To shed a little light in a garage or a homemade fort consider creating a DIY solar bottle bulb. This bulb should not be used inside a permanent structure as it can cause permanent damage to the roof as well as invite outdoor elements into the home. However, for adding light to a temporary structure or a playhouse for kids, a solar bottle bulb can be easily fashioned.

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Determine Placement

  1. 1
    Decide which area of the home/room will be the best place to add the bottle bulb. Consider where the majority of the living is done and/or where you need a light source the most.
  2. 2
    Identify any vulnerable areas inside the structure where puncturing the ceiling could cause structural issues. Either refer to the blueprint or walk through the home and evaluate which areas cannot be compromised.
  3. 3
    Consider if you can install multiple solar bottle bulbs. Typically bulbs will be created from either 2 liter (0.5 US gal) or 8 ounce clear, plastic empty soda bottles so evaluate your space first.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Get Supplies

  1. Remove the label and thoroughly wash the inside and outside of the bottle. Keep the bottle cap.
  2. The water acts to scatter the light, and the bleach prevents algae from growing inside the bottle.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Design Your Solar Bottle Bulb

  1. Don't overfill as you will need to add bleach.[1]
  2. Allow the bleach to permeate through the distilled water without shaking the bottle.[2]
  3. Make sure you add a liberal amount of sealant in order to avoid having rain or other outside elements escape through the hole.
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Community Q&A

  • Question
    This has not worked for me. Can you clarify how much bleach is needed?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    The bleach is only used to prevent the green stuff (algae) from growing, so it should work on that particular problem.
  • Question
    Why do we use bleach in making solar bulbs?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    To avoid any algae building up in the bottle, which keeps the water clear to maximize light.
  • Question
    What is the chemical name for bleach?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    It is called sodium hypochlorite or NaClO, composed of one sodium (Na) atom, one chlorine (Cl) atom and one oxygen (O) atom.

About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 16 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 236,756 times.
52 votes - 81%
Co-authors: 16
Updated: October 20, 2020
Views: 236,756
Article SummaryX

To construct a solar bottle bulb, you'll first need to find an empty plastic soda bottle, a gallon of distilled water, a gallon of bleach, some household sealant, and some sheet metal. Once you've acquired all your materials, cut a hole in the sheet metal and slide the bottle through. Then, fill the bottle with distilled water, and top it off with about 3 tablespoons of bleach. Finally, affix the bottle to the sheet metal with sealant. For more tips, like how to attach your new bulb to walls or ceilings, read on!

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