GravityLight: The LED Lamp Powered by Gravity

This clever invention is transforming the quality of life in remote, off-grid, or resource-poor communities. How? Through a light powered entirely by gravity, requiring neither electricity nor batteries.

Author Annalisa Dorigo, 09.13.17

Translation Annalisa Dorigo:

This clever invention is transforming the quality of life in remote, off-grid, or resource-poor communities. How? Through a light powered entirely by gravity, requiring neither electricity nor batteries.

Lack of electricity is an issue for an estimated 1.2 billion of people globally. Millions more people have only unreliable access to it. How to ensure a steady, clean and affordable supply of electricity for off-grid, remote and/or resource poor communities?

GravityLight does exactly what it says on the tin: it is an LED light powered entirely by gravity. The light is equipped with a cord attached to a load. The cord is manually pulled to lift the weight up. As the weight slowly descends towards the ground (it takes 20 minutes for it to drop 1.8 metres), the lift activates a gear mechanism that in turn drives the motor that powers the LEDs.

A few seconds is all that is needed to pull up the cord attached to the 12 kg weight (which however only feels like a three kg load): as the load descends, it creates some 20 minutes of light, after which the cords can be pulled up again to repeat the process. Sand or rocks can be used to make up the necessary load.

Ok, so it may not be the uninterrupted light at the single press of a button some of us are accustomed to, but for places lacking electricity infrastructure or resources, GravityLight offers a very low-cost and practical solution to generate light instantly. It costs 25 USD to purchase, requires no batteries, nor power sources (whether renewable or not), and costs absolutely nothing to run. Genius!

Gravity, not Kerosene: Cleaner, Safer, More Affordable

It is not just cheaper, but also safer and cleaner than its kerosene counterparts often in use in off-grid communities where indoor air-pollution and cataracts are only some of the effects of kerosene lamps’ use. Also, GravityLight produces a light five times brighter than that produced by a typical open-wick kerosene lamp. And, through a DC jack available at the back of its body, the electricity generated can also be used to power other devices, such as radios. 

But GravityLight is about much more than bringing light to off-grid communities: by working with local partners and with local people, who assemble and sell the light, it also supports and develops the local job market within those very communities.

To find out more, head to their website, and check out the video below:

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