What does it take to light up a village without electricity? Some sunlight, an old plastic bottle, purified water, and chlorine-based bleach. Thanks to Brazilian mechanic Alfred Moser, this formula is all it takes to create a 55-watt solar bulb that refracts sunlight. With proper installation – sticking through individuals’ roofs – the plastic bottle solution can last a full 5 years.

Through the “Liter of Light” movement, over 28,000 homes and 70,000 people in Manila, Philippines, now enjoy the benefit of light. Without having to pay an electricity bill. This is not a perfect solution: As the “bulb” fully relies on the sun, it only works during daylight hours. Instead of lighting homes up at night, it lights up people’s windowless houses during the day. Another problem is finding a cost-effective and weather-proof glue that will securely fasten the bottle to the roof. Nonetheless, this economically and ecologically sustainable solution is the ultimate hack.

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