very interesting in relation: internal solar power. Apparently someone in boulder who saw this had an idea: convert his garage into a solar farm. So what he did was put approximately 200 of these bottle-lights in his garage roof and lined the rest of the roof with solar panels. He then lined the interior of his garage with solar panels, effectively quadrupling the amount of solar energy he can harness with just the panels on the roof.

      From what he was saying in the article, the only tradeoff he has is that he has to park his car in the driveway, but at the same time, he hasnt had an electric bill over 10 dollars since he started it (and the 10 dollars was just his service fee and taxes). He also actually sells electricity back to the local electric company, Xcel, and makes more than the 10 bucks. So effectively, the electric company is PAYING him every month instead of vice-versa.

      The only real caveat that I can see is that you would want to make sure to do this in a detached structure from your house, because I know from firsthand experience that solar panels generate a LOT of heat and would probably cause your air conditioning to be in overdrive most of the time if you did it with an attached garage or room. Although, and I can think of several engineering possibilities for doing so, this would also provide you with cheap heat for your home in the winter on days that its sunny and cold. Could actually be done with underground insulated ducting, an air flow control flap and a fan with an on/off switch inside the main house.

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      • #4
        Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

        Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
        ...I know from firsthand experience that solar panels generate a LOT of heat...
        I don't think there are any solar panels that generate heat. They collect it from sunlight, but they don't generate heat. At least none of the ones I've been around have done that, nor have I heard of any designed to do that. T'would be counter productive to do so...
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        • #5
          Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

          This works in places like Brazil because they have no insulation layer on their roof or ceiling. In the US and Canada the R factor is important and homes need to meet certain minimum standards, so unless you have a much longer water tube this won't work in most places and, to top it off, in the winter it would freeze, possibly damaging your roof or bursting the bottle.

          Very neat and ingenious idea, though. I love it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

            Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
            I don't think there are any solar panels that generate heat. They collect it from sunlight, but they don't generate heat. At least none of the ones I've been around have done that, nor have I heard of any designed to do that. T'would be counter productive to do so...
            When I said generate heat, I didnt mean to say that they turn energy into heat. More along the lines of the sun hitting asphalt and turning it into a hot plate. Solar panels do much the same thing as a residual effect (having nothing to do with their energy harnessing capabilities), and I've got the burn scars to prove it :D

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

              Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
              When I said generate heat, I didnt mean to say that they turn energy into heat. More along the lines of the sun hitting asphalt and turning it into a hot plate. Solar panels do much the same thing as a residual effect (having nothing to do with their energy harnessing capabilities), and I've got the burn scars to prove it :D
              Hmm, maybe they could put a heatsink on the bottom of each panel to help disapate heat build-up? Though without airflow, I guess it wouldn't work very well.

              I can't think of where I might use 2-liter bottle lighting since we've got bulbs in every dark nook in the house and garage and portable lighting for other areas (like the crawl space between the floors...which almost never see the light of day). Thought it might be nice for those of you who have a shack or something out back and wanted some cheap lighting solution. :)
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

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              • #8
                Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

                Originally posted by Lusitano Louco View Post
                This works in places like Brazil because they have no insulation layer on their roof or ceiling. In the US and Canada the R factor is important and homes need to meet certain minimum standards, so unless you have a much longer water tube this won't work in most places and, to top it off, in the winter it would freeze, possibly damaging your roof or bursting the bottle.

                Very neat and ingenious idea, though. I love it.
                I was thinking fiber optics.
                USAR

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                • #9
                  Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

                  line them with thermo-couples and convert that heat to electricity as well.
                  |TG| RoadWarrior

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                  • #10
                    Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

                    Originally posted by Iceberg View Post
                    I was thinking fiber optics.
                    I like the way you're thinking but isn't fiber optics still prohibitively expensive?

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                    • #11
                      Re: DIY - Lighting from 2-liter Bottles

                      I saw something similar carried at Costco:

                      http://www.sun-tek.com/Tube.htm
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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