GravityLight: the gravity-powered lamp aiming to light the developing world for less
After a successful Indiegogo campaign, the GravityLight is now being mass produced
Thursday 05 December 2013
The team of designers behind a light that is powered purely by the force of gravity have finally put their creation into production.
Deciwatt, the group behind the light, says the invention will "provide affordable, sustainable and reliable light, anytime, that enables people to break free from the economic, health and environmental hazards of kerosene lamps.”
This mission began when Deciwatt, founded by inventors Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves, was challenged by the charity SolarAid to design a new LED lantern for Africa as an alternative to the “ubiquitous and damaging” kerosene lamp. The challenge was undertaken, but as time progressed, the team came up with what they believed was even better than an LED light: a light that is powered solely by the force of gravity.
The light they developed came to be known, understandably, as the GravityLight. The GravityLight consists of an electricity-generating device and a bag which is hung below it. The bag is filled with around 10kg of material – which can be anything from rocks to sand – and is lifted up towards the device. The bag then slowly descends due to gravity and, as it does so, gears inside the generator are turned, translating this movement into light energy.
The entire GravityLight apparatus, with the main light module on top, and the bag for the weight beneath.
The GravityLight can generate enough energy for up to 30 minutes of continuous light, and can be used over and over again, whenever, wherever. And although the initial price of the light was set at around $10 (no small fee for the impoverished areas in which it will used most), after three months of use, the GravityLight will have recouped the equivalent cost of running a kerosene lamp for the same period.
Deciwatt also claim that the GravityLight has a superior light the majority of kerosene lamps used by those without electricity and is “more sustainable, safe and healthy.”
After a risk of the project being derailed before it had really even begun due to lack of funding, Deciwatt took their campaign to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. An initial target of $55,000 was set at the end of 2012 and within 40 days, more than seven times this amount had been pledged, bringing the final amount of funding up to $399,650.
By October this year, the production of the GravityLight was underway, and at the end of last month, Deciwatt announced that the Indiegogo pledgee’s GravityLights would be shipped to arrive from late December 2013 to early February 2014.
Deciwatt plans to produce a comprehensive report on the trials of the GravityLight early next year.
Life & Style blogs
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
PTSD photo series documents what the disorder is really like – as study reveals suicides of 22 US veterans every day
The distress of some Zayn Malik fans is real, and they need support, say experts
Eating quinoa and whole grains every day could help you live longer
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...
£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...
£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...