I have a bias towards solar gadgets, but this light powered by gravity (and a bit of initial muscle) looks like it could be a good addition to my kit.
We take light for granted – but for many millions of people it comes with a deadly payload. Kerosene lighting causes all sorts of respiratory problems and is responsible for many burns incidents. Kerosene combustion is also carbon intensive and responsible for hundreds of millions of tonnes of emissions each year.
Intended primarily for the developing world, the GravityLight helps address these problems plus a couple of the issues relating to solar lights; i.e. the need for batteries and of course, sunlight to charge them.
How GravityLight works
The light is installed in a reasonably high position. A tough perforated strip runs through the light. At one end of the strip is a 20 pound weight. The weight is lifted and released, which then drops very slowly – taking around 30 minutes. During this time, electricity is generated to power an LED light.
The device can also power/charge other devices such as torches and mobile phones.
The inventors have a campaign running to raise funding to get the device to mass-production stage. Chasing $55,000; they are already nearing the $39k mark with a bit over a month to go.
Initially, they’ll be able to crank out the lights for $10 a piece (target market price), which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s still around the amount a family in a developing nation would spend on kerosene over 3 months.
While after 3 months the family would be saving money, the challenge is being able to save enough to have what is to them a reasonably large sum up-front to invest. However, the inventors are quite certain they’ll be able to bring the price down to $5 as they hone GravityLight production processes.
While it doesn’t need batteries, a drawback I can see is it has moving parts and where there are moving components, there will likely be wear. I’m not dissing this gadget by any means, I think it’s brilliant.
If you’re hankering to be the first kid on the block with a GravityLight, you can acquire one through a buy one/give one pledge on their IndieGoGo page. If you would just like to see a GravityLight go to a needy family, there are pledge options for that as well. You can even play your part in helping this amazing device towards mass production by contributing just a few bucks.
In a world where there seems to be more bad news than good each day environmentally-speaking, products such as GravityLight provide a glimmer of hope.