GravityLight - Light For Developing Countries
Brain child of two designers from the UK, this innovative light source aims to bring free easy to use light sources to developing countries. Approximately 1.5 billion people are without access to mains electricity and as such they will rely on biomass fuels such as hydrocarbons to light their homes after dark and as we know all too well: hydrocarbons environmentally damaging and not infinite in their supply. The designers sought to avoid these problems by finding a new way to power lights and they came up with an ingenious solution: gravity. The light can be suspending from most anything you can tie a rope to and in order to turn it you all that is required is for you to lift up a bag of dirt or stones. The bag hangs on a cord which is pulled through a weight drive similar to a cuckoo clock as gravity works its magic on the sack. Their current design can provide light for up to 30 minutes from just the three seconds required to lift the bag of dirt.
It is hoped once their campaign takes off they will be able to mass produce the lights for a cost of $5 per unit which is a tiny one off amount compared to the high ongoing cost that is required for biomass fuel lamps.. These lights also hold an advantage over solar lights in that they do not require any expensive, limited use batteries and can be used in period of overcast weather or at night for long periods of time.