Innovative GravityLight works on gravity to create light

GravityLight is a revolutionary new approach to storing energy and creating illumination. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight which powers GravityLight, creating 30 minutes of light on its descent. For free.  

1.3 billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity, with the majority relying on kerosene for lighting. See how you can help eradicate the harmful and damaging effects of kerosene here. Most live in rural or remote areas that are off the electrical grid but others can’t afford electricity because they’re poor and live on less than $2 a day. Inventors have been working on this problem and have created effective, inexpensive, simple inventions that don’t require electricity.  

The World Bank estimates that, as a result, 780 million women and children inhale smoke which is equivalent to smoking 2 packets of cigarettes every day. 60% of adult, female lung-cancer victims in developing nations are non-smokers. The fumes also cause eye infections and cataracts, but burning kerosene is also more immediately dangerous: 2.5 million people a year, in India alone, suffer severe burns from overturned kerosene lamps.

Burning Kerosene also comes with a financial burden: kerosene for lighting ALONE can consume 10 to 20% of a household’s income. This burden traps people in a permanent state of subsistence living, buying cupfuls of fuel for their daily needs, as and when they can.    

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Jane Chen and Rajan Patel are co-inventors of the award winning incubator pouch for premature babies. Jessica Lin, along with co-inventors, Hemali Thakker, Julia Silverman and Jessica Matthews invented the sOccket, an award winning innovation that uses a soccer ball to harness and store electrical energy when kicked. Multiple award winning inventor Emily Cummins created an inexpensive, simple, natural biological cooler that refrigerates perishable foods and medicine.   

Image of gravity light invention the latest simple invention to address this electricity problem comes from co-inventors Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford. They spent four years developing their award winning GravityLight, which is a light that requires no electricity, no batteries or solar dependency to operate. Instead it uses the force of gravity to create light. A weight is connected to the end of a rope that loops through the light casing. The light is hung from any structure or tree.

You pull on the rope to lift the weight to the casing.   When you let go of the rope the weight gradually falls and pulls the rope through gears that turn a small generator to power LEDS on the light. The light shines for about 25 minutes and it only takes 3 seconds to pull the rope to restart the cycle again. To demonstrate the feasibility of their invention they decided to raise funds for field testing.

They launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $55,000 but received close to $400,000. Photo of Bill Gates Jim acknowledges that the success and support for the campaign was helped by an unexpected endorsement from Bill Gates who tweeted, “GravityLight is a pretty cool innovation which could be a source of cheap light in developing markets.”

Jim Reeves gives a great explanation of the development process he and Martin used to create GravityLight at a TEDx event.


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