In the developed world our motto is Save Energy. In the less fortunate places where there is no electricity people try to find ways to light up their homes. One innovative proposition is the Gravity powered lamp. The lamp is powered by gravity and is a promising alternative for the 1.5 billion people who are without electricity.
The problem – Lack of electricity
There are many parts of the world without the basic means of survival. The lack of electricity is one of these means that affects the lives of about 1.5 billion people around the world. People living in the deserts, in the jungle or in poor neighborhoods of the least developed countries have no electricity and thus they cannot enjoy what in the developed world is taken for granted such as lighting. Lack of lighting reduces the standard of living as people remain idle during the night especially in the winter where the days are even shorter.
The traditional solution for lighting – pollutes the environment
In the remote places with no electricity people use kerosene lamps. These are the lamps which are used in developed countries mainly for recreational camping purposes!
Kerosene lamps, as the name implies, use kerosene to produce light. These lamps are both toxic and are the sources of pollution but they are used by people in developing countries because they are widely available and because there are no other alternatives. Kerosene lamps are the main causes of indoor air pollution and an estimated 1 million people per year die from such pollution.
An alternative green lighting solution – GravityLight
Many alternatives to kerosene lamps have been suggested in the past such as solar-powered light bulbs or the usage of solar and wind energy for the production of electricity.
A quite recent innovation came from deciwatt.org and it is called GravityLight. It is an innovation, which as the name implies, uses gravity to produce energy to power a light lamp and give light to the people who need it. Deciwatt.org is an organization and an initiative under the therefore.com umbrella which is committed in providing lighting to the developing nations which would be affordable, green and environment friendly.
The solar-powered lighting solution provided by other companies requires the use of solar panels and the storage of the electricity produced into batteries that is a relatively expensive solution.
The Gravitylight does not require batteries and does not require sunlight to operate. The gravity-powered lamp is powered by the energy produced by weight which is lifted up and then pulled down slowly by gravity. The weight is simply a bag filled with sand or any other material which when lifted up and let fall, it generates energy which is then used to power the lamp.
This is a radical approach which better answers the problem in areas of Africa and the rest of the world which have no electricity. The estimated cost of the solution is around 10 USD but it has no running costs as oppose to the widely used kerosene lamps. Financially it makes sense to buy a Gravitylight since a kerosene lamp needs fuel worth 10 USD every 3 months.
GravityLight has been designed so that it would not use batteries and it can be used to run other things like a reading light, a radio or to charge batteries. The GravityLight kit comes with a durable bag, that would be filled with sand or rocks, in order to be used for the production of the necessary power.
GravityLight is an eco-friendly innovation
GravityLight is undergoing further improvement so that it will become more efficient and produce more light to cover better its user needs, furthermore the another target is to become even cheaper.
GravityLight can be used by anyone who wants to save energy and reduce his/her carbon print. It can be used at camps which do not have electricity or in the middle of the desert by the Bedouins.
The success of GravityLight would mean a definite improvement for the life of millions of people, who need light for their everyday life, and it will also mean the saving of energy and the saving of our environment since this is a green energy saving innovation.