EarthTechling has featured LED lights powered by solar energy, wind energy, and even human energy. But each of these has obvious limitations–sometimes there’s no direct sunlight, the wind won’t blow, or you don’t feel like cranking on a handle.
None of these common issues affects the brilliance of the GravityLight. Hot off a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, the designers of this LED light hope to help those in the developing world reduce reliance on dangerous kerosene lamps and open flames. Simply, pull down on the light’s weight cord, and let gravity to the rest.
This unique gadget works a little bit like an old grandfather clock. Pull down on one end of a continuous cord, to lift the weight (provided by a bag) on the other end. As the bag slowly descends, gears convert the weight into energy — providing up to 30 minutes of light, depending on the weight of the bag. There are also settings to provide brighter light for a shorter period.
And that’s it. There are no panels to attach, no batteries needed for power storage. Just a 3 second pull of the cord to create free, bright light for 10 times as long.
Although the GravityLight was developed to assist those living without electricity in the developing world, it can come in handy just about anywhere. Imagine never changing the light bulb for your porch or garage light ever again. Or finally being able to poke around in your dark attic without holding a flashlight in your mouth. It’s also perfect for off-grid cabins, RVs, or camping excursions.
The designers of GravityLight set out to gather a mere $55,000 in funding on Indiegogo, and ended up raising nearly $400,000! The technology is currently in the field testing phase, and will start shipping out to market not long after.
“One thousand lights will be sent predominantly to Asia and Africa for testing in the coming months. The remaining units will be distributed to those who helped crowd-fund the GravityLight trial. These contributors will also be feeding back on the performance of the product,” co-designer Jim Reeves, associate director at Therefore Product Design in London, tells SciDev.Net.*