What a clever gadget and what a positive impact it’s having. The achievement of generating light without electricity or sunlight is something worth mentioning and Gravitylight deserves a big round of applause from our team.
The day everything is powered by clean energy hasn’t arrived yet, but progress made by people like those behind Gravitylight get us everyday closer to this goal.
The Gravitylight Foundation is a charity based in the UK which wants to eliminate the use of kerosene in communities without access to electricity, which is burned to generate light after dark (in these communities, a ridiculously high percentage of a household’s income is spent on kerosene, and therefore it becomes a poverty trap). After two years of hard work and research, they’ve managed to develop a lamp which sheds light with the aid of only gravity.
How does it work? The principle is quite simple: to transform the energy of a falling object into light. A bag with a certain weight is hanged from one of the extremes of a band which goes through the device and, as the bag slowly falls to the ground, generates energy with its movement. This energy is captured and transformed by the gadget’s mechanism, letting the light shine for half an hour in the dimmer setting. As the potential energy in a small falling object is not too much, the luminosity achieved in return is not huge, but the efficiency achieved seems to be quite impressive and the light is certainly enough to read and work in a pitch-dark shack. And you can use it as many times as you are willing to lift that weight back up again.
This technology is being installed in many remote African communities and the social, ecological and economical benefits have been huge. The bad news is that Gravitylight is not being sold to the general public and remains only as a charity. The only lucky ones to have one of these are those who participated in the Indiegogo campaign. If the product will be sold at retail remains a mystery, but it looks likely that one day it will be.
Regardless of the fact that we can’t acquire it yet, this device is worth mentioning and it’s worth spreading the word. This is precisely the kind of clean technology we need to develop and expand. The day everything is powered by clean energy hasn’t arrived yet, but progress made by people like those behind Gravitylight get us everyday closer to this goal.
Update (6/7/17): Gravitylight has been released to the public and part of the earnings are being used to bring lamps to communities in need.
To get your own lamp and support their cause, just click the link below. And don’t forget to share!