What if I told you there is a light on the market powered by a bag of rocks (or sand or anything of mass that fits)? As the bag descends it activates a generator through a gearbox which provides direct electrical power for a single LED. Not only that, up to 4 lights can be connected to the main unit and are powered by that same bag of dirt. GravityLight sustainable lighting power is determined by the weight of bag filler. And aside from a noble mission to provide lighting to those that don’t have safe or economic access to it, GravityLight is a clever off-grid, non-solar, emergency light for people in the first world as well.
GravityLight Sustainable Lighting
The product was developed by Central London based product design group Therefore after being approached by Solar Aid, an international charity whose mission is to combat poverty and climate change by providing access to kerosene alternative lighting. The challenge: more than 1.2 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity. Homemade toxic emitting kerosene lamps have been the only solution for many families who do not have access to electricity.
Aside from the very real indoor pollution health hazard it creates, kerosene uses up 15% of the family income. Because it is a poor source of light, children are unable study at night. Not only that, kerosene lighting accounts for 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Basically, kerosene is a poor solution that causes more problems than it solves. Here’s an early video:
How it Works
GravityLight uses an elevated weight filled with rocks or sand attached to a pulley system which utilizes kinetic and potential energy to power its internal generator as the weight descends. It is a brilliant sustainable solution with multiple applications. Through the GravityLight foundation, the light has been introduced to 50 communities in Kenya. The organization’s aim is to reach 1.2 billion people living without electricity by setting up shop in the communities it serves. From manufacturing to distribution, the goal is to create local jobs in the communities that will use GravityLight, making it a sustainable and scalable solution.
For some mind-blowing stats and information about the problems this product intends to solve, check out this TEDx talk:
Available for One and All
Anyone can purchase GravityLight through partner company Deciwatt. Not only will you be buying a great off grid or emergency lighting solution for your personal needs, some of the proceeds go into the GravityLight Foundation to support its efforts in developing, manufacturing and distributing GravityLight in the communities that need it most.
You can “pick up” a GravityLight GL02 self powered LED lamp for around $80: