Solar Soda Lights
Solar Soda Lights
Solar soda lights are made from repurposed plastic soda cups and a solar module. Various designs were created that are cut out of the cups creating a modern and green approach to solar lighting. The translucent properties of the plastic illuminates all night long with a 2-3 hour daytime charge.
We see a lot of soda bottles reuse projects, but these are actually beautiful! A wonderful project for families to work on together, too. Simple, creative, and attractive reuse – very accessible. It's also well explained so that parents and kids could successfully make their own.
Solar Soda Lights
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
Millions of plastic soda cups are used and thrown away each day around the world. I wondered if the ubiquitous plastic cups used at fast food places could be transformed and repurposed as solar light fixtures. Would they illuminate well? How could the cups transform into a variety of different shapes? Could they be functional as well as sculptural?
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
My 11 year old daughter and my wife enjoy fountain sodas from time to time, so there are always these large plastic cups laying around the house. In fact we had a big stack that I was going to throw away but then I thought about the design possibilities. I wanted to design something that would reuse the cup in a fun and functional way.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
I see the Solar Soda Cups as a novel approach to reusing a mass marketed product. I can imagine creating a campaign with any of the fast food companies that could use the green concept of the solar light and using printing that evokes a green message as well as relates to a new design/new attitude towards the soda cup. A website is being developed that would talk about solar lighting and share design ideas with the wide audience that uses plastic cups.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
I've been testing the lumen output as well as the durability, and longevity of the solar soda lights. The light output is remarkable. The two types of plastic that are used for the cups are highly translucent making for a material that actually becomes self illuminating, making the entire surface glow with light.
The type of solar module that is incorporated in the design uses a rechargeable 2/3 AA battery that can be replaced.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
All of your above words seem to fit my project perfectly. A transformation takes place when a normal, overlooked product can be redeemed by adapting the design to repurpose the object.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?
I believe the designs of the cups will keep evolving with kids and adults providing new ideas on how to illuminate their ideas.