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

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 and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Liverpool - up to £28,000

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...

    Recruitment Genius: Salesforce Developer

    £50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss