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A Light in the Dark

From time to time we read a lot of news about innovation in the lighting industry and new means of producing light which is green and energy efficient.

Apart from electricity which powers incandescent and LED lights, solar is another option for generating power. Due to its cost and practical application this alternative source of energy is not widely used in many developing countries.

Recent research at the University of California claims kerosene lamps which are used in most part of India and Africa are more hazardous to the environment and human health than we think. Designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves from London have designed a light which is powered by something present in all countries, something abundant like the sun; it is none other than gravity.

How does it work?
The GravityLight contains an LED lamp that is activated by a weight which is hanging from the lamp. The weight is filled with either sand or stones and weighs approximately 9 kg. It only takes a few seconds to lift the weight, which creates enough energy for half an an hour of light. The most intriguing part is that it does not need any battery keeping costs low, or any circuit to store the energy which is going to power the lamp. The team initially worked to produce low cost solar lights but after more than 3 years of research the gravity driven light was found to be more effective.

This unit can also power other devices such as cellphones and tablets via ports provided in the front panel of the unit. The developers are trying to reduce the cost of the unit to $5 so that the light is accessible for people in developing countries. As a first step the designers hope to gift the lights to villagers in both Africa and India to use regularly.

What an inspiring idea and a completely clean and green one too!


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