With a growing knowledge of the world’s needs, comes a rising intelligence to better respond to them. It is fairly well known that many areas of the world do not have access to electricity, which prevents them from having quality light at night. The nighttime is lit up by dim kerosene lamps, much like the oil based examples used for thousands of years before the light bulb was invented. Kerosene costs money and with families that don’t have much to begin with, it’s just one more expense they would prefer to do without.
London-based designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves have been the spending the better part of 4 years developing “Gravity Light” as an off-line project. Gravity light is looking like a promising substitute for those who seek alternatives to kerosene lamps. The light is hung from the ceiling above and attached with a weighted sack full of a substance such as dirt, rocks or sand. As the sack descends slowly to the floor, energy is created – and for every time the weight drops, 30 minutes of light is produced. It only takes a few seconds to raise the weight again and create more light.[see_also]
Bringing light to dark spaces like remote rural villages assists with long term poverty-reduction. Light in a space can create more opportunities for income earning, time for self-education, family activities and just living life. The designer duo hopes to manufacture 1000 of the units and enter into a greater testing phase. If all goes well, the units which are currently priced at $10 a piece, could go as low as $5. Soon many that were seeking the light can finally get it, and stop paying the kerosene man. To learn more about Gravity Light, visit their site at deciwatt.org.
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