Electricity is a provision that is so readily available to us that we tend to forget that there is a vast majority in this world that has no access to it. This deprivation of electricity leaves billions of people to rely on such things as kerosene lamps for the provision of light in order for them to cook, work and study. Engineers based in the UK have revealed a device named GravityLight that is powered by force of gravity and requires no batteries, electricity or sunlight.
It is very easy to set up since the entire setup resembles a pulley. The user simply needs to add 12 kilograms of weight to each end and lift up the weight as they pull down on a lamp attached on the other end. With the help of gravity, the weight gradually falls to the floor and changes potential energy into kinetic energy during the fall. This transformed energy is used to power polymer gear train and drive sprocket which in turn lights up the LED. As soon as the weight hits the floor, the light goes out which prompts the user to repeat the entire process.
Each time the weight is pulled, users are able to enjoy up to 30 minutes of light which directly depends on how high they lift the weight. The team of engineers behind this project is crowd funding another variant of GravityLight on Indiegogo. It hopes to raise $199,000 with the aim of making the light brighter and longer lasting. Reports suggest that the light will set users back by merely $10. As one would imagine, this is significantly cheaper compared to kerosene lamps and do not present any fire hazards.
All in all, GravityLight is aimed at families based in developing countries. Its main focus is on countries like Kenya where the team hopes to create jobs by selling these lights. The most significant part of gravity is the fact that it costs absolutely nothing. That means that once you invest in GravityLight, there are no further costs to run. Don’t we just love solving problems with science?