Gravity-powered light aids Africa's poor
A luminaire which harnesses gravity to produce light has been designed in the UK for use in developing countries.
Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford, directors at product design consultancy Therefore, were challenged to design an LED lantern for Africa but said they ended up designing a ‘radical new form of lighting’, which could remove the population’s reliance on harmful kerosene lamps.
The GravityLight is designed with a durable fabric bag, filled with rock, sand or earth. “The weight is lifted into a position where it can slowly drop to the floor, thereby generating the energy, according to Riddiford and Reeves, to power the light for 30 minutes. The off-grid light is adjustable, meaning the intensity can be changed from a gentle glow to a bright light.
The light will cost villagers in Africa just $10 (£6.21) and with increased funding for research and development, Reeves and Riddiford are aiming to reduce this to $5 (£3.10).
Although currently in the relatively early stages of development, GravityLight’s makers hope to refine the product after research is carried out into how the lamp is used on a daily basis.