August 26, 2015


This Ingenious $20 Lamp Gets All Its Energy From Gravity (Ben Schiller, 8/25/15, Co.Exist)

It provides free light (after you've bought it). It's cheap. And it has none of the environmental or health side-effects as do other light alternatives in the developing world. But even all those things aren't necessarily enough if it's to reach its potential. If the company and foundation behind the device are to make it a success, they need a reliable product; they need to distribute it in places where distribution can be difficult; and, more fundamentally, they need to explain why someone should buy a GravityLight when there's plenty of good, cheap solar on the market today.

Thankfully the company seems to have most of the questions answered, as least so far.

The light has a gear-train and DC generator. As a heavy object pulls down on one side, it creates a force that's converted into electricity. The lamp can last for hours on a single lift to one side, and, of course, that lift is renewable: When one side drops to balance, you just hoist it up again. With a string of mini-lights attached, it can illuminate a small room. And, importantly, without the problems that come with kerosene lamps (fumes, fire), which are still widely used in off-grid places.

Posted by at August 26, 2015 2:35 PM

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