Gravity light concept (via Indigogo)


Sometimes people come up with an ingenious idea or an alternate way of redesigning things we might take for granted such as a generator that runs on bodily waste (Maker Faire Africa) or a cooking pot that generates electrical energy from heat (PowerPot). It’s along those lines that another pair of individuals has designed a way to light-up (literally) the lives of those who don’t have easy access to power with their device known as the GravityLight. Developed by two researchers (Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves) from, the GravityLight uses weight to power the devices LED lamp, which is generated using natural downward force. The light comes shipped with a fabric/polymer bag that can be filled with sand or rocks up to a total weight of about 20lbs, which is hung from a strap, situated below the light’s housing that’s connected to the devices internal gear structure. It takes only a few seconds to fit the bag in place, and it generates 30 minutes of light as the weight of the bag rotates a series of gears that translates the downward force into electrical energy. The light can be adjusted to give off a bright blinding illumination or soft glow and comes equipped with two terminals that allow the user to power or recharge other devices such as batteries or radios. Martin and Jim decided to fund the environmentally friendly GravityLight on Indiegogo (surpassing their initial goal of $55,000 US) as a way to provide their ingenious light to developing communities in Africa as part of challenge submitted by Solar Aid as an alternative to combustion-based fossil fuel lighting such as kerosene lamps. Biomass fuel used for indoor lighting has some serious side-effects on the health for those that use them and translates into smoking roughly two packs of cigarettes a day. This translates into a 60% increase in lung cancer for adult females in those developing communities who are non-smokers (estimates taken from a study conducted by the World Bank)! So not only will the GravityLight supply clean energy-efficient lighting, it will also undoubtedly help those who use them to remain healthy.