There are about nearly two billion people in the world who have no reliable access to electricity. No lights, no TV, no Internet. Instead, they rely on burning biomass for light once the sun goes down.

Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves are two London-based designers who have designed an eco-friendly light that uses gravity as an energy source to power an LED lamp.  

The GravityLight has a simple design. It uses a bag of weight attached to a power generator with a special cable. The weight bag, when released from a height, rotates a small generator.  That generates enough power for 30 minutes of light on its descent.

The device can power other things as well such as radios and battery chargers. It comes with external power terminals that users can connect devices that they want to power with gravity.

GravityLight is intended to cost villages less than $10 and has no operating costs – you simply lift the weight bag to start the power.

GravityLight’s developers are currently looking to raise funds for tooling, manufacture and distribution of at least 1000 gravity powered lights. They promise to gift them to villagers in both Africa and India. For more details see //

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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