Although it seems like a basic need, not everyone in the world has access to electricity, making lighting and living somewhat difficult.
The GravityLight lamp is one device that was created to help solve this problem. It's an innovative product that operates entirely on (you guessed it) gravity. There's no need for a battery, sunlight, or another source of energy. All you need is a few rocks, and you're good to go. Consequently, it helps thousands of people around the world.
Recently, the company behind the GravityLight launched a new device known as NowLight.
The innovative and sustainable devices were invented by English engineers concerned about the lack of electricity, which affects 20% of the world population. In most cases, when people lack access to other sources of lighting, they use kerosene lamps to light their homes, which causes significant pollution and health problems. The World Bank estimates that 780 million women and children breathe kerosene fumes, which is equivalent to inhaling some 40 cigarettes a day.
The first device, GravityLight, was designed 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 starts falling very slowly on release.
The team describes how it works on their website, noting that, only the movement powers a drive sprocket, which rotates slowly with a high torque (force). From there, 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 ultimately generates just under a tenth of a watt, a deciwatt, to power an onboard LED and ancillary devices.
For the GravityLight, the weight 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.
With NowLigh, pulling the cord for one minute creates up to 2 hours of light or 15 minutes of talk time on a mobile phone.
Because it is designed for families in developing countries, the company is headquartered in Kenya, promoting job opportunities for locals during production and marketing. GravityLight's original crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo was 128% funded with $270,000 raised. And since then, the team has continued to bring a variety of innovative products like NowLight to individuals in need.