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Light Powered by Gravity

There’s almost nothing better than  seeing someone come up with a simple design solution for a big problem. There are billions of people in the world without reliable access to electricity; at night, those folks light their homes the old fashioned way—with kerosene lamps. Unfortunately, the fuel is dangerous and expensive.

Fortunately, low-power LEDs are making new lighting alternatives possible. The GravityLight project, for instance, is raising funds via Indiegogo to mass produce a gravity-based light that uses a descending weight to power an LED bulb. The light comes in a fabric bag that can be filled with rocks or dirt and used as ballast to provide up to 30 minutes of light. (The unit can also power a radio or be used to recharge batteries.)

GravityLight would be less expensive to purchase and maintain than solar alternatives, which require costly hardware and rechargeable batteries for energy storage.

UK-based designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves have been working on the project for four years. GravityLight is a product of the deciwatt.org research initiative launched by their employer, therefore.com.

The light would cost $10 to purchase, with no ongoing operational costs. If the project reaches its funding goal, the developers claim they can get the price on the Version 2 model below $5.

Source: deciwatt.org


About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.

One comment

  1. That sounds awesome! It could be a sustainable solution for the people of the 3rd world, and of course for any people and situation without cable electricity. There are some really interesting inventions of Nikola Tesla, but unfortunately the most of his notes and researches are lost, he has also experimented with wireless electricity transmission, although Edison’s method has been built-in in the standards.