The Humble Moser Lamp – Innovation At It’s Best

Alfredo Moser is a Brazilian mechanic who in 2002 had his very own eureka moment – a humble yet amazing innovation. He developed a way of illuminating his house during the day without electricity using three things – plastic bottles, water and bleach.

How is this possible, you might ask?! Refraction is the answer – the bending of light caused by the change in its speed. The speed of light is determined by density of the substance through which it passes, so refraction occurs when light passes from one substance to another with a different density, for example, air to water.

To make his light, Moser fills an empty two-litre plastic bottle and adds a little bleach to prevent the water from turning green. To fit the light into a ceiling he makes a hole in the roof and then slides the bottle, bottom first, into the hole. He then fixes the bottle in place with polyester resin to prevent leakages when it rains.

The Moser Lamp works by bending the sunlight through the bottle of water and spreading light around the room. An engineer came to measure the light and discovered an output of 40 to 60 watts.

Moser was inspired to make the lamp during on of the Brazil’s frequent power cuts in 2002. “I didn’t make any drawings”, he says, “It’s a divine light. God gave the sun to everyone, and light is for everyone. Whoever wants it saves money. You can’t get an electric shock from it and it doesn’t cost a penny.” Moser has installed the bottle lamps in the houses of neighbours and friends, as well as the local supermarket.

So how much energy do the lamps save? Well, the plastic bottles are up-cycled in the local community, so no energy is needed to gather, shred, manufacture

and ship new bottles. The carbon footprint of the manufacture of one incandescent bulb is 0.45kg CO2. A 50 Watt light bulb running for 14 hours a day for a year has a carbon footprint of almost 200kg CO2. The Moser Lamps emits no CO2 whatsoever.

The lamp has been a ray of light in the town where Moser lives. “There was one man who installed the lights and within a month he had saved enough to pay for essential things for his child, who was about to be born. Can you imagine?” says Moser.

While we don’t have the Moser Lamp available at Love4Lighting, we do have a fantastic range of Outdoor Solar Lights to illuminate your garden and save energy. And if you love the idea of a Moser Lamp, there’s no reason why you can’t make one yourself!

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