This Ingenious $20 Lamp will get All Its power From Gravity

Three years ago, GravityLight raised a ton of cash thru crowdfunding. Then it was once time to in fact make it work.

August 24, 2015

The ingenious GravityLight—a light that gets all its power from its own weight—first seemed about three years ago. We wrote about it because it used to be launching on Indiegogo and went on to lift $399,590.

It provides free light (after you may have offered it). it can be low cost. And it has none of the environmental or well being aspect-effects as do other light possible choices in the developing world. however even all these issues are not essentially sufficient if it is to succeed in its possible. If the corporate and groundwork at the back of the instrument are to make it a hit, they need a dependable product; they wish to distribute it in places the place distribution can be difficult; and, more fundamentally, they want to explain why someone will have to purchase a GravityLight when there’s lots of excellent, low cost sunlight in the marketplace nowadays.

fortunately the company seems to have most of the questions answered, as least so far.

the light has a equipment-train and DC generator. As a heavy object pulls down on one facet, it creates a drive which is transformed into electricity. The lamp can last for hours on a single raise to one aspect, and, in fact, that raise is renewable: When one side drops to balance, you simply hoist it up again. With a string of mini-lights connected, it could illuminate a small room. And, importantly, with out the issues that include kerosene lamps (fumes, hearth), which might be nonetheless widely utilized in off-grid places.

After the primary campaign, GravityLight sent the instrument to firms and people in 26 nations. They examined it and suggested back about what they liked and did not—comments which is now been integrated right into a version two. kids it sounds as if appreciated swinging on it, which means it may possibly smash, and a few families complained that lifting 22 pounds was too much for them. the brand new version, which launches next spring, has a far better plastic housing, and a brand new pulley machine that effectively reduces the burden via three-quarters. It additionally comes with auxiliary mini-lights, or “SatLights,” that may be extended in collection.

“The SatLights have truly revolutionized the experience,” says industrial director Caroline Angus. “Now anyone can also be reading whereas someone else is cooking, relatively than there simply being this one light on that one person, or a slim part of the room.”

With the proceeds from a 2nd Indiegogo campaign, GravityLight is now putting in an assembly line in Kenya. The lamp will cost $20 and be distributed thru door-to-door (Avon girl-sort) networks, farmer teams, and more conventional market stalls.

Angus sees a wide range of people shopping for the product, from families who currently use kerosene lamps, to individuals who have have grid energy but are afraid of blackouts. “it can be everyone from individuals on $2 a day to the slightly more affluent who’re just conscious of the following power reduce as a result of perhaps they have not already charged a sun gentle,” she says. The GravityLight is more dependable than a solar lamp, she says. it’s on-demand, whereas solar power relies on the climate, or your foresight in charging up a battery ahead of time.

It surely appears like GravityLight has answers to the large questions. but, it can be nonetheless early days, and we won’t comprehend needless to say until the brand new product hits the streets next yr.

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[All photographs: by way of GravityLight]

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