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Bleach lighting for sheds?

 
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I really like the idea of bleach lighting. I would love to use these to light the outer edges of our sheds. Any one do this?

I’m thinking out loud here, just brainstorming. I really haven’t researched or looked at this in depth at all.

Do you use bleach lighting? Where? Pluses or minuses?

Is there a thread I can read which would address this?

TIA
 
pollinator
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What is "bleach lighting"? It's not a term I'm familiar with.
 
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the basic idea is to drill a hole in the roof of your shed and stick a water bottle in it.  The water bottle is filled with water and a little bleach to stop algae growth.  When the sun hits it, it lights up to a pretty amazing degree.  Obviously only useful when the sun is out, but it works great for row roofs in really poor areas that don't get any light, or like Jennie mentioned, for sheds or buildings you use during the day but may not have windows.

I found an article about it here:  Free light from water bottle

One problem that concerns me.  This was developed in Brazil.  In the winter here, you would have to empty the bottle somehow, or remove it and be left with a hole in your roof.  
 
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Trace,

That’s kinda ingenious!  Simple, effective passive lighting!

I am wondering if there is s way to enhance the lighting effect, such as having a bottle on top as well as on the bottom?  Maybe have some reflective roof covering to reflect light in the appropriate direction?

Great idea!

Eric
 
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My grandfather nearly burned his house down with a big glass bottle filled with water. The magnifying lens effect lit the carpet of a solarium on fire.

Probably not easy to do.. but does make me wonder.
 
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I've seen the bottle in the roof idea in an african video (on a completely different subject) and my wife and I were both amazed at the cleverness and effectiveness of the idea.

The old wooden sailing ships were dark below deck.  I've seen these pyramidal shaped pieces of glass that I was told served a similar purpose on the old ships.  (shaped for the purpose that would fit in a hole in the deck to bring light below deck.  The flat part was level with the deck, the pyramid part jutted out below, just like the bottles in the roof do.  I don't know if they worked as well as the bottles.  I would see this as a benefit if I have a simple slanted tin roof.  Any small leaks may well follow the roof down to a point where you have a yarn hanging to take the water to a plant or bucket.

Maybe you could use a big piece of plastic or glass that was incorporated in the roof might have a similar effect.   A thicker, insulated roof could require a constructed fluid container with a glass or clear plastic light gathering area extending above the roof  with a clear, refracting surface below.  (Might need multiple vertical layers with different refractive indexes to guide the light inward and down and away from the edges, then direct it out towards the edges).  

I hate to pierce a roof though, seems to me you are just creating a weak point, more prone to leaks than the rest of the roof.  


If you live in cold country,  it may freeze, but it should still conduct light, although maybe reduced.  You could add alcohol to it if you're in  marginal area.

 
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Mick, that was my initial thought as well - hate to punch a hole in a perfectly good roof (unless it is leaky anyway, which might be the case in a dark old shed).  I suppose you could tack/roofers adhesive a plastic cover over it, say the bottom of a 2 liter bottle turned upside down?
 
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Why not do what farmers do though and just put in some acrylic sheets that match the corrugation of the roof? This gives you huge light panels instead of a 40 watt bulb, and is water proof.

The water bottle idea would not work in the winter in cold climates because they would freeze, and ice does not freeze clear under normal circumstances. Another issue in norther climates would be the bottles sticking through the surface of the roof, they would also catch the sliding snow and thus rip the bottles out.

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Travis Johnson wrote:Why not do what farmers do though and just put in some acrylic sheets that match the corrugation of the roof? This gives you huge light panels instead of a 40 watt bulb, and is water proof.

The water bottle idea would not work in the winter in cold climates because they would freeze, and ice does not freeze clear under normal circumstances. Another issue in norther climates would be the bottles sticking through the surface of the roof, they would also catch the sliding snow and thus rip the bottles out.



Yep.  Rather than saw a hole in a perfectly good roof, some decent acrylic panels make a lot more sense.  
 
Trace Oswald
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I think the idea is that these people can barely afford anything, let alone acrylic sheets.  They can get light into their homes for nearly free by using an empty soda bottle.  This invention isn't likely to take a first world country by storm.  It can however, bring light to people that live in windowless shacks in places where they can't get or afford electricity.
 
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The idea of the bottles puts me in mind of glass deck lights, prisms set into ships decks to capture and transmit light below deck. My interest is mainly towards DIY light pipes.

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glass deck light
glass deck light
 
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None of these option can increase the light collected by the area of the collector. A bottle cross-section is too small to really let much light in, and Travis's suggestion would let much more light in. I've seen this bottle light idea go round the interwebs for years, and I really can't understand why the rich world thinks this would be such a great idea for the world's poorest, who live in shacks without windows, in such insecure conditions they can't leave the door open during the daytime when they are inside. I don't get it.
 
Travis Johnson
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Trace Oswald wrote:I think the idea is that these people can barely afford anything, let alone acrylic sheets.  They can get light into their homes for nearly free by using an empty soda bottle.  This invention isn't likely to take a first world country by storm.  It can however, bring light to people that live in windowless shacks in places where they can't get or afford electricity.



For the same cost in silicone to help seal these bottles into their roofs, they could buy (1) acrylic sheet and have 200 times more light. They are $10 per sheet which is 20 square feet. Even if a person cut them into 1 foot squares they would have more light then bleach lights...and no silicone needed. (And I am being generous here, I am assuming they found the water bottles and did not buy them, and likewise borrowed the drill and drill bit to cut the hole in the roof from a neighbor).

I am with Rebecca on this, it is an interesting phenomenon, but it is not very practical. It is ONE WAY to accomplish free interior daytime lighting, but it is not the BEST WAY.

This could possibly be investigated though so that maybe something reflective could be put in the water to help amplify light, or a special bottle made like a Fresnel lens to reflect light where needed, or some sort of light glow medium so the bottles could give off light after the sun goes down. I do not have the answers, but as is, it does not solve any problem.
 
Trace Oswald
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I don't know how much a sheet of acrylic costs in a third world country ghetto, or whether you can buy one at all.  I'm not sure if the numbers in the article are correct, so I don't know if 1,000,000 people are actually using these lights.  According to the article, 140,000 of them have been installed in the Philippines alone.  It sounds like the people using them are pretty excited about it.  From that, I think one of two conclusions can be drawn.  Either 1) the lights are working well for the people there and they can make them cheaply enough they think it's worth it, or 2) none of the people in any of the 16 countries that have adopted the idea have figured out they could just use acrylic sheets instead.  Either way, I found it an interesting idea.
 
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I always thought the point was to let in light but not create a solar gain problem.
I'm not so certain that acrylic sheet is available in these places even if it would be affordable.
For any flat roof,  you could easily cut a 6"x6" sheet of PET plastic from a 2 litter bottle, for what it's worth.
A hole sized to a 16 oz soda bottle is more secure than a bigger hole covered in acrylic.

For a DIY light pipe,  I wonder if mirror paint could be applied to the inside of a bottle or tube.

To avoid piercing the roof,  put it through the wall, right  under the eves.
 
James Whitelaw
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William, I thought of paint inside a tube but realized Mylar is an inexpensive, flexible mirror surface that could be fixed in a tube. You point about the roof is good and having the light reflect into the structure using a mirror, like those cardboard periscopes they would have at events.
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