Author Topic: Soda Bottle Lighting  (Read 5372 times)

Davetech

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Soda Bottle Lighting
« on: July 26, 2009, 02:01:09 PM »
Crazy ideas, huh?    Okay, here's my contribution.

I stumbled on this YouTube vid:
   and decided to try it.

It works!  It works better than I expected! 


I mounted the bottles at different depths to see which one would put out more light.  The video says to cover the bottle caps with a light shield to prevent ultraviolet from breaking down the plastic. I haven't done that yet.



The bottle on the left appears to be transmitting more light to the interior. I made wire hangers from baleing wire that just hook over up at the roof and wrap under the bottles. It is so thin it is not noticeable. It, plus the tight fit of the 3 liter bottle, plus the silicon sealant combine to hold the bottle securely.

The 3 liter bottle needs a 5 inch hole and I happen to own a 5" metal cutting hole saw that I can use with a 1/2" drill. This was left over from the days when I had a car stereo repair shop and I installed speakers in car doors. It makes a perfect hole for 3 liter bottles.

Now, this idea seems to only work for roofs that have no attic beneath them (unless you want the lighting for your attic, which ain't a bad idea) but I have thought about combining the bottles with a "light tube" to transmit the light through the attic into an interior room.

Light tubes are expensive if you buy it from a home improvement center, but back when I first got interested in solar, I bought some mirror finish mylar on a roll from Worm's Way (online gardening supplies). I think a decent light tube can be made by lining the inside of a regular heating duct with the mylar. That's one of the projects I have on my back burner.

As it is, I tried the idea on a shed that used to house my lawn mower, then it was a small work shop, then it became a junk room. When I came in, even in the middle of the day, to find a particularly pretty piece of junk, I'd have to turn on the light to see well. With two bottles, and partial shade, there is still enough light coming in that I usually don't need to turn on a light. I still plan to add two more bottles but that would take me about an hour so I've put it off.  ;D





Gabriel

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 04:22:36 PM »
That is seriously cool. I had never heard of such a thing before either. Those things look like they really lit the place up in that video too. You can learn a lot from youtube it seems.  :)

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but the weather can get pretty frigid where I am. I guess I would need to add antifreeze or something if I were to try it.

I'm going to have to keep this trick in mind.


Gabriel


Jon

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 07:09:08 PM »
Looks like a good idea.  I wonder if "frosting" the "output" area of the bottle can produce a warm or more diffuse
type of light that would be good, maby created with sandblasting or sandpaper.

Davetech

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 07:26:03 PM »
>"I guess I would need to add antifreeze or something if I were to try it."

Yeah, Gabe, it freezes here in Ga too.   Isopropyl alcohol stays liquid down to -128 F. I don't know about if it is mixed with water but I'll bet we'd be covered.



>"I wonder if "frosting" the "output" area of the bottle can produce a warm or more diffuse
type of light that would be good..."

That is very perceptive, Jon.  As a matter of fact, the labels on the bottles are easy to remove ~except~ one area where they are glued. I got all the label off except for the glue and a white under layer and didn't feel like being a perfectionist and left it. That thin white paper is the brightest spot and seems to do the majority of the lighting. Lots of room for experimentation here... and I love the price of the materials.  :D


 

Davetech

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 12:06:44 PM »
Okay, it was nice and sunny most of today so I made the light tube I was talking about (took about 5 minutes) and I hauled it out to the shed and held it up over one of the soda bottle lights. I'd say it was a success!



The other bottle is stealing the tube's thunder a bit, but you can see there's a lot of light coming out the end of that tube!

I went to no great pains installing the mylar in the tube. I just spot hot-glued it a few places around the top rim and just let the rest of it hang down in the tube. From experience, I know that if I had tried to glue the whole mylar sheet, it would have had lots of wrinkles and lots of light would have been reflected back towards the opening. The mylar is happy to hang, nice and straight.

Next I guess I'll make some kind of white plastic diffuser to go on the bottom.

"Look Daddy! There's soda bottles sticking out of that man's roof!"   

"Yes, Son... that guy's a nut case. Stay away from him!"



Jon

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 07:47:32 PM »
Looks good.  It adds another dimension to the bottle of light.


Update:  I hate to be just a link tosser, but here is some related type info about
light diffusion and collection, might be useful to at least glance over, seems to be
for infrared (IR) alot.  I was trying to look up if adding salt into water can make the light
that enters it more diffuse or scatters the light alot in certain directions like a
incandescent lightbulb. It's not exactly what I was looking for.   Perhaps frosted glass
is the simple and cheap solution to basic light applications.   I think the author is the
same for both of the articles:

http://www.linux-host.org/energy/eradiant.htm
http://radiantpower.homestead.com/files/RadiantPower.HTML



« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 11:09:48 PM by Jon »

Gabriel

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 07:25:20 PM »
It sure looks bright in there. I am amazed at how well it works. Does it do much on a cloudy day?

Bob101

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Re: Soda Bottle Lighting
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 01:44:00 PM »
It's pretty awesome how much this seems to light up a room.

I best not let my co-tinkerer see this or our work space might start developing quite a lot of leaks...  ;D