GRAVITYLIGHT: A LIGHT FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD
GravityLight is a wonderfully inventive new device that generates light from gravity. This remarkable idea was conceived by inventors Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves, as a response to a challenge set by the charity SolarAid. The aim was to create an LED light for under $10 as an alternative to dangerous and inefficient kerosene lamps. To operate the light, the user has to lift a weighted bag which then slowly drops, setting off a a series of gears in motion. The gears convert the kinetic energy into electricity, which in turn powers the light for up to 28 minutes at a time.
The lumens/watt of the LED is in the region of 100 l/w. This means an output of 15 lumens on its highest setting, 10 on medium and around 5 on low. Large scale production is planned later in 2014, at which time wholesale costs per unit are predicted to be $6 – $7. A statement on the Deciwatt website declares “The impact will be beneficial for the social, health and economic situations of end users; the economic situation of local distributors and everyone on earth as replacing kerosene lamps with a product free of any fuel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce climate change.” The sheer ingenuity of this invention shows the immense environmental and social benefits of low energy lighting and proves that innovation is still alive and and well in lighting product design.