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A safe alternative to kerosene lamps for off-grid communities

27 May 2015

GravityLight is an innovative off-grid light designed to eliminate dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps, used by over 1.3 billion people.

After encouraging global field trials, a new model of GravityLight is exclusively available through its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, where the team is raising funds to establish an assembly line in Kenya.

GravityLight doesn’t have any batteries nor need the sun - all you need is a weight. This means it’s a very promising solution for emergency relief and disaster preparedness too, as it can be stored for long periods of time and can be used any time, whatever the weather.

At the end of 2012, GravityLight ran their first, hugely successful Indiegogo campaign, raising seven times their original target. Boosted by a tweet of endorsement from Bill Gates and coverage from BBC to CNN, the inventors Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves have since been recognised with D&AD’s prized White and Black Pencils as well as accolades such as Foreign Policy’s ‘Global Thinkers’ and Time Magazines’s ‘Top 25 best inventions of 2013’.

Of the new GravityLight design, Jim Reeves says, “Through the invaluable feedback from our field trials we found out that over 90% of those using kerosene lamps for light, would use a GravityLight instead. We also gathered insights on what needed improving, which has led us to design GL02 – a brighter, easier to use, longer lasting model that we’re confident is a game changer.”

Rather as a pendulum clock is powered, GravityLight relies on the fall of a weight (in this case, around 12kg). The slowly falling weight powers a drive procket and polymer gear train, driving a dc generator that produces around a tenth of a Watt. There is an onboard LED, or 'SatLights' can be connected to the device to provide light in other parts of the room. And like a clock, once the weight has fallen to its lowest point, you simply raise it to start the cycle again.

For more information about GravityLight, click here.

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