GravityLight: the cheaper alternative to electric light

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1.5 billion people, mostly in developing countries, resort to gas lamps for lighting. According to the World Bank, this practice is responsible for the poisoning of 800 million women and children who inhale the equivalent of 2 packs of cigarettes per day (60% of women who develop lung cancer are non-smokers in the third world countries).

Seeking a solution to this problem, two London designers, Martin Riddiford and Jim Teeves, have developed the GravityLight, a lamp capable of producing light with the help of gravity. No need of electricity or gas. Only a weighted stone or a sand bag of about 9 kg is enough to illuminate a room or charge a battery. All this is possible for  just 5 dollars.

The lamp is a white object in plastic , in which a bag containing a weight is attached and pulls down a cable which in turn actuates the mechanism creating enough energy to provide light in a room for thirty minutes. The apparatus may also serve as a generator capable of charging a battery or radio. The weight can be adjusted to create dimmer light which, in return, will last longer.

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Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves want to mass produce this lamp and keep the price 5 dollars per piece. At this price, the poorest in the world could save money on electricity already after three months of using this light, the designers state .

Before reaching this stage, the designers want to test its usability: they wants to produce and distribute free miles in Africa and India to ensure that the product withstands the environmental conditions, corresponds to the needs of the people and that it is user-friendly.

To produce the first thousand lamps, these two Englishmen, employed by the studio Therefore, raised funds through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The team overshot the objective. Beginning January 2013, 337,000 dollars had already been raised, which is 6 times more than the target specified at the outset.

Thanks to GravityLight, light is no longer a luxury…

FOCUS: official website



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