Although it seems like a basic need, not everyone in the world has access to electricity, making lighting and other daily chores somewhat difficult. GravityLight lamp was created to help solve this problem since it is moved only by gravity, with no need for battery, sunlight or electricity to operate and consequently helping thousands of people around the world.
The innovative and sustainable device was invented by English engineers concerned about this problem that affects 20% of the world population, who are still using kerosene lamps to light their homes. The device was invented to be as simple as possible in order for the technology to reach a larger number of people. Driven by a pulley system, all the user needs to do is lift the 12kg weight - a bag of rocks or sand - which on release starts falling very slowly. According to their website, "this movement powers a drive sprocket, which rotates very slowly with high torque (force). A polymer geartrain running through the product turns this input into a high speed, low torque output that drives a DC generator at thousands of rotations per minute. This generates just under a tenth of a watt, a deciwatt, to power an onboard LED and ancillary devices." Each lift provides an average of 20-30 minutes of light depending on how high it was installed. And once it reaches the floor, simply lift the weight again to restart the process.
Because it is designed for families in developing countries, GravityLight is headquartered in Kenya, promoting job opportunities for locals during production and marketing. GravityLight's original crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo was 128% funded with US$270,000 raised.
In addition to being extremely economic, the lamp is also a safe investment since it replaces kerosene lamps which releases fumes that cause cancer and breathing problems. The World Bank estimates that 780 million women and children breathe kerosene fumes equivalent to inhaling 40 cigarettes a day.