A Clever Lamp That Requires No Batteries, Outlets Or Sun

A Clever Lamp That Requires No Batteries, Outlets, or Sun

About a billion people live without electricity, and they often turn to kerosene lamps: ultra dangerous, carcinogen-spouting, open flames that could turn homes into tinderboxes. So a new Indiegogo campaign's out to provide safe, reusable lights that need zero outside energy sources.

It's called GravityLight, and it's kind of like those hand crank-powered camp lanterns you see at Bed Bath & Beyond, but instead of 10 minutes of manual cranking, the light is powered by gravity.

It looks kind of like a pulley hanging from the ceiling. You lift an 11kg weight (rocks, sand, whatever) by pulling down on a beaded cord. After the weight has reached the top and you let go, it slowly descends, powering a drive sprocket and gear train that lights an LED. Once the bag hits the floor, you repeat the process. The light lasts 20 to 30 minutes each cycle.

A Clever Lamp That Requires No Batteries, Outlets, or Sun

On top of being fuming death traps, kerosene lamps are a cash suck: The GravityLight team says they can consume up to 30 per cent of a family's income. GravityLight, on the other hand, costs less than 10 bucks. The campaign is specifically targeting families in developing countries who don't have access to electricity, with special attention to Kenya, where they hope the product can create jobs for people who can manufacture and sell the lights.

The Indiegogo campaign's closing in on about half of its $US199,000 goal and has a month to go. This current project is actually for the second version of the light. Last year, the team got a trial batch of the lamp funded, which was tested in nearly 30 countries. This time around, the light is brighter, easier to use, longer lasting, and stays lit while being charged.

Gravity for good is a force we can get behind.

Picture: GravityLight 2 Indiegogo page



    Not only useful in Africa but anywhere you want to be off the grid. Power companies wont be happy about this invention

      Power companies probably aren't that bothered as this is specifically for the 3rd world targeted at areas of people that have no electricity.

      Those in wealthy countries who want to go off the grid may also want to power other things besides lights, and for them there are other technologies like solar & fuel cells.

    Depending on the length of (rope), and the task performing (how much light you need?), attach a secondary light to the weight so that at half time the other light gets closer, making things brighter again.

      I think the pully is for the weight only, and the light itself is stationary.

    put an 11kg weight on the other side so that when the first 11kg weight reaches the ground then the second 11kg weight is at the top and ready to repeat the cycle.

    free energy!

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